ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Macon, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Macon, Georgia
Macon, Georgia
The historic Cannonball House in Macon was struck
by artillery fire during a Union attack on
the Georgia city in July of 1864.
Macon, Georgia
The noted Hay House in
Macon is one of the finest
antebellum homes of its type
in the South.
Ocmulgee Mounds
One of the most important
prehistoric Mississippian
mound complex in the country
can be seen at Ocmulgee
National Monument.
Macon, Georgia - Historic Sites & Points of Interest
Historic City on the Ocmulgee
Sidney Lanier Cottage
Macon was the birthplace of
the famed Georgia poet
Sidney Lanier.
Macon Cannon
Macon was a major supply
center for the Confederacy,
producing arms like this
bronze cannon. The city was
attacked twice and the Battle
of Griswoldville was fought
The historic city of Macon, Georgia, has one
of the richest heritages of any inland city in
the South.

The present city was founded in 1823, but its
history goes back far beyond that date.
Archaeologist A.R. Kelly, while working at
Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon,
found a fluted Clovis point, an artifact that
indicates some of the first human inhabitants
of Georgia visited the site.

By 900 A.D., the Macon Plateau had become
home to a significant ceremonial complex
and city of the Mississippian Era. Over the
next 200 years or so, Native Americans built
a massive group of Indian mounds on the
north side of the Ocmulgee River overlooking
what is now downtown Macon.

Now preserved and open to the public daily
as the Ocmulgee National Monument, the
huge complex included the Greater and
Lesser Temple Mounds, Funeral Mound,
Earth Lodge, prehistoric trenches and a
number of other mounds.

The inhabitants of the site faded away by
around 1100 A.D., but were replaced in
roughly 1350 A.D. by people called the Lamar
Culture by archaeologists. Also part of the
Mississippian era, which lasted from roughly
900 A.D. to 1540 A.D. in the area, the Lamar
people built another large mound complex
that is also preserved by the national park
service but is generally not open to the public.

The Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto may
have visited the Lamar site at Macon while
making his way through Georgia in 1540. It is
thought that members of his expedition
baptized two young Indian boys in the
Ocmulgee River somewhere near what is
now Macon.

In around 1689, due to growing pressure
from the Spanish in Florida and open
invitations from the English in the Carolinas,
virtually the entire population of Native
Americans living along the Chattahoochee
River (the border between Georgia and
Alabama) relocated to the Ocmulgee basin.

The river was then called Ocheese Creek by
the English, who began calling its new
inhabitants the "Ocheese Creeks." Over time
the name was shortened to today's better
known designation, the Creeks.

In an effort to cultivate friendship with these
people and to use Creek warriors in military
expeditions against the Spanish, English
traders established a fort and trading post at
Ocmulgee Fields in about 1690. The name
referred to the "old fields" cleared long before
by the Mississippians. The fort stood in the
shadow of the Great and Lesser Temple
Mounds and its outline can be seen today at
Ocmulgee National Monument.

In 1702 and 1704, the fort at Ocmulgee
Fields became a base for destructive and
bloody raids against the Spanish missions
in Florida. The attacks resulted in the capture
and enslavement of most of Florida's
Christian Native American population.

The Creeks themselves turned against the
English just a decade later in the Yamassee
War and most returned to their old homes on
the Chattahoochee.

In 1806,
Fort Hawkins was established on
high ground overlooking Ocmulgee Fields by
the U.S. Government. A rectangular stockade
with blockhouses on diagonal corners, the
fort served as an important command post
and trading center on the frontier. It played a
key role as a supply depot during the
War of 1813-1814 and also held significance
during the First Seminole War of 1817-1818.
These conflicts opened most of what is now
western and southern Georgia to white
settlement and a community soon began to
grow around the old fort. In 1823 the city of
Macon was founded.

Macon grew to become an important social,
political and economic center by the time of
the Civil War. The Confederates used it as a
massive supply depot and also made
cannon and other desperately needed war
material there. The city was attacked twice by
Union troops, but General George Stoneman
was turned back at the Battles of
Dunlap Hill
Sunshine Church and General Judson
Kilpatrick withdrew after briefly threatening
the city in the
Battle of Walnut Creek.

The tragic and bloody
Battle of Griswoldville
was fought nearby during Sherman's March
to the Sea. Two thousand old men, young
boys and walking wounded marched out
from Macon to Griswoldville, where they
launched seven assaults on entrenched and
seasoned Union soldiers. More than 500
Georgians were killed and wounded in the
desperate attack to protect their homes and

Macon continues to thrive today as a center of
commerce, industry, the arts and heritage
tourism. The city was home to such famous
musicians as Duane Allman, Otis Redding
and Little Richard and is home to the
Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

Macon is also home to a number of other
points of interest, including the Tubman
African American Museum and the Georgia
Sports Hall of fame.

Please click here to learn more about historic
Macon, Georgia. Also be sure to follow the
links below for details about specific historic
sites in the Macon area.
Antebellum Charm
Macon is home to a large
number of carefully preserved
antebellum homes and
Copyright 2010 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
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