In 1890, Oliver S. Porter sold to Porterdale Mills eight hundred ten acres. It included the place Mr. Porter then lived, known as Cedar Shoals Place, together with mills, factories, sawmill, houses, machinery, tools and appliances in each, and all of them with water power and privileges connected. With the naming of the mills, the village also took the name of Porterdale. In 1917, the name change became official. Porterdale, like many other small towns in rural Georgia, was developed around textile mills. The Porterdale Mill and two other smaller mills employed most of the local population whose history and folklore revolve around them.
After selling his interest in the Mills to Bibb Manufacturing Company in 1899, Mr. Porter and his descendants became benefactors of the town hiring doctors and dentists and teachers, funding schools and underwriting small businesses, civic clubs and service organizations. Most of the homes in Porterdale were owned by Bibb Manufacturing until 1964, when just a decade or so before the Mills closed, employees were allowed to purchase their own homes.
The Porterdale Mill prospered into the 1960s becoming the world's largest producer of twine. Low priced global competition forced its closing in the early 1970s causing the small town of Porterdale to decline. In 2006, the Porterdale Mill was transformed into the Porterdale Mill Lofts, with residential, retail, and live/work spaces in a community designed for young families and singles, professionals and artists, small and independent retailers and business owners and anyone seeking a genuinely unique contemporary lifestyle.
Resident student of Porterville are served by the schools of the Newton County School District. Most residents will attend two elementary schools, Middle Ridge Elementary or Porterdale Elementary. Middle school students attend Cousins Middle School, while high school aged children attend Newton County High School.