|— Consolidated city–county —|
|City of Macon|
|Country||United States of America|
|• Mayor||Robert Reichert (D)|
|• Consolidated city–county||661 km2 (255.13 sq mi)|
|• Land||647 km2 (249.96 sq mi)|
|• Water||3.2 km2 (0.5 sq mi)|
|Elevation||116 m (381 ft)|
|• Consolidated city–county||155,369|
|• Metro||222,368 (190th)|
|• CSA||404,668 (82nd)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0332301|
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 CSA. It lies near the geographic center of Georgia, approximately 85 miles (137 km) south of Atlanta, hence the city's nickname as the Heart of Georgia. After voters approved the consolidation of Macon and Bibb County in 2012, Macon became Georgia's fourth-largest city (just after Augusta), with a population of 155,369 based on 2010 Census figures for Bibb County.
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.
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 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 fort's 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 (1.01 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 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.
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 city's 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 city's new boundary lines the same as the county's and deannexing a small portion of the city that once lay in Jones County.
Government and politicsEdit
Macon is governed by a mayor and a city council. The mayor is Robert Reichert, a former member of the Georgia House of Representatives, who was elected to the position in 2007. The previous mayor, C. Jack Ellis (1999-2007), was the first person of African-American descent to be elected to the position in the city's history.
The Macon City Council consists of a 15-member council, in which each three members are elected from each of 5 wards of the city. James E. Timley is the Council President, and Larry Schlesinger is the President Pro-Tem.
The city council is, to date, the only city council in Georgia to conduct partisan elections, with the city council leaning mostly to the Democratic Party.
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 planned consolidation, the governments of Macon and Bibb County will be 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 will be deincorporated from Macon. Robert Reichert will be the first mayor of Macon-Bibb after the election in September 2013 and a runoff with C. Jack Ellis in October.
Macon is one of Georgia's 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 (32.834839, −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.
Macon has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa). The normal monthly mean temperature ranges from 46.3 °F (7.9 °C) in January to 81.8 °F (27.7 °C) in July. On average, there are 4.8 days with 100 °F (38 °C)+ highs (but they do not occur every year),[lower-alpha 1] 83 days with 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs,[lower-alpha 2] and 43 days with a low at or below freezing; the average window for freezing temperatures is November 7 thru March 22, allowing a growing season of 198 days. The city has an average annual precipitation of 45.7 inches (1,160 mm). Snow is occasional, with about half of the winters receiving trace amounts or no snowfall, averaging 0.7 inches (1.8 cm); the snowiest winter is 1972−73 with 16.5 in (42 cm).
Template:Macon, Georgia weatherbox
Surrounding cities and townsEdit
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), the Warner Robins metropolitan area (Houston County), and the Fort Valley micropolitan area (Peach County), which had a combined population of 346,801 at the 2000 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.
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 cultureEdit
Macon was the birthplace or hometown 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.
- 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 Macon's 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.
- Macon's 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
Points of interestEdit
- Ocmulgee National Monument is located near downtown Macon. It preserves some of the largest ancient earthwork mounds in Georgia built by the Mississippian culture a millennium ago, c. 950-1150. It was sacred to the historic Muscogee (Creek Nation) as well. Archeological artifacts reveal 13,000 years of human habitation at the site. The park features a spiral mound, funeral mound, temple mounds, burial mounds, and a reconstructed earth lodge. It is the first Traditional Cultural Property designated by the National Park Service east of the Mississippi River.
- Fort Benjamin Hawkins, a major military outpost (1806-1821), was a command headquarters for the US Army and Georgia militia on the frontier, as well as a trading post or factory for the Creek Nation. It was a supply depot during US campaigns of the War of 1812 and the Creek and Seminole Wars.
- Cannonball House - historic site
- Luther Williams Field
- Rose Hill Cemetery - one of Macon's oldest cemeteries
- Sidney Lanier Cottage - historical home of the poet Sidney Lanier
- Temple Beth Israel - The Jewish congregation was founded in 1859, and now occupies a domed Neoclassical facility built in 1902.
- Wesleyan College - first chartered women's college in the world
- The Allman Brothers Band Museum - the "Big House" used by the Allman Brothers Band in the early 1970s, now a museum of Allman Brothers history and artifacts
- The Georgia Children's Museum - interactive education, located in the downtown Museum District
- Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
- Museum of Arts and Sciences (Macon) and Planetarium
- Tubman African American Museum - the largest African American museum in Georgia
- City Hall, Georgia's capitol for part of the Civil War
- Douglass Theatre
- The Grand Opera House, where the Macon Symphony Orchestra performs
- Hay House - also known as the "Johnston-Felton-Hay House," it has been referred to as the "Palace of the South"
- City Auditorium, the world's largest true copper dome 
- Macon Coliseum
- Macon Little Theatre, established in 1934, the area's oldest community theatre, producing seven plays/musicals per season
- Waddell Barnes Botanical Gardens
|Macon Giants||Baseball||Great South League||Ed Defore Sports Complex|
|Middle Georgia Derby Demons||Roller Derby||Bibb Skate Arena|
Parks and recreationEdit
The city maintains several parks and community centers.
- Ocmulgee Heritage Trail - a green way of parks, plazas, and landmarks along the Ocmulgee River in downtown Macon
- Bloomfield Park
- East Macon Park
- Frank Johnson Recreation Center
- Freedom Park
- L.H. Williams Community School Center
- Memorial Park
- North Macon Park
- Rosa Jackson
- Senior Center
- John Drew Smith Tennis Center
- Tattnall Square Tennis Center
Public high schoolsEdit
- Central High School
- Howard High School (Macon, Georgia)
- Hutchings High School
- Northeast Health Science Magnet High School
- Rutland High School (Macon, Georgia)
- Southwest Magnet High School and Law Academy
- Westside High School
Private high schoolsEdit
- Central Fellowship Christian Academy
- First Presbyterian Day School
- Mount de Sales Academy
- Stratford Academy
- Tattnall Square Academy
- Windsor Academy
- Covenant Academy
- Bethany Christian Academy
Private and specialized schoolsEdit
- Northwoods Academy
- Elam Alexander Academy
- Georgia Academy for the Blind
- Joseph N. Neel Elementary School
- Renaissance Academy
Colleges and universitiesEdit
Approximately 30,000 college students live in the greater Macon area. Mercer, Middle Georgia State College, and Wesleyan College have the largest populations of "traditional" college students. Georgia College & State University has a "Center for Graduate and Professional Learning" in Macon.
- Mercer University
- Middle Georgia State College
- Wesleyan College
- Central Georgia Technical College
- Fort Valley State University - satellite campus
- Georgia College & State University - satellite campus
- Troy University - satellite campus
- Virginia College - satellite campus
- Miller-Motte Technical College - satellite campus
Macon has a substantial number of local television and radio stations. It is also served by two local papers.
Newspapers and magazinesEdit
- The Telegraph, a daily newspaper, is published in Macon.
- The 11th Hour
- Gateway Macon (web portal)|Gateway Macon]], The Local's Guide for Things To Do in Macon.
- 13 WMAZ-TV - CBS
- 24 WGXA - Fox
- 29 WMUM-TV - GPB/PBS
- 29.2 - GPB Kids
- 29.3 - GPB Knowledge/PBS World
- 31 WDMA-CA - Daystar
- 38 WMUB-LD - MHz WorldView
- 41 WMGT-TV - NBC
- 45 WGNM - Christian Television Network
- 45.2 - CTNi
- 50 WPGA-LP - This TV (Low Power Analog Only)
- 58 WPGA-TV - Ind.
- WBKG 88.9 - Macon (Religious)
- WMUM-FM 89.7 - Macon (Georgia Public Broadcasting/National Public Radio)
- WLZN 92.3 - Macon (Urban Hip-Hop - "Blazin' 92.3")
- WPEZ 93.7 - Macon (Z93.7)
- WMGB 95.1 ("B95.1") - Macon
- WPCH (FM) 96.5 - Macon (Oldies/Adult Contemporary - "The New Peach" - Simulcast)
- WDEN 99.1 - Macon (Country)
- WMGZ 97.7 FM - Macon
- WIBB-FM 97.9 - Macon (Urban - Hip Hop "97.9 WIBB")
- WPGA-FM 100.9 - Macon (Mix "100.9")
- WRBV 101.7 - Macon (Urban AC - "V101.7")uji.
- WROK-FM 105.5 - Macon (Adult Album Alternative - "Rock 105.5")
- WQBZ 106.3 - Macon ( The Rock Station "Q106")
- WFXM 107.1 - Macon (Hip-Hop & R&B "Power 107")
- WBML 900 AM - Macon (Country)
- WMAC 940 AM - Macon (Talk)
- WPGA 980 AM - Macon (Talk)
- WXKO 1150 AM - Fort Valley/Macon (Country)
- WDDO 1240 AM - Macon (Gospel)
- WIBB 1280 AM - Macon (Talk)
- WNEX 1400 AM - Macon (News Talk)
- WAYS 1500 AM - Macon (Sports - "The Fan")
- WPLA 1670 AM - Macon (Sports Talk - "Fox Sports Radio")
- Central Georgia Rehabilitation Hospital
- Coliseum Medical Centers
- Coliseum Northside Hospital
- Medical Center of Central Georgia
- Macon Downtown Airport is located near downtown. It has a large number of corporate and private aviation aircraft.
- Middle Georgia Regional Airport provides public air service to Macon as well as cargo flights. The airport is situated 9 mi (14 km) south of downtown.
The Macon Transit Authority (MTA) is Macon's public-transit system, operating the bus system within Bibb County. Most commuters in Macon and the surrounding suburbs use private automobiles as their primary transportation. This results in heavy traffic during rush hour and contributes to Macon's air pollution.
Macon Transit Authority has a tourist trolley system. The trolleys have offered tours of the downtown Macon area since 1999. The tours consist of all of the major historical sites such as the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, the Hay House, and the Tubman Museum. There are three trolleys holding up to 39 passengers.
Greyhound Lines provides intercity bus service.
Macon grew as a center of rail transport after the 1846 opening of the Macon and Western Railroad. Two of the most note-worthy train companies operating through the city were the Central of Georgia Railway and the Southern Railway. The city continued to be served by passenger trains until the 1970s. Macon is included in the proposed Georgia Rail Passenger Program to restore inter-city rail service.
- Central Georgia
- Downtown Macon, Georgia
- Macon, Georgia metropolitan area
- List of mayors of Macon, Georgia
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- ^ Robins Air Force Base
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- ^ Covenant Academy
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- ^ "School Listing". Bibb County Board of Education. http://schools.bibb.k12.ga.us/elam.
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- Bellamy, Donnie D. "Macon, Georgia, 1823–1860: A Study in Urban Slavery", Phylon 45 (December 1984): 300–304, 308–309
- Brown, Titus. "A New England Missionary and African-American Education in Macon: Raymond G. Von Tobel at the Ballard Normal School, 1908–1935", The Georgia Historical Quarterly, Summer 1998, Vol. 82 Issue 2, pp 283–304
- Brown, Titus. "Origins of African American Education in Macon, Georgia 1865–1866", Journal of South Georgia History, Oct 1996, Vol. 11, pp 43–59
- Butler, John Campbell. Historical Record of Macon and Central Georgia (Macon, 1879),
- Davis, Robert Scott. "A Cotton Kingdom Retooled for War: The Macon Arsenal and the Confederate Ordnance Establishment", The Georgia Historical Quarterly, Fall 2007, Vol. 91 Issue 3, pp 266–291, full text online in EBSCO
- Davis, Robert S. Cotton, Fire, & Dreams: The Robert Findlay Iron Works and Heavy Industry in Macon, Georgia, 1839–1912 (Macon, Ga., 1998)
- Eisterhold, John A. "Commercial, Financial, and Industrial Macon, Georgia, During the 1840s", The Georgia Historical Quarterly, Winter 1969, Vol. 53 Issue 4, pp 424–441
- Hux, Roger K. "The Ku Klux Klan in Macon 1919–1925", The Georgia Historical Quarterly, Summer 1978, Vol. 62 Issue 2, pp 155–168
- Iobst, Richard W. Civil War Macon: The History of a Confederate City (Mercer U. Press, 1999). 462 pp.
- Keire, Mara L. For Business and Pleasure: Red-Light Districts and the Regulation of Vice in the United States, 1890–1933 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010); 248 pages; History and popular culture of districts in Macon, Ga., and other cities
- McInvale, Morton Ray "Macon, Georgia: The War Years, 1861–1865" (Ph.D. dissertation, Florida State University, 1973)
- Manis, Andrew M. Macon Black and White: An Unutterable Separation in the American Century (Mercer U. Press, 2004). 432 pp.
- Norman, Matthew W. "James H. Burton and the Confederate States Armory at Macon", The Georgia Historical Quarterly, Winter 1997, Vol. 81 Issue 4, pp 974–987
- Stone, James H. "Economic Conditions in Macon, Georgia in the 1830s", The Georgia Historical Quarterly, Summer 1970, Vol. 54 Issue 2, pp 209–225
- Yates, Bowling C. "Macon, Georgia, Inland Trading Center 1826–1836", The Georgia Historical Quarterly, Fall 1971, Vol. 55 Issue 3, pp 365–377
- Young, Ida, Julius Gholson, and Clara Nell Hargrove. History of Macon, Georgia (Macon, 1950)
- Official City Government Website
- Macon-Bibb County Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Macon (the New Georgia Encyclopedia)
- Macon (Georgia) travel guide from Wikivoyage
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