Milledgeville is a small city in Georgia's Classic Heartland. Georgia College & State University, Georgia Military College, and Central Georgia Technical College are the institutions of higher education located within the city.
In 1803 a group of commissioners set out into the wild frontier in search of a place to build Georgia’s new capitol city. The search carried them across the Oconee River and into the deep woods of middle Georgia. Soon the group became exhausted and thirsty as they spotted a gushing spring beneath a large oak tree. There they took their rest as their leader, John Clarke, mixed the spring water with some whisky, which he had in his coat pocket. After quite a few drinks the men were convinced that they had reached their destination. Milledgeville had its start.
The site for Milledgeville was chosen for its central location in the state and its ample water supply. The town was planned to follow the design of Washington D.C. and Savannah, Georgia and included four public squares designated specific purposes, the remaining streets were laid out in a checkerboard style. Located on the fall line of the Oconee River, Milledgeville is the only city in the U.S., with the exception of Washington D.C., actually designed to be a Capital city. Milledgeville served as the State Capital from 1803 until 1868, when the capital was moved to Atlanta during Reconstruction.
As the political center of Georgia during her reign as State Capital, Milledgeville attracted many notable Georgians and renowned visitors. In 1861, secession was declared and Gov. Joe Brown directed Georgia's war efforts until 1864 when General Sherman of the Union Army passed through Milledgeville on his way across Georgia to Savannah. For two days his Army seized the town, burning government buildings and documents, but sparing most of the areas homes.
With the removal of the Capital to Atlanta, Milledgeville experienced an economic downturn. But by the late 19th and early 20th century, improved lighting, streets, telephone and water supply encouraged new building and commerce. This slow economic growth contributed to a wealth of well preserved Federal-style architecture, enhanced by noteworthy Greek Revival, Victorian, and Classic Revival houses that can be found throughout the city today.
Milledgeville is proud today to be a Main-Street City and a center of attraction on Georgia's Antebellum Trail.
Milledgeville has a few taxicabs and limo services for hire, but not nearly enough when needed; so it is best to drive yourself or walk.