Tripti Joshi

Macon, Georgia

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Country  United States of America
Population  89,981 (2013)
Unemployment rate  8.4% (Feb 2015)
Area  661 km2
State  Georgia
Mayor  Robert Reichert (D)
Points of interest  Ocmulgee National Monument, Museum of Arts and Sciences, Tubman Museum, Grand Opera House, Fort Benjamin Hawkins
Colleges and Universities  Mercer University, Central Georgia Technical College, Wesleyan College, Macon State College, Mercer University School of Medicine

Macon is a city located in central Georgia, United States. Founded at the fall line of the Ocmulgee River, it is part of the Macon metropolitan area, and is the county seat of Bibb County. Macon is also the largest city in the Macon-Warner Robins Combined Statistical Area with a population of 417,473 and abuts the Atlanta metropolitan area just to the north. It lies near the geographic center of Georgia, approximately 85 miles (137 km) south of Atlanta, hence the citys nickname as the Heart of Georgia. After voters approved the consolidation of Macon and Bibb County in 2012, Macon became Georgias fourth-largest city (just after Augusta), with a population of 155,369 based on 2010 Census figures for Bibb County. Macon is served by three interstate highways: I-16 (connecting the city to Savannah and coastal Georgia), I-75 (connecting the city with Atlanta to the north and Florida to the south), and I-475 (a city bypass highway).

Contents

Map of Macon, Georgia

The city has several institutions of higher education, as well as numerous museums and tourism sites. The area is served by the Middle Georgia Regional Airport and the Herbert Smart Downtown Airport. The mayor of Macon is Robert Reichert, a former Democratic member of the Georgia House of Representatives. Reichert was elected mayor of the newly consolidated city of Macon-Bibb and took office on January 1, 2014.

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History

Macon, Georgia in the past, History of Macon, Georgia

Macon lies on the site of the Ocmulgee Old Fields, where the historic Creek Indians lived in the 18th century. Their prehistoric predecessors, the Mississippian culture, built a powerful chiefdom (950–1100 AD) based on an agricultural village and constructed earthwork mounds for ceremonial, burial and religious purposes. The areas along the rivers in the Southeast had been inhabited by varying cultures of indigenous peoples for 13,000 years before Europeans arrived.

Macon, Georgia in the past, History of Macon, Georgia

Macon developed at the site of Fort Benjamin Hawkins, built from 1806–1809 at the fall line of the Ocmulgee River to protect the new frontier and establish a trading post with Native Americans. The fort was named in honor of Benjamin Hawkins, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Southeast territory south of the Ohio River for more than two decades. He lived among the Creek and had a Creek wife. This was the most inland point of navigation on the river from the Low Country. President Thomas Jefferson forced the Creek to cede their lands east of the Ocmulgee River and ordered the fort built. (Archeological excavations in the 21st century found evidence of two separate fortifications.)

Fort Hawkins guarded the Lower Creek Pathway, an extensive and well-traveled American Indian network later improved by the United States as the Federal Road from Washington, DC to the ports of Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana. A gathering point of the Creek and American cultures for trading, it was also a center of state militia and federal troops. The fort served as a major military distribution point during the War of 1812 against Great Britain and also during the Creek War of 1813. Afterward, the fort was used as a trading post for several years and was garrisoned until 1821. It was decommissioned about 1828 and later burned to the ground. A replica of the southeast blockhouse was built in 1938 and stands today on a hill in east Macon. Part of the fort site is occupied by the Fort Hawkins Grammar School. In the twenty-first century, archeological excavations have revealed more of the forts importance, and stimulated planning for additional reconstruction of this major historical site.

As many settlers had already begun to move into the area, they renamed Fort Hawkins "Newtown." After the organization of Bibb County in 1822, the city was chartered as the county seat in 1823 and officially named Macon. This was in honor of the North Carolina statesman Nathaniel Macon, because many of the early settlers hailed from North Carolina. The city planners envisioned "a city within a park" and created a city of spacious streets and parks. They designated 250 acres (1.0 km2) for Central City Park, and passed ordinances requiring residents to plant shade trees in their front yards.

The city thrived due to its location on the Ocmulgee River, which enabled shipping to markets; cotton became the mainstay of Macons early economy, based on the enslaved labor of Africans. Macon was in the Black Belt of Georgia, where cotton was the chief commodity crop. Cotton steamboats, stage coaches, and later, in 1843, a railroad increased marketing opportunities and contributed to the economic prosperity to Macon. In 1836, the Georgia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church founded Wesleyan College in Macon; it was the first college in the United States chartered to grant degrees to women. In 1855 a referendum was held to determine a capital city for Georgia. Macon came in last with 3,802 votes.

During the American Civil War, Macon served as the official arsenal of the Confederacy. Camp Oglethorpe, in Macon, was used first as a prison for captured Union officers and enlisted men. Later it held officers only, up to 2,300 at one time. The camp was evacuated in 1864.

Macon City Hall, which served as the temporary state capitol in 1864, was converted to use as a hospital for the wounded. The Union General William Tecumseh Sherman spared Macon on his march to the sea. His troops had sacked the nearby state capital of Milledgeville, and Maconites prepared for an attack. Sherman did not bother to go through Macon.

The Macon Telegraph wrote that, of the 23 companies which the city had furnished the Confederacy, only enough men survived and were fit for duty to fill five companies by the end of the war. The human toll was very high.

The city was taken by Union forces at the end of the war during Wilsons Raid on April 20, 1865.

Gradually into the twentieth century, Macon grew into a prospering town in Middle Georgia. It began to serve as a transportation hub for the entire state. In 1895, the New York Times dubbed Macon "The Central City," in reference to the citys emergence as a hub for railroad transportation and textile factories.

In 1994 Tropical Storm Alberto made landfall in Florida dumping 24 inches (61 cm) inches of rain, which resulted in major flooding in Georgia. Macon was one of the cities to suffer the worst flooding.

On May 11, 2008 An EF2 tornado touched down near Lizella. The tornado then tracked northeast to the south shore of Lake Tobesofkee then continued into Macon and lifted near Dry Branch near the Twiggs County line. The tornado did not produce a continuous path, but did produce sporadic areas of major damage. Widespread straight-line wind damage was also produced along and south of the track of the tornado. The most significant damage was in the city of Macon especially along Eisenhower Parkway and Pio Nono Avenue where 2 businesses were destroyed and several others sustaining heavy damage. Middle Georgia State College was also hit by the tornado, snapping or uprooting 50 percent or more of the trees and doing significant damage to several buildings on campus with the gymnasium sustaining the worst damage. This tornado varied in intensity from EF0 to EF2 with the EF2 damage and winds up to 130 miles per hour (210 km/h) occurring near the intersection of Eisenhower Parkway and Pio Nono Avenue. Total path length was 18 miles (29 km) with a path width of 100 yards (91 m).

In 2012, voters in Macon and Bibb County approved a new consolidated government between the city and county, making the citys new boundary lines the same as the countys and deannexing a small portion of the city that once lay in Jones County.

Geography

Macon is one of Georgias three Fall Line Cities, along with Augusta and Columbus. The Fall Line is where the hilly lands of the Piedmont plateau meet the flat terrain of the coastal plain. As such, Macon has a varied landscape of rolling hills on the north side and flat plains on the south. The fall line causes rivers in the area to decline rapidly toward sea level. In the past, Macon and other Fall Line cities had many textile mills powered by the rivers. The Ocmulgee River is the major river that runs through Macon.

Macon is located at 32°50?05?N 83°39?06?W (32.834839, ?83.651672).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 56.3 square miles (146 km2), of which, 55.8 square miles (145 km2) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) of it (0.82%) is water.

Macon is approximately 330 feet (100 m) above sea level.

Economy

According to the 2010 Census, the median household income in the city was $28,366, as compared with the state average of $49,347. The median family income was $37, 268. Full-time working males had a median income of $34,163 versus $28,082 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,010. About 24.1% of families and 30.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.6% of those under age 18 and 18.4% of those over 65.

Arts and culture

Macon, Georgia Culture of Macon, Georgia

Macon was the birthplace or hometown of musicians Emmett Miller, The Allman Brothers Band, Randy Crawford, Mark Heard, Lucille Hegamin, Otis Redding, Little Richard, Mike Mills, and Bill Berry of R.E.M., as well as more recent names like violinist Robert McDuffie and country artist Jason Aldean. September Hase, an alternative rock band, was discovered in Macon. Capricorn Records, run by Macon natives Phil Walden and briefly Alan Walden, made the city a hub for Southern rock music in the late 1960s and 1970s.

The Macon Symphony Orchestra performs at the Grand Opera House in downtown Macon, as well as a youth symphony, and the Middle Georgia Concert Band.

Festivals

Macon, Georgia Festival of Macon, Georgia
  • International Cherry Blossom Festival - a 10-day celebration held every mid-March
  • The Mulberry Street Festival, - an arts and crafts festival held downtown the last weekend of March
  • Pan African Festival - an annual celebration of African American culture held in April
  • Ocmulgee Indian Celebration - A celebration of Macons original Native American Heritage, this festival is held in September at Ocmulgee National Monument. Representatives from the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, and other nations come to share stories, exhibit native art, and perform.
  • The Georgia State Fair - held in Central City Park in the first week of May
  • The Georgia Music Hall of Fame hosts Georgia Music Week in September.
  • Macons annual Bragg Jam festival features an Art and Kids Festival along the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail and a nighttime Pub Crawl.
  • Macon Film Festival (MaGa) - an annual celebration of independent films, held the third weekend in February
  • Macon, Georgia cuisine

    Macon, Georgia Cuisine of Macon, Georgia, Popular Food of Macon, Georgia

    Georgias cuisine includes a variety of different foods ranging from seafood, corn on the cob and chicken and dumplings to Brunswick stew, fried chicken and cornbread. Other well known and loved foods in the state include pecans, peaches, and peanuts. The state prepared food is grits.

    Barbecuing, a favorite pastime in Georgia, is integral to the states culture. All types of meat are barbecued in Georgia, but pork is traditionally the most popular meat in the state. Many people in Georgia barbecue for tailgate parties, for the Fourth of July or in case of homecomings and in all temperatures. The Georgia General Assembly traditionally holds a "wild hog supper" before legislative sessions and barbecue festivals can be found throughout the state.

    References

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