Posts Tagged ‘GA’

Buying a home in Stone Mountain, GA

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

The town is named after Stone Mountain, the largest exposed granite dome in North America. Stone Mountain harbors plant and animal life not found any other place in the world. The mountain has augmented to the city’s economy both through its on going status as a tourist attraction, and its former use as a granite quarry. It is also the site of a famous giant carving commemorating the military leaders of the Confederacy as well as a museum and state park , including a tourist railroad.

Stone Mountain is located at 33°48′19″N 84°10′17″W / 33.80528°N 84.17139°W / 33.80528; -84.17139 (33.805255, -84.171413) . It is an outer suburb of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.2 km²), of which, 1.6 square miles (4.2 km²) of it is land and 0.62% is water.

While the city of Stone Mountain itself is in DeKalb County, some of the town’s mailing addresses are actually in Gwinnett County.


In 1822 the area that now makes up the City of Stone Mountain was made a part of the newly formed Dekalb County. A post office was established in 1834 on the old Augusta Road, and Andrew Johnson constructed a hotel along the road in 1836. At around the same time, Aaron Cloud built an observation tower at the summit of the mountain. Visitors to the mountain would travel to the area by rail and road, and then walk up the 1.1 mile mountaintop trail to the top, where Cloud also had aclub and a restaurant .

By 1839 a general store was added and a village was established under the name New Gibraltar. The name was officially changed to Stone Mountain by the Georgia legislature in 1847. During the Civil War, Stone Mountain village was destroyed by men under the command of General John McPherson on July 19, 1864.

The Ku Klux Klan was revived in Stone Mountain in 1915, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech consequently includes the line “let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.”

The 1996 Summer Olympic Games tennis, archery and track cycling tournaments were held in Stone Mountain Park.

Wrestler Jake Roberts is often billed from Stone Mountain, though he is actually originally from Texas and currently lives in Florida.

Mastodon bassist Troy Sanders hails from Stone Mountain.

An episode of the NBC sitcom 30 Rock that aired on October 29, 2009, portrayed Stone Mountain as a small town with a largely white population. The portrayal prompted Stone Mountain mayor Gary Peet to say, “It was so disconnected from reality, it doesn’t really matter.”

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Moving to Alpharetta, GA

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Alpharetta is a community in north Fulton County, Georgia , United States. It is one of the most affluent cities in the state. According to a 2008 estimate, Alpharetta’s population is 49,903.

Chosen for its location near a spring, Alpharetta started as a campground, first known as New Prospect Camp Ground until late 1858. Officially chartered on December 11 of that year, Alpharetta (supposedly Greek for “first town”) served as the county seat of Milton County until the end of 1931 when Milton was blended with Fulton County to avoid bankruptcy during the Great Depression.

Despite Alpharetta’s poor start, and it being one of the more distal, large suburbs in metro Atlanta, in 2009, Forbes ranked Alpharetta as the number 1 “reloville” in the United States.

e census of 2000, there were 34,854 people, 13,911 households, and 8,916 families living in the city. The population concentration? was 1,631.6 people per square mile (630.0/km²). There were 14,670 housing units at an average density of 686.7/sq mi (265.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 82.65% White, 6.04% African American, 0.5% Native American, 6.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.1% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.53% of the population. 2.4% of the population is Mixed-Race/Multiracial. The population has been gradually increasing over the last 5 years.

There were 13,911 households out of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.2% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the city, 27.0% of the population was under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 40.5% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 5.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33. For every 100 females there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.9 males.

Alpharetta is one of the most affluent communities in the state of Georgia. the median income for a household in the city was $184,207, and the average income for a family was $146,175. Males had a average income of $79,275 versus $59,935 for females. The per capita income for the city was $61,432. About 2.9% of families and 1.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including .3% of those under age 18 and .6% of those age 65 or over.

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Real Estate in Decatur, GA

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Decatur is a city in, and county seat of, DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. With a population of 18,147 in the 2000 census, the city is sometimes assumed to be larger since multiple zip codes in unincorporated DeKalb County bear the Decatur name. An intown suburb of Atlanta and part of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, Decatur’s public transportation is served by 3 MARTA rail stations. Decatur’s official motto is “A city of homes, schools and places of worship.” Prior to 2000, this motto was “A city of homes, churches, and schools.”


In 1823 Decatur, Georgia was founded at the intersection of two Native American trails: the Sandtown which led east from the Chattahoochee River at Utoy Creek and the Shallowford which follows today’s Clairmont Road and eventually crossedclose to Roswell, Georgia. The town was named for naval hero Stephen Decatur and its early roads were named logically but soon after were renamed in a curious manner:

Shallowford Road, which led to the Shallow Ford, has been renamed Clairmont Avenue, probably because it does not go to, from or past any place called Clairmont. Covington Road is now Sycamore Street, probably because it leads to Covington and has not any Sycamores on it. Nelson’s Ferry Road, named after the local family which ran the ferry at the Chattahoochee end of the road, has been named Ponce de Leon after a family prominent, before Castro, in Havana, Cuba.— Mitchell, Stephens, “A Tentative Reconstruction of the Decatur Town Map of 1823”, Atlanta Historical Bulletin, No.30, p.8, 1965.

In the 1830s, the Western and Atlantic Railroad wanted to make Decatur the southernmost stop on its railroad. The citizens of Decatur did not want the noise, pollution and growth that would come with such a major terminal, so they rejected the proposal. In response, the railroad founded a new city to the west-southwest of Decatur for the terminal. This town would later become known as Atlanta, Georgia.

During the American Civil War, Decatur became a strategic site in Sherman’s campaign against Atlanta. In July 1864 Union general James B. McPherson occupied Decatur to cut off the Confederate’s supply line from Augusta, Georgia. During the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, Confederate cavalry under Major General Joseph Wheeler attacked McPherson’s supply wagons and the Union troops left to defend the wagons. A marker at the Decatur courthouse marks the site of this melee .

In the last half of the twentieth century the metropolitan area of Atlanta spread into rural DeKalb County, in time surrounding 2 sides of the incorporated town of Decatur. Concurrently many well-to-do and middle class White Americans fled the area to more distant suburbs. The 1960s and 1970s witnessed dramatic declines in property values. However more recently the city has regained economic vigor, partially thanks to several long-term downtown development plans that have come to fruition , making Decatur ahip small mixed-use district with easy transit to downtown Atlanta. Over the past 20 years, Decatur has gained a local and national reputation as a diverse, progressive city with a high level of citizen involvement that retains a small town feel despite its proximity to Atlanta.

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Moving to Kennesaw, GA

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

The city of Kennesaw was chosen by Family Circle magazine as one of America’s “10 best towns for families”. The article appears in the magazine’s August 2007 edition. The publication announced the results of its search to identify the best communities across the country that combine big-city opportunities with suburban charm, a blend of affordable housing, good jobs, top-rated public schools (part of the Cobb County School District), wide-open spaces, and a lot less stress.

Family Circle partnered with On Board, a New York city research firm supplying real estate and demographic data to assemble a list of 1,850 towns with populations between 15,000 and 150,000 and a large concentration of households with an average income of $65,000. From that number, 800 localities were chosen based on family-friendly criteria, including jobs, cost of living , schools, health care , air quality, green space and crime rate. Family Circle assessed which townsmet those standards best and ranked them according to state. The winners were chosen from the highest-rated towns in the top 10 nationwide.

2009 Racial Discrimination Suit

In August 2009, the Marietta Daily Journal published details about a racial discrimination lawsuit filed against the city of Kennesaw and a few of its officials. The city filed the lawsuit, filed in March of that year, for $1.8 million. Three employees of the city’s Public Works Department – two current and one former – alleged racial discrimination amid a hostile work environment. Willie Smith and Stanley Mitchell, who had worked for the city since 1995 and 1987, respectively, were each awarded $414,375.00, while Gary Redd, who had quit in August 2008 after two years, received $234,375.00. Buckley & Klein, the law firm representing the plaintiffs, received $736,875. In exchange, the settlement dismissed all charges filed by plaintiffs to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, denied all wrongdoing on behalf of the defendants, and stated that plaintiffs cannot “attempt to re-initiate the claims set forth in the civil action.”

Kennesaw’s city hall (34°01′24″N 84°37′00″W / 34.0233°N 84.6167°W / 34.0233; -84.6167 (Kennesaw City Hall)) issituated downtown, near Main Street (old U.S. 41 and Georgia 3, later Georgia 293). It houses the offices of mayor and city council on the middle (entry) level, the city jail in the basement, and the small 9-1-1 call center and other offices on the upper level. It is the public-safety answering point not only for the city of Kennesaw, but for the neighboring city of Acworth as well , and dispatches the separate police departments of both cities. Calls for fire services are relayed to and dispatched from Cobb’s 911 center, and serviced by the Cobb County Fire Department, as neither city has its own fire department.

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Buying a Home in Lawrenceville, GA

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Lawrenceville is a city located in and the county seat of Gwinnett County, Georgia .  The 2000 census recorded the city’s population as 22,397. The Census Bureau approximates the 2008 population at 29,258. Lawrenceville has six ZIP codes (30042-30046, 30049); it is part of the 678/770/404 telephone area code, which is used throughout metropolitan Atlanta.

Lawrenceville was incorporated by an act of the Georgia General Assembly on 15 December 1821. This makes Lawrenceville the 2nd oldest city in the Metro Atlanta Area. The city is named after Commodore James Lawrence, commander of the Frigate Chesapeake during the War of 1812. In 1821 a permanent site for the county courthouse was selected and purchased, the four streets bordering the square were laid out along with other streets in the village, and a public well was dug. Major Graceconstructed the first permanent courthouse, a brick building , in 1823-24 for a cost of $4,000. The courthouse currently on the square was built in 1885.

William Maltbie, the town’s1st postmaster, suggested the name “Lawrenceville” in honor of Captain James Lawrence, a naval commander during the War of 1812. Lawrence, a native of New Jersey, is probably best known today for his dying order , “Don’t give up the ship!”

Courtland Winn served two terms as mayor starting in 1884 when he was 21 years old.

The 2 most notable people born in Lawrenceville gained their fame elsewhere. Charles Henry Smith, born in 1826, left as a young man andlived out most of his life in other Georgia towns. Beginning during the Civil War, he wrote funny pieces for Atlanta newspapers under the name Bill Arp. He has been described as the South’s most popular writer of the late 19th century, though he is not much read today. Ezzard Charles, born in Lawrenceville in 1921, grew up in Cincinnati, where opportunities for African-Americans were far better at the time than in the Deep South. He eventually was heavyweight boxing champion of the world.

As a boy , Oliver Hardy lived in downtown Lawrenceville around 1900. But the future movie star’s stay was a short time . His family moved often within Georgia.

Lawrenceville was one of numerous venues in the nation where Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt faced obscenity charges in the late 1970s. On March 6, 1978, during a lunch break in his Lawrenceville trial, he and his local attorney Gene Reeves were shot by a sniper near the courthouse. Both survived, though Flynt was seriously disabled. Imprisoned serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin claims to have been the shooter, but he did not make the claim until years after the crime, and he has never been charged in the case. A heavily fictionalized treatment of the shooting can be seen in the 1996 movie The People vs. Larry Flynt.

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Real Estate in Gwinnett County, GA

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Under Georgia’s “home rule” provision, county governments have freerestraint to decide on all matters within the county, provided that such legislation does not conflict with state or federal law, or the federal or state Constitutions.

Gwinnett County is governed by a five -member Board of Commissioners, which has both executive and legislative authority within the county. The chairman of the Board is elected county-wide and serves in a full-time position. The other four Commissioners are elected from single-member districts and serve in part-time positions. The Board hires a County Administrator who oversees day-to-day operations of the county’s eleven executive departments. Gwinnett County also has a separate police department under the control of the Board of Commissioners.

In addition to the Board of Commissioners, county residents also elect a District Attorney, Sheriff , Clerk of State/Superieor Court, Probate Court Judge ,Tax Commissioner, State Court Solicitor , Chief Magistrate Judge (who then appoints other Magistrate Court judges), Chief Superior Court Judge and Superior Court Judges, and a Chief State Court Judge and State Court Judges.

Gwinnett County has the biggest public school system in the State of Georgia.

Gwinnett County is home to three hospitals: Gwinnett Medical Center (Lawrenceville), Gwinnett Medical Center – Duluth and Emory Eastside Medical Center.

GMC (which also operates Gwinnett Medical Center – Duluth) is the largest healthcare provider in the county. It is a non-profit, 500-bed healthcare network situated in Gwinnett County, Georgia. GMC consists of 2 hospitals, plus several supporting medical facilities, with more than 4,300 employees and more than 800 affiliated physicians. GMC provided care to more than 400,000 patients in 2007.


 Primary and secondary schools

Gwinnett County Public Schools operates public schools.


The Gwinnett County Public Library system has 14 branch locations spread throughout Gwinnett County. The newest branch library opened October 28, 2006, in Grayson, Georgia. Construction started on the Hamilton Mill branch in Dacula, Georgia in the fall of 2008; this branch is scheduled to open in the winter of 2010 and will be the 15th branch location. The library system wascalled Library of the Year in 2000 by Library Journal magazine.


Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (GCPR) manages 39 parks and facilities. In all, the park system comprises more than 8,000 acres. As of fall 2008, eight parks are being built , and the county is planning several others for future development.

One reason GCPR can aggressively pursue and purchase park property is the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). Gwinnett county voters approved the $0.01 sales tax in 1996 (extending it in 2000, 2004, and 2008). The county uses the sales tax proceeds for transportation improvements, park purchases , library construction, and public safety expenses.

On May 2008, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) announced that GCPR was a finalist for the Gold Medal award, recognizing “Excellence in Park and Recreation Management” (Class 1 category, pop. 250,000+). GCPR went on to win this award on October 15, 2008, beating out three other finalists. The NRPA Gold Medal is widely considered the most prestigious award of its kind.


The minor-league affiliates of the NHL Atlanta Thrashers and the MLB Atlanta Braves all play home games in the area, which has created a cost-saving move, since the parent clubs’ scouts can observe the players’ home games nearby. Furthermore, call-ups to the top league are much cheaper for the teams.

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Buying a Home in Alpharetta, GA

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011


The Downtown Alpharetta Welcome Center is located at 178 South Main Street and has over 200 free brochures providing information on the surrounding area. The Center is open Monday — Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Alpharetta Arboretum at Wills Park was established in September 2008 and includes 26 trees. A brochure about the arboretum guides readers through a walking tour of the trees and is available at the Downtown Alpharetta Welcome Center. Additionally, the Alpharetta Arboretum at Cogburn Road Park was established in December 2008 and highlights seven trees. A complimentary brochure for the arboretum is available at the Downtown Alpharetta Welcome Center and provides a beginning point for a self-guided walking tour.

The Alpharetta Farmers Market is a weekly farmers market in the downtown area that is open every Saturday from 8 AM to 12:30 PM from April to October, and showcases farmers and gardeners from the surrounding area selling fresh vegetables, flowers, and edible goods such as jam. Named “Best Saturday Morning Excursion” in 2007 by Atlanta Magazine.

The Downtown Alpharetta Historic District is located in the center of Alpharetta at the convergence of North Main Street, South Main Street, Milton Avenue, and Academy Street. Around this area are several historic buildings dating from the late 1800s and older. The downtown area has been restored , replacing more modern buildings with period buildings , and includes dining , shopping, and widened brick sidewalks.

The Mansell House and Gardens is a 1912 Queen Anne-style home that serves as a special event facility in Alpharetta. It also serves as home to the Alpharetta Historical Society.

The Milton Log Cabin was built by Future Farmers of America students during the 1934-35 school year and resembles life during the late 1800s. The Cabin is available for tours by appointment. Contact the Alpharetta Historical Society for additional information.

Verizon Wireless at Encore Park is a 12,000 capacity outdoor venue that serves as the summer home to the Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and plays host to acts like Dave Matthews Band, Rod Stewart and the Eagles.

The Walk of Memories is located at American Legion Post 201 and pays tribute to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, community and friends, through a brick walk inscribed with the names of all Georgia residents killed in service including and following WWII. A separate section is reserved for those who served in the military and survived. Tank and helicopter are on display.

The Alpharetta Big Creek Greenway is a 6.1-mile long, 12-foot wide concrete path that winds through the woods along Big Creek, offering a place to walk, jog, inline skate and bike. The path includes additional mountain bike trails.

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Buying a Home in Dawsonville, GA

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

As of the census. of 2000, there were 619 people, 234 households, and 153 families residing in the city. The population density was 320.9 persons per square mile (123.8/km²). There were 257 housing units at an average density of 133.2/sq mi (51.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.58% White, 0.00% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.97% from other races, and 0.65% from 2 or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.00% of the population.

There were 234 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.0% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householderwithout a husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The median household size was 2.31 and the median family size was 2.88.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 12.4% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 women there were 114.2 men . For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 117.3 men .

The median income for a household in the city was $34,327, and the average income for a family was $39,000. Males had a median income of $27,500 versus $25,125 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,207. About 12.3% of families and 11.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.3% of those under age 18 and 15.7% of those age 65 or over.

Auto racing

The city’s community is known in auto racing cliques for its long tradition of involvement in the sport (many racing skills originally developed as a result of moonshine activity in the area) and celebrates its involvement each October with the yearly festival appropriately named by locals as the “Mountain Moonshine Festival.”  Dawsonville is the home of semi-retired NASCAR driver Bill Elliott. His nickname, in homage to his hometown, is “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville”. (also see Dawsonville Pool Room)

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Moving to Macon, GA

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Macon is one of Georgia’s 3 Fall Line Cities, along with Columbus and Augusta . The Fall Line is where the hilly lands of the Piedmont plateau meet the flat lands 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 the perfect location for textile mills in the past. 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°N 83.651672°W / 32.834839; -83.651672 (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 leve


Macon has a humid, subtropical climate. Summer temperatures generally peak in the mid-90 °F (32 °C)s, and the winters have lows in the mid-30 °F (−1 °C)s. The city has an typical annual precipitation of 45 inches (1,100 mm)

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.

According to the official census of 2000, there were 100,005 people, 38,444 households, and 24,219 families living 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. Latino or Hispanic 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 typical 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 average age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 79.7 men . For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.8 males.

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Relocating to Macon, GA

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Macon lies on the site of the Ocmulgee Old Fields, where the Creek Indians lived , as did their ancestors for as long as 12,000 years before Europeans came . The fields and forests around Macon and what is now the Ocmulgee National Monument 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 Hawkins. 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 important 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 abandonment 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 widespread 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, the first college America chartered to grant degrees to women was founded in Macon by the Georgia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 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 MaconThe 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 flourishing town in Middle Georgia, and began to serve as a transportation hub for the entire state.

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