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Macon was founded on the site of the Ocmulgee Old Fields, where the Creek Indians lived in the 18th century. Their predecessors, the Mississippian culture, built a powerful chiefdom (950–1100 AD) based on the practice of agriculture. The Mississippian culture constructed earthwork mounds for ceremonial, burial, and religious purposes. The areas along the rivers in the Southeast had been inhabited by indigenous peoples for 13,000 years before Europeans arrived.
Macon developed at the site of Fort Benjamin Hawkins, built in 1809 at the fall line of the Ocmulgee River to protect the community and to 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 20 years. He lived among the Creek and was married to a Creek woman. 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, D.C., to the ports of Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana. A gathering point of the Creek and U.S. 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 still stands today on a hill in east Macon. Part of the fort site was occupied by the Fort Hawkins Grammar School. In the 21st century, archeological excavations have revealed more of the fort's importance, and stimulated planning for additional reconstruction of this major historical site.
As many Europeans had already begun to move into the area, Fort Hawkins was renamed "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 residents of Georgia 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 Macon's early economy, based on the enslaved labor of African Americans. Macon was in the Black Belt of Georgia, where cotton was the commodity crop. Cotton steamboats, stage coaches, and later, in 1843, a railroad increased marketing opportunities and contributed to the economic prosperity of Macon. In 1836, the Georgia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church founded Wesleyan College in Macon. Wesleyan 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 manufacturing percussion caps, friction primers, and pressed bullets. 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 a hospital for wounded Confederate soldiers. 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, however, passed by without entering 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 during Wilson's Raid on April 20, 1865.
In 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 city's emergence as a hub for railroad transportation and textile factories.Terminal Station was built in 1916.
In 1994 Tropical Storm Alberto made landfall in Florida bringing 24 inches (61 cm) 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 in nearby Lizella. The tornado then moved northeast to the southern shore of Lake Tobesofkee then continued into Macon and lifted near Dry Branch in Twiggs County. The tornado produced 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 Macon along Eisenhower Parkway and Pio Nono Avenue where two businesses were destroyed and several others were heavily damaged. Middle Georgia State College was also damaged by the tornado, snapping or uprooting around 50% of the campus 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 city's new boundary lines the same as the county's and reversing the annexation of a small portion of the city that once lay in Jones County.
On July 31, 2012, voters in Macon (57.8 percent approval) and Bibb County (56.7 percent approval) passed a referendum to merge the governments of the city of Macon and most of unincorporated Bibb County, based on the authorization of House Bill 1171, passed by the Georgia General Assembly earlier in the year; four previous consolidation attempts (in 1933, 1960, 1972, and 1976) had failed.
Under the consolidation, the governments of Macon and Bibb County were replaced with a single mayor and a nine-member countywide commission elected to office by county districts. A portion of Macon that extends into nearby Jones County was disincorporated from Macon. Robert Reichert is the first mayor of Macon-Bibb after the election in September 2013 and a runoff with C. Jack Ellis in October.
Macon is the largest principal city of the Macon-Warner Robins-Fort Valley CSA, a Combined Statistical Area that includes the Macon metropolitan area (Bibb, Crawford, Jones, Monroe, and Twiggs counties) and the Warner Robins metropolitan area (Houston, Peach, and Pulaski counties), which had a combined population of 411,898 at the 2010 census.
As of the official 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Macon was 91,351. In the last official census, in 2000, there were 97,255 people, 38,444 households, and 24,219 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,742.8 people per square mile (672.9/km2). There were 44,341 housing units at an average density of 794.6 per square mile (306.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 67.94% African American, 28.56% White, 0.02% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.48% of the population.
There were 38,444 households, out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.0% were married couples living together, 25.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.9% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 79.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.8 males.
Georgia is a southern U.S. state that lies between the Atlantic and Mississippi River basins. Capital city Atlanta is the home of the Georgia Aquarium, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and the oldest Georgia state museum. The historic city of Savannah features beautiful scenery and world-class hotels and restaurants. The Peach State is a favorite summer destination with millions of visitors. Here are some fun facts about Georgia.
Georgia's population is over 30 million. Atlanta has the country's largest per capita income. Low unemployment and low real estate tax rates contribute to this affluent prosperity. Homebuyers are abundant and prices have continued to rise in Georgia. Georgia's growth and development has been led by the Georgia Power Company and transmission and distribution companies such as Weatherford Electric and Georgia Power.
In the early years of the state, peach state's major industries were located along the coast. It was considered an agricultural power. As the textile industry developed in the latter part of the twentieth century, manufacturing shifted to the southern part of Georgia. Georgia's major cities are Atlanta, which is the capital; Augusta; Charlotte; Columbus; Macon, Ga; and Lithonia. As you travel around Georgia, be sure to take a look at the modern buildings that line its major cities.
Georgia is one of the few states to have a winner-take-all presidential primary. It is also one of only two states to have a runoff for president, thanks to an unusual deal made by the state's top election officials. Because of this runoff, Georgia has seen unusually high turnouts in the last couple of presidential elections. The result has been record voter participation and large voter turnout, making Georgia one of the front runners for the Democratic presidential nomination. The first two candidates to clinch the Democratic nomination will go on to face the party's primary vote in the general election.
During the final days before the election, there will be a lot of voting going on all over the state. Because of this, many Georgians who do not vote in the presidential election will have a chance to participate in the Early voting. In early voting, absentee and early voters can cast their vote without worry of being turned away in the voting. Early voting in Georgia began in June but continues through July.
With a large number of early vote, Georgia will be on the front lines of deciding who receives the most votes during the primary election. If no candidate receives an early vote leading by at least 15 %, then the winner will be the candidate with the most votes. During the primary election, Hillary Clinton is leading with almost nine million votes, while only Barack Obama has received six million. Some people have cast their vote for Senator Barrack Obama, but since he did not receive a number enough votes to take the top spot, he was eliminated from the running for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Georgia's largest city Atlanta has a booming real estate market. Many people have migrated to the metropolitan area, attracted by excellent jobs, better lifestyles and affordable housing costs. Real estate prices have increased in Georgia due to the influx of people. Atlanta offers a variety of real estate opportunities including residential communities, commercial centers and areas for business operations.
The state of Georgia's largest city, Atlanta, has been successful in appealing to the African Americans, which make up a large portion of the population. Schools in Atlanta are among the best in the country, and a college education is almost a must have for families earning in the middle class. The county of Fulton is home to the state's capital city, Atlanta. The county is divided into five major cities including: Fulton, which is the county seat; Atlanta; Clayton, the second largest city; blacksmith, which is the county's second largest city; Columbus, the third largest city; and Lithia Springs, which is the largest town in the area. The average property tax rate in the county is above the national average of 7.5%, and home owners can expect to enjoy some of the best deals in the country.