The town of Powder Springs was incorporated as Springville in 1838 in the lands of two Cherokee Indian leaders. Gold had been discovered in Georgia ten years earlier, and the first area settlers came to find gold. The settlers found little gold in the mines at Lost Mountain and off Brownsville Road. It was at about this time that the Cherokee people were forced off their land and marched to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears.
The name Springville was changed to Powder Springs in 1859. The name was derived from the seven springs in the city limits. The water in these springs contains some 26 minerals that turn the surrounding sand black like gunpowder – hence the name Gunpowder Springs.
Civil War history includes a skirmish at Lattermore's Mills on June 20, 1864, that was a part of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain and General Sherman's Atlanta Campaign.