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Please note that this text-only version, provided for ease of printing and reading, includes more than s and may take up to 15 minutes to print. This section also includes a bibliography. View the itinerary online or print it as a guide if you plan to visit in person. The itineraries are created by a partnership of the National Park Service; the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers; and federal, state, and local governments and private organizations in communities, regions, and heritage areas throughout the United States.

The National Park Service and its partners hope you enjoy this itinerary and others in the series. History of Augusta Founded in on the western bank of the Savannah River, Augusta, Georgia became the second town of the 13th British colony. Augusta thrived as a trading post from the beginning, with several of the South Carolina traders moving their base of operations to the new settlement. By a fort was completed, and the official surveyor of the colony, Noble Jones, laid out the town. Its colonial plan was similar, but not as elaborate as the one used in Savannah.

Fort Augusta was adjacent to the 40 town lots on the west side near the river. As traders populated the town, they brought their wives and began to have children. The desire for a more civilized atmosphere dictated the need for a church. As a British colony, Georgia petitioned the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel for a minister after constructing a church building in The first minister, the Reverend Jonathan Copp, arrived in and began conducting services according to the rites of the Church of England. During the French and Indian wars, refugees from the surrounding countryside came to Augusta, taking shelter in the fort and church.

The building suffered ificant damage in that period and was replaced in the s. Soldiers coming to Georgia during the war spread the word about fresh lands, and in the early s new settlers arrived to claim land grants in the surrounding countryside. Many had formerly been tobacco planters in Virginia and the Carolinas.

They transported their tobacco culture to Georgia, where tobacco soon became the main cash crop of the colony. Augusta played a ificant role in the American Revolution as one of the westernmost towns in the 13 British colonies. The first of the two battles fought here, the Siege of the White House, resulted in the hanging of 13 patriot soldiers by Tory forces under Colonel Thomas Browne.

After the Revolution, a new church, built between and and lasting untilserved all denominations, although much of the time it had a resident Episcopal minister. The present buildingthe fifth on the site, dates from after a terrible conflagration destroyed 30 city blocks in During the Revolutionary War, the original town plan of Augusta expanded to the south, east, and west.

At that time, the city named new streets for important Revolutionary War generals. All are now within the Augusta Downtown Historic District. Both of these now lie within the boundaries of the Pinched Gut Historic District. After the Revolution Augusta became the temporary capital of the new state of Georgia between andand many of the leaders of the government moved to the town. One of the most notable was George Walton, a er of the Declaration of Independence, who built his home, Meadow Gardenon what was then the outskirts of town.

Walton held many important offices, including Governor and Judge. Walton Way, named in his honor, is the main artery through the Summerville Historic Districta suburban village originally laid out by Walton in the s. Henry Turknett lived at College Hill, another s house, on property once owned by George Walton, who hoped to have the University of Georgia built there. The town continued to grow in size and population governed by a group of Trustees of the Academy of Richmond County.

Legend has it that Augustans planted the large ginkgo tree in his honor at the proposed site of the Richmond County Courthouse, constructed in and now known as the Old Government House. Captain Leonard Marbury laid out lots there on the west side of Augusta and built some houses. Augusta included Springfield within the city limits at the time of its incorporation in Because of their displacement from the Silver Bluff Plantation in South Carolina during the Revolution, a large population of free African Americans settled in Springfield by They established the Springfield Baptist Church there, one of the oldest independent black congregations in the United States.

After the seat of the state government moved to Louisville and subsequently to Milledgeville, Augusta continued to grow fulfilling the prediction of William Bartram, the naturalist, who said it would become the metropolis of Upper Georgia during his visit of In the Georgia Railroad, chartered in Athens, Georgia, began building westward from Augusta toward a yet unnamed settlement that would eventually become Atlanta. Constructing the railroad attracted an Irish immigrant population to Augusta that has an important presence in the city today.

Many were Roman Catholics, who ed the already well established Church of the Most Holy Trinityfounded in by French Catholics who settled in Augusta after the slave revolts on the island of San Domingo in the s. Spurred by the invention in of the cotton gin, local farmers grew upland cotton in the surrounding countryside making Augusta the center of a large inland cotton market. They shipped their cotton to the port of Savannah via cotton boats down the Savannah River, or overland to Charleston on the South Carolina Railroad.

Henry Cumming advanced the idea of manufacturing cotton goods locally. He proposed building a canal for waterpower following the example of Lowell, Massachusetts. Constructed inthe Augusta Canal attracted flourmills, cotton mills, iron works, and other manufacturing establishments along its banks. By the time of the Civil War, Augusta was one of the few industrial centers in the South.

The Historic Augusta Canal and Industrial District represents the economic salvation of Augusta from the s until well into the 20th century. Augusta prospered again on the eve of the Civil War as evidenced by several buildings and homes constructed during that period. The Brahe Housea fine example of a typical house type in Augusta known as the Sand Hills Cottage, was the creation in of German immigrant and jeweler, Frederick Brahe.

Later it became the first house in town to have electric lighting.

Suburban Summerville Historic District became the summer residence of choice for wealthy Augustans, who believed it was healthier due to its higher elevation and lack of mosquitoes. Dennis Redmond, a noted horticultural editor, constructed Fruitlands in on his Washington Road plantation, which became famous under the ownership of the Berckmans family as a fine nursery and still more famous in the 20th century as the clubhouse for the Augusta National Golf Club.

A United States Arsenal, erected in approximately the same location inmoved to the village of Summerville inafter the commandant determined it a healthier location. During the Civil War, gunpowder made at the powder works was moved to the arsenal to pack munitions sent to soldiers in the field.

Augusta served as a major center of the Confederacy, providing cotton goods, shoes, guns, munitions, food, and many other commodities. In addition, the city was a religious center of the South hosting meetings for the formation of both the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America at St. The meeting took place there at the invitation of its pastor, Reverend Joseph Ruggles Wilson, who lived with his family in the parsonage, the Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home.

Supreme Court Justice Joseph R. Wilson and Lamar, both sons of prominent Augusta pastors, were best friends as children. Several large new cotton mills were built along its banks. The old 18th century village of Harrisburg gained new life, as a large mill village grew around the Harris-Pearson-Walker House.

Continuing expansion to the west, the City of Augusta completed its first major annexation in by taking in what is now the Harrisburg—West End Historic District. The surrounding streets developed as enclaves for various immigrant groups in the 19th century, including African Americans. By the turn of the 20th century, because of Jim Crow laws legalizing segregation, this area, the Laney—Walker North Historic Districtbecame predominantly black.

A few blocks to the south is the Bethlehem Historic Districtcreated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries exclusively by and for African Americans. The Sand Hills Historic Districtadjacent to Summervilleis another historically black neighborhood that developed parallel to a predominantly white business and residential area after the Civil War.

As the old city continued to expand, most religious denominations realized the need to establish a second congregation in the western end of the city, and often a third or fourth in the suburban areas.

A magnificent new building was constructed between and beside the original church, which became a school. Greene Street Presbyterian Church, founded inwas an attempt by the First Presbyterian congregation to expand its influence. Curtis Baptist Church, also founded in the s, and Saint James Methodist Church, dating from the s, were other examples of efforts to evangelize in the city.

Most denominations also established a church presence in Laney—WalkerBethlehemHarrisburgSummerville and Sand Hills in the late 19th or early 20th centuries. Set up inthe Augusta Cotton Exchange moved to an impressive permanent headquarters building constructed in in the Queen Anne style. With the expansion of the Augusta Canal, the city was once again a thriving center of a cotton economy. Cotton warehouses lined Reynolds Street between St.

One can still find the last cotton warehouses, now converted to restaurants and shops, along 9th Street in the Augusta Downtown Historic District. A horse drawn street car was first put into operation inconnecting the neighborhoods that now comprise the Pinched GutAugusta DowntownBroad Street, Harrisburg—West Endand Summerville Historic Districts. The Bon Air attracted wealthy northerners who wanted to escape harsh winters. Soon Summerville had a lively cottage industry of winter boarding houses.

The Partridge Inn emerged from one of these boarding houses, evolving into its present state over a period of thirty years. Pleased with the southern climate, some of the winter visitors built their own homes, or remodeled or enlarged existing cottages in Summerville.

Golf came to the village when the hotel established the Bon Air Links as a recreational opportunity for its guests. This course, originally sand, became the Augusta Country Club in Forrest Hills Hotel and Golf Course, laid out to the west of Summerville in the s, had a complete automobile suburb featuring curving brick streets and Georgian Revival estates on large lots. A military town since its beginning as a military outpost in the s, Augusta served as a place of refuge in the French and Indian War and passed back and forth between American and British hands during the Revolution.

The city hosted a United States Arsenal beginning in During the Civil War, it was a center of military preparedness, supplies, industrial output, and support of Confederate troops from the domestic front. After the war started, Augusta became a major military town again. Available space became additional housing, with many of the antebellum and Victorian homes converted to apartment buildings. The resort hotels became year-round commercial hotels. Soldiers in uniform were everywhere.

The old arsenal buzzed with activity with high security around the clock. Augusta would never be quite the same. After the war, subdivisions began spreading to the west, south, and east of town.

In the s, the Army Corps of Engineers finally dammed the Savannah River upstream from Augusta to curtail the periodic flooding that occurred and to generate electricity. The U. These three governmental expansions of post World War II Augusta generated an economic boom reflected in the modern commercial buildings constructed in the Augusta Downtown Historic District.

Yet this economic boost for the region eventually caused downtown Augusta to decline, particularly after two shopping malls, both with approximately 1, square feet, opened within one week of one another in An Artists Row helped stimulate new energy and became the impetus for a monthly street festival known as First Friday. A reclaimed levee built in the s to hold back the worst floodwaters from the Savannah River is now a park called the Riverwalk.

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