Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I Can Hold a Wheeling Down on a hardwood floor

Macon is a city located in central Georgia. It is among the top five largest metropolitan areas in Georgia, and the county seat of Bibb County, It lies near the geographic center of Georgia, approximately 80 miles (129 km) south of Atlanta, hence the city's nickname as the Heart of Georgia. As of the 2000 census, Macon had a population of 97,255 ][1]; as of 2005, the Macon-Warner Robins-Fort Valley combined statistical area had an estimated metropolitan population of 379,669 [2]. Robins Air Force Base, a major employer, is south of the city. 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 Airport. The current (as of 2007) mayor of Macon is Clarence Jack (C. Jack) Ellis.
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Macon is one of Georgia's three Fall Line Cities, along with Augusta and Columbus. Because the Fall Line is where the hilly lands of the Piedmont plateau meet the flat terrain of the coastal plain, Macon has a varied landscape of rolling hills on the north side and flat plains on the south. At the fall line, rivers are marked by rapidly falling water and thus became ideal locations for textile mills in the past. The Ocmulgee River is the major river that runs through Macon.

The Macon metropolitan area spans 7 counties including Bibb County, Twiggs County, Jones County, Houston County, Peach County, Crawford County, and Monroe County.

Macon is located at 32°50′5″N, 83°39′6″W (32.834839, -83.651672)GR1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 145.7 km² (56.3 mi²). 144.5 km² (55.8 mi²) of it is land and 1.2 km² (0.5 mi²) of it (0.82%) is water.

Macon is approximately 381 feet (116 meters) above sea levelGR3.

[edit] 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-40s. The city has an average annual precipitation of 45 inches. Macon is often considered a dividing line or "natural snowline" of the southeastern United States with areas north of the city receiving snowfall annually, while areas to the south typically not receiving snowfall every year or at all.

[edit] Demographics
Downtown Macon from sky.
Downtown Macon from sky.

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 97,255 people, 38,444 households, and 24,219 families residing in the city. The population density was 672.9/km² (1,742.8/mi²). There were 44,341 housing units at an average density of 306.8/km² (794.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 35.46% White, 62.45% African American, 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.

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.

[edit] History
Governor Brown calls for militia as Sherman closes in, July 1864
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 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 major military distribution point during the War of 1812 and the Creek War of 1813. Afterwards, the fort became a trading post for a few more years before it fell to disuse. 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 for Central City Park and citizens were required by ordinances to plant shade trees in their front yards.
Nathaniel Macon
Nathaniel Macon

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 oldest women's college 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[1].

During the American Civil War, Macon served as the official arsenal of the Confederacy and 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. 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.

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

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