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Macon ( ) is a city located in central Georgiamarker, USA. It is among the largest metropolitan areas in Georgia, and the county seat of Bibb Countymarker. A small portion of the city extends into Jones Countymarker. It lies near the geographic center of Georgia, approximately 85 miles (136 km) south of Atlantamarker, hence the city's nickname as the Heart of Georgia. As of 2008, Macon had a population of 92,775; the Macon, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated population of 230,777 and the Macon-Warner Robins-Fort Valley Combined Statistical Area had an estimated population of 386,534. In terms of population Macon is the sixth-largest city (just after Athensmarker), fifth-largest Metropolitan Statistical Area, and fifth-largest Combined Statistical Area in Georgiamarker. Macon-Warner Robins-Fort Valley, GA Combined Statistical Area (CSA) includes 7 Georgia counties.

Robins Air Force Basemarker, a major employer, is south of the city in Warner Robinsmarker. The area is also home to several institutions of higher education, as well as numerous museums and tourism sites. The area is served by the Middle Georgia Regional Airportmarker and the Herbert Smart Downtown Airport. The current mayor of Macon is Robert Reichert, a former Democratic member of the Georgia House of Representatives. Perhaps its most colorful mayor with national recognition was Ronnie Thompson, who served from 1967-1975 and was the first of thus far two Republicans to have held the position, the other being George Israel (1979-1987).

History

Governor Brown calls for militia as Sherman closes in, July 1864
Macon lies on the site of the Ocmulgee Old Fields, which were home to Creek Indians and their predecessors for as long as 12,000 years before Europeans arrived. The fields and forests around Macon and what is now the Ocmulgee National Monumentmarker were cultivated by the Creeks, who built temple and funeral mounds that survive today.

Prior to its establishment as a city, Macon was the site of Fort Benjamin Hawkinsmarker. After the Creeks ceded their lands east of the Ocmulgee River, President Thomas Jefferson ordered the fort built in 1806 on the fall line of the Ocmulgee River to protect the new frontier, as it was a major military distribution point during the War of 1812 and the Creek War of 1813. Afterward, the fort became a trading post for a few more years before it fell to disuse and burned to the ground. A replica of the fort, however, stands today on a hill in east Macon. By this time, many settlers had already begun to move into the area and later renamed Fort Hawkins “Newtown.” After the establishment of Bibb County in 1822, the city was chartered as the county seat in 1823 and officially named Macon, in honor of North Carolina statesman Nathaniel Macon because many of the city's early settlers hailed from North Carolina. The city planners of Macon envisioned "a city within a park" and went about creating a city of spacious streets and parks. They also designated 250 acres (1 km2) for Central City Park and citizens were required by ordinances to plant shade trees in their front yards.

The city thrived due to its location on the Ocmulgee River and cotton became the mainstay of Macon's early economy. Cotton boats, stage coaches, and later, in 1843, a railroad all brought economic prosperity to Macon. In 1836, Wesleyan College, one of the oldest women's colleges in the world, was founded in Macon. 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 officers and enlisted, then for officers only, up to 2,300 at one time. The camp was evacuated in 1864.

Macon City Hall, which would serve as the temporary state capitol in 1864, was converted to use as a hospital for the wounded. However, Macon was spared by General William Tecumseh Sherman on his march to the sea. The nearby state capital of Milledgeville had been sacked and Maconites prepared for an attack. But General Sherman feared that Confederate forces were preparing a unified attack of their own and therefore bypassed Macon.

The Macon Telegraph claimed that out of the 23 companies the city had furnished the Confederacy, only enough for five were alive and medically fit for duty by the end of the war.

Throughout the era of Reconstruction and into the twentieth century, Macon grew into a prospering town in Middle Georgia, and began to serve as a transportation hub for the entire state.

Downtown Macon in the early 1900's
.

In 1994 Tropical Storm Alberto made landfall in Floridamarker dumping 24" inches of rain resulting in major flooding in Georgia. Macon was one of the worst flooded cities.

On May 13, 2008, an EF2 tornado struck. Bibb county and surrounding counties were declared disaster areas by the state and federal governments.

Macon was famous for being the home of the murderess Anjette Lyles, as well as alleged axe murderer Thomas Woolfolk.

Geography

The Macon-Bibb County Court House


Macon is one of Georgia's three Fall Line Cities, along with Augustamarker and Columbusmarker. 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 towards sea level, making it an ideal location for textile mills in the past. 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 (145.7 km2), of which, 55.8 square miles (144.5 km2) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.2 km2) of it (0.82%) is water.

Macon is approximately 901 feet (116 m) above sea level.

Climate

Macon has a humid, subtropical temperature. The summer often reaches its high in the mid-90s, and the winters have lows in the mid-30s. The city has an average annual precipitation of . Macon is often considered a dividing line or "natural snowline" of the southeastern United States with areas north of the city receiving snowfall annually, with areas to the south typically not receiving snowfall every year or at all.

Surrounding cities and towns













Demographics

Location of the Macon-Warner Robins-Fort Valley CSA and its components:


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, Crawfordmarker, Jones, Monroemarker, and Twiggsmarker counties), the Warner Robins metropolitan areamarker (Houston Countymarker), and the Fort Valley micropolitan areamarker (Peach Countymarker), which had a combined population of 346,801 at the 2000 census.

As of the census of 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/sq mi (306.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 62.45% African American, 35.46% White, 0.19% 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 1.20% 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.

Economy

Personal income

The median income for a household in the city was $27,405, and the median income for a family was $33,699. Males had a median income of $29,950 versus $22,865 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,082. About 21.6% of families and 25.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.7% of those under age 18 and 16.0% of those age 65 or over.

Retail

Two malls include: The Shoppes at River Crossing and Macon Mall.

Cultural

Musical heritage

A statue of Otis Redding
natives have had a great influence upon music of the United States. The kazoo was invented in the city during the 1840s. Macon has been the birthplace or hometown to such musicians as The Allman Brothers Band, Randy Crawford, Mark Heard, Lucille Hegamin, Lena Horne, Otis Redding, Little Richard, and Mike Mills and Bill Berry of R.E.M. as well as more recent names like violinist Robert McDuffie, rapper Young Jeezy, and country artist Jason Aldean. Rapper Jody Breeze (1/4 of the hip-hop group Boyz N Da Hood, currently signed to P. Diddy's Bad Boy Entertainment) was discovered in Macon at a car show. September Hase, an alternative rock band managed by Macon's Alan Walden, was discovered in Macon at the 550 Blues Club. 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.

Partly as a result of this musical heritage, Macon became the home of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Musicians from around the state are enshrined at the hall for their contributions, and the building features a museum showcasing Georgia's music history.

In 2007 the city hosted the Macon Symphony Orchestra, which performed at the Grand Opera Housemarker in downtown Macon, as well as a youth symphony, the Middle Georgia Concert Band, and other groups, some associated with the local universities.

Festivals

Cherry Blossom Festival
Georgia State Fair
  • International Cherry Blossom Festival - During mid-March of every year, the height of the cherry trees' bloom, Macon holds a 10-day celebration of concerts, food festivals, arts and crafts shows, parades, street markets, picnics, dances, and exhibitions of artists from around the world. The city becomes bathed in pink, the symbolizing color of this event, reflecting the color of the blossoms. The festival has been Macon's largest and best-known event.
  • Pan African Festival - Macon celebrates its African American cultural heritage. In April, Macon holds the Pan-African Festival featuring parades, African and Caribbeanmarker musical performances, African dancing, films, food festival, cultural shows, and exhibitions.
  • Ocmulgee Indian Celebration - A celebration of Macon's original Native American Heritage, this festival is held every September at Ocmulgee National Monumentmarker. Representatives from backgrounds of Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, and other nations come to share stories, exhibit native art, perform dances, and play live music.
  • The Georgia State Fair - The Fair is held in Central City Park every year starting in late September.
  • The Georgia Music Hall of Fame hosts Georgia Music Week in September. During the museum's free Brown Bag Boogie concert series, artists from across the state perform outdoors at noon. Festivities have also included the annual Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards held in Atlanta.
  • Macon's annual Bragg Jam festival features an Art and Kids' Festival along the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail and a nighttime Pub Crawl featuring local and national musical acts. The event pays tribute to the lives of musicians Brax and Taylor Bragg, brothers who were killed in an automobile accident. Proceeds benefit the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail.
  • Macon Film Festival (MaGa) - An annual film festival held the third weekend in February, celebrating the art and craft of the moving image, and giving light to independent films that rarely have the opportunity to appear in the Central Georgia region. The festival is open to filmmakers from every level, working in any medium and genre.


Points Of Interest

Fort Hawkins
Ocmulgee Riverwalk






  • Tubman African American Museum - the largest African American museum in Georgia. Attendance has dropped annually, and the museum is kept alive through tax payer money.




  • Hay Housemarker - also known as the "Johnston-Felton-Hay House", it has been referred to as the "Palace of the South"






Media

Newspapers and magazines



Television stations



Radio stations

FM
  • WBKG 88.9 - Macon (Religious)
  • WMUM-FMmarker 89.7 - Macon (Georgia Public Broadcasting/National Public Radio)
  • WLZN 92.3 - Macon (Urban Hip-Hop - "Blazin' 92.3")
  • WPEZmarker 93.7 - Macon (Z93.7)
  • WMGB 95.1 ("B95.1") - Macon
  • WPCH marker 96.5 - Macon (Oldies/Adult Contemporary - "The New Peach" - Simulcast)
  • WDXQ 96.7 - Cochran (Classic Hits - "96Q")
  • WSSY 98.3 - Pinehurst/Hawkinsville/Warner Robins (Oldies - "Qwixie 98.3")
  • WDEN 99.1 - Macon (Country)
  • WNNG-FMmarker 99.9 - Unadilla/Warner Robins (AC - "Sunny 99.9FM")
  • WMGZmarker 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")
  • WZCHmarker 102.5 - Warner Robins (Oldies/Adult Contemporary - "The New Peach")
  • WQXZ 103.9 - Hawkinsville/Warner Robins (News/Talk - "103-9 The Patriot")
  • WROK-FM 105.5 - Macon (Adult Album Alternative - "Rock 105.5")
  • WQBZmarker 106.3 - Macon ( The Rock Station "Q106")
  • WFXM 107.1 - Macon (Hip-Hop & R&B "Power 107")


AM
  • WMVGmarker AM - Macon
  • WCEHmarker 610 AM - Hawkinsville (Country - Real Country 610)
  • WBMLmarker 900 AM - Macon (Religious)
  • WMAC 940 AM - Macon (Talk)
  • WPGAmarker 980 AM - Macon (Talk)
  • WDDO 1240 AM - Macon (Gospel)
  • WIBBmarker 1280 AM - Macon (Talk)
  • WNNGmarker 1350 AM - Warner Robins (News/Talk)
  • WNEXmarker 1400 AM - Macon (News Talk)
  • WDCOmarker 1400 AM - Cochran (Gospel - "Solid Gospel 1440")
  • WIFN 1500 AM - Macon (Sports - "The Fan")
  • WFSMmarker 1670 AM - Macon (Regional Mexican - "VIVA 1670")


Major venues

Macon City Auditorium
Cox Capitol Theater


Education

Colleges and universities
Macon State
Mercer University


Colleges and Universities

With approximately 30,000 college students, Macon is considered by many a college town, lagging only behind Athensmarker and Atlantamarker in college population in Georgia. Mercer, Macon State, and Wesleyan College have the largest populations of "traditional" college students.

Public High Schools



Private High Schools



Specialty schools

  • Butler
  • Elam Alexander
  • Georgia Academy for the Blind
  • Neel
  • Renaissance


Hospitals



Transportation

Air travel

Middle Georgia Regional Airportmarker , provides public air service to Macon as well as cargo flights. The airport is situated 9 miles (14 km) south of downtown. Herbert Smart Downtown Airportmarker also provides air service to Macon.

Ground transportation

Interstate highways



State highways



Other roads



Bus service

MTA-MAC City Bus


The Macon Transit Authority (MTA) is Macon's public-transit system, operating the bus system within Bibb County. However, many 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 trolley system. The trolleys offer tours in 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; MITSI, Miss Molly, and Sweet Melissa and each holds up to 39 passengers.Greyhound Lines provides intercity bus service between Macon and many locations throughout the United States and Canada. The Greyhound terminal is situated at 65 Spring Street, on the eastern edge of the downtown area.

Sports

Club Sport League Venue
Georgia Gwizzlies Basketball American Basketball Association Macon Coliseummarker
Macon Music Baseball South Coast League Luther Williams Fieldmarker
Macon Giants Baseball Great South League Luther Williams Fieldmarker
Macon Knights former team Arena football af2 Macon Coliseummarker


Sister cities





Notable Maconites

A number of notable people involved in politics, sports, music, and other activities were either born or resided here,

See also



References

  1. U.S. Census Bureau Population Finder
  2. Annual Estimates of the Population of Combined Statistical Areas: April 1 2000 to July 1, 2005 (Note: This is a Microsoft Excel-formatted file)
  3. [1]
  4. [2]
  5. Cotton, Fire and Dreams
  6. http://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/06/us/record-rain-pelts-georgia-4-die-in-flood.html
  7. http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ffc/html/torfotos51108.shtml
  8. Southern Scribe
  9. While Woolfolk was convicted and hung for the crime, he never confessed, and a note found on a lynched man has cast doubt on his guilt.
  10. METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
  11. MICROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
  12. COMBINED STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENT CORE BASED STATISTICAL AREAS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
  13. Georgia Music Hall of Fame. "Alan Walden - Georgia Music Hall of Fame 2003 Inductee". georgiamusicstore.com. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
  14. Georgia Music Hall of Fame website
  15. Macon Symphony Orchestra Website
  16. Middle Georgia Concert Band website
  17. [3]
  18. http://www.tubmanmuseum.com
  19. http://www.historicmacon.org/slc.html
  20. http://www.georgiachildrensmuseum.com/
  21. http://www.cannonballhouse.org/
  22. http://www.georgiamusic.org
  23. History of TBI, Synagogue website. Accessed August 28, 2009.
  24. Covenant Academy


External links




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