ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Heritage Park in Columbus, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Heritage Park in Columbus, Georgia
Heritage Park in Columbus, Georgia
A combination of water features, exhibits, statues
and even a historic brick kiln detail the history of
Georgia's city on the Chattahoochee.
Heritage Park in Columbus
A small-scale recreation of a
dam is among the water
features that can be explored
at Heritage Park.
Dr. John Pemberton
One of the sculptures at
Heritage Park gives visitors a
chance to sit and have a Coke
next to its inventor!
Commemorating the River
This water feature at Heritage
Park commemorates the falls
of the Chattahoochee River
and their role in the building of
the city of Columbus.
Heritage Park & the Industrial History of Columbus, Georgia
History of a River City in Georgia
Southern Industrial History
Life-sized exhibits like this
one interpret the industrial
history of Columbus, which
was one of the South's major
manufacturing centers during
the Civil War.
Heritage Park in Columbus, Georgia, is one
of the most unique historical attractions in
the United States.

Located in the nationally recognized
Columbus Historic District and just off the
city's famed Riverwalk, Heritage Park takes
both adults and kids on a fascinating journey
through the history of the Georgia city. WIth
water features, sculptures, historical displays
and even an original brick kiln, the park is
one of a kind.

It is obvious from first glance that the park
pays special tribute to the special relationship
between Columbus and the Chattahoochee
River. Heritage Park features a massive
running water feature that duplicates the
historic river as it flows through the west
Georgia city. The feature includes dams,
overlooks and even a steamboat tribute, all of
which tell the story of how Columbus has
benefited from the river over its 170 year

The site of what would become Columbus
was once the center of the Lower branch of
the historic and powerful Creek Nation. The
Lower Creeks lived primarily along the
Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers, which they
used for transportation and food. Many of
their legends centered around the river and
they even told of a giant serpent or river
monster that lurked in its depths.

Because it was located at the falls of the
Chattahoochee, a sudden plunge of the river
over rocks and rapids to a lower level, the
site of Columbus marked the official head of
navigation on the river. As a result, when they
secured title to the lands in a treaty with the
Lower Crees, the developer of the city chose
the site as the location for their new town.

Not only did the river provide a means of
transportation linking the new town with the
port of Apalachicola, Florida, on the Gulf of
Mexico, the rapids and falls provided power
to turn the wheels of industry.  

The Falls of the Chattahoochee were
dammed and by the time of the Civil War the
city of Columbus had become one of the few
major manufacturing centers in the South.
Heritage Park pays tribute to this with water
features that include dams, falls and a deck
area designed to resemble a paddlewheel
boat. The city was once served by dozens of
steamboats that made their way back and
forth to Apalachicola, stopping at all points in

Heritage Park includes exhibits on the mills
powered by the river. Visitors can interact with
life-sized statues of factory workers set into
recreations of industrial scenes. Interpretive
panels provide information about the history
of the city and the types of industries that
once flourished there.
The park also features an original brick kiln.
The area is known for its high quality bricks,
so evident in the historic buildings of
Columbus as well as in the walkways and
exhibits at Heritage Park.

A favorite exhibit for many is a statue of Dr.
John S. Pemberton, the man who gave the
South its unofficial drink, Coca-Cola. A one-
time Columbus pharmacist, Dr. Pemberton
invented Coke and created a company that
has been an excellent corporate partner for
Columbus, donating large sums to restore
one of
Dr. Pemberton's houses, to build the
city's outstanding Coca-Cola Space and
Science Center and to assist with other

The statue of Dr. Pemberton is seated on a
bench and those wishing can even pose for
pictures with him, possibly even with a Coke
in hand!

A joint project of the Historic Columbus
Foundation and the City of Columbus,
Heritage Park is located along 7th Street
between Front Street and Broadway. It is a
nice greenway connecting the Columbus
River Walk with
Heritage Corner, a stunning
collection of historic homes.
Please click
here to visit the park's official website.
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Copyright 2010 by Dale Cox
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