ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Albany, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Albany, Georgia
Albany, Georgia
A hospitable and historic city that has done a
marvelous job of revitalizing its downtown and
riverfront, Albany is a growing destination.
Albany, Georgia
The city has a love affair with
the Flint River and its riverfront
has developed into one of the
nicest in the Deep South.
Flint RiverQuarium
A tour of the RiverQuarium
takes visitors from surface
level into the depths of a blue
hole spring.
Ray Charles Memorial
The famed singer and song-
writer was born in Albany in
1930 and is honored there by
a beautiful memorial.
Albany, Georgia - Historic Sites & Points of Interest
Historic City on the Flint River
Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
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Horace King Overlook
A Flint River overlook pays
tribute to Horace King, who
rose from slavery to become
a noted builder of bridges.
Georgia's Flint River
The Flint River flows through
Albany on its way from the
Georgia mountains to the
Florida line.
Over the years since Albany was founded on
the banks of Georgia's Flint River in October
of 1836, the stream has been both the heart
and heartache of the city.

For years before white settlers arrived in
Southwest Georgia, this stretch of the Flint
River was part of the heartland of the Lower
Creek Indians. The Spanish conquistador
Hernando de Soto passed through the
vicinity in 1540, but despite growing pressure
from expansion minded whites, the region
remained firmly in Indian hands until the
Creek War of 1813-1814.

Following his significant victory at the
of Horseshoe Bend on March 27, 1814,
Andrew Jackson imposed a treaty on the
Creek Nation at
Fort Jackson in Alabama.
The agreement required the Creeks to give
up much of Southwest Georgia to the United
States as reparations for the war. The Treaty
of Indian Springs followed in 1825, ending
the last Creek claims to land in Georgia and
opening the Albany area to settlement.

Eleven years later in 1836, early merchant
and land developer Nelson Tift planned the
city of Albany at the head of navigation on the
Flint River. He dream was to build a city that
would become a market and riverboat port for
the growing cotton plantations of Southwest

So successful were Tift's efforts at promoting
his city on the Flint that Albany became one of
Georgia's principal commercial centers and
in 1853 was made the seat of Dougherty
County.  The Flint River, however, was more
arbitrary. Barges and small steamers could
only negotiate the river safely in times of high
water and accidents were common. Moving
to counter this difficulty, Tift connected his city
with Savannah by rail in 1857.

A natural capitalist, Tift brought famed African
American architect and engineer Horace
King to Albany in 1858 to build a toll bridge
across the Flint. The bridge was washed
away by a flood many years later, but the
Bridge House built by King to serve as a
gateway to the city still stands. It now serves
as the Albany Welcome Center.

The outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 brought
a halt to Southern cotton shipments, but Tift
focused his attention instead on supporting
the Confederate war effort. With his brother,
Asa, he designed and built the ironclad
warships C.S.S.
Mississippi and C.S.S.
Atlanta, the former at New Orleans and the
latter at Savannah. His factories around
Albany also produced hardtack and beef for
the Confederate army.

Albany was fortunately spared the damage
wrought upon other Georgia cities during the
war and rebounded quickly. Peanuts and
pecans became profitable crops in the area
as the years passed, with Albany profiting
from the production of both.

The city was the focus of a major Civil Rights
effort during the early 1960s. Remembered
today as the Albany Movement, its history is
commemorated at the
Albany Civil Rights
Institute.  Supported by a sales tax passed by
the voters of the community, the complex
includes a museum, the historic Old Zion
Baptist Church and research facilities.
Recreation has always played a major part in
the history of Albany. In 1925, for example,
noted real estate developer Barron G. Collier
purchased a large natural spring just south
of the city after his analysts determined that
traces of the radioactive element radium
were present in its waters. Renaming it
Radium Springs, Collier built a casino, resort
and one of America's finest golf courses.

In 1927, in fact, one of the greatest golf
games in history was played at Radium
when then British open champion Bobby
Jones was defeated there by Australian
champion Joe Kirkwood.

Radium Springs is now the centerpiece of a
public park and botanical garden.
click here to learn more,

Albany is also the Quail Hunting Capital of
the World and home of
Quail Unlimited. The
quail plantations around the city are the finest
in the world.

Albany was devastated by a 500 year flood
caused by rains from Tropical Storm Alberto
in 1994. More than 20,000 residents were
driven from their homes as heartbreak rose
with the waters of the Flint.

The city survived, however, and has rebuilt
itself into one of the South's most intriguing
destinations. The
Flint RiverQuarium is one
of the best aquariums in any small city in
America. The
Ray Charles Memorial, which
honors the Albany born musician and singer,
attracts music lovers of all ages and the city
has turned its riverfront into a beautiful
destination area with playgrounds, historic
sites, museums and more.

Please click here to learn more about Albany
and the surrounding area.