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Macon has been a crossroads of cultures since Native Americans built the massive earthworks that now form the Ocmulgee National Monument. In the 19th century, fortunes rose and fell with the price of cotton for small farmers and businessmen, as well as plantation owners. The Civil War destroyed the plantation economy, but it left Macon’s historic treasures largely undisturbed. Though manufacturing replaced plantation slavery, cotton and race remained central facts of life as the “City of Churches” adapted to a changing world. From the 1950s onward, the city’s role as a textile center withered, but the likes of Little Richard, Otis Redding, and the Allman Brothers Band built a musical legacy for Macon that survives today.
About the Author
Stephen Wallace Taylor and Matthew Jennings, history professors at Middle Georgia State College, have selected striking and poignant images from several repositories to tell Macon’s story. The narratives, images, and captions attempt to express the soul of the city. Macon is looking forward, no doubt. But as it does so, the city must come to grips with the challenges of the past, even as it revels in former glories. This illustrated history conveys that beautiful struggle and shows the real Macon.
Table of Contents
1 Ancient Grandeur: Macon's First Monuments 9
2 Cotton, Slavery, and Civil War: The Birth of Macon 19
3 Rise, Fall, and Rise: Business and Industry in Macon's Golden Age 41
4 Makin' It in Macon: Labor and Leisure in the Early 1900s 59
5 Rock, Soul, and Rights: The Sounds of Discontent 85
6 City of Churches, City of Changes: Modern Macon 109