Incorporated as a city in 1904, Social Circle offers two possibilities for its naming. One local legend has it that a traveler, much impressed by the townspeople's kindness, remarked in passing, "This sure is a social circle?!" Another, less colorful, version of the tale has it that a new resident proposed his old village's name. In either case, Social Circle still prides itself as "Georgia's Greatest Little Town."
In 1896, Social Circle found itself embroiled in a Supreme Court debate about the fairness, or lack thereof, of freight rates. The court's decision in this case indirectly challenged the authority of the relatively new Interstate Commerce Commission, and so, for years after this, people spoke of both the case and the town itself.