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location of AlbanyAlbany

The seat of Dougherty County, Albany is located on the Flint River. It has an area of approximately 56 square miles, and a population of about 77,000.

Left: Aerial view of Albany.
Right: An archway over Oglethorpe Boulevard at Front Street welcomes visitors to downtown Albany.

aerial view of Albanyan archway over Oglethorpe Boulevard at Front Street welcomes visitors to downtown Albany

Nelson TiftHistory

The area where Albany is now located was formerly occupied by Creek Indians, who called it Thronateeska after the flint found near the river.

In 1836, Connecticut businessman Nelson Tift (left) settled along the Flint River and established a settlement he called Albany, after the city of Albany, New York. The town was laid out by Alexander Shotwell, and the City of Albany was incorporated on December 27, 1838. Surrounded by prosperous cotton farms, Albany soon became a prime location for transportation of cotton by steamboats on the river, and later as a railroad hub.

Economy

In 1951, the Marine Corps established a large base on the eastern outskirts of the city. Today, the Marine Corps Logistics Base operates as a major depot center for the Corps. It is also a major employer for the area. Health care, education, manufacturing, transportation, and retail trade are other major contributors to the economy.

Education

Albany is served by the Dougherty County School System, as well as several private primary and secondary schools. The city is also home to Albany State University, Darton College, and Albany Technical College.

Sites and Attractions

The Albany Area Arts Council operates out of a renovated Carnegie Library. Other cultural attractions include the Albany Ballet Theater, the Albany Chorale, the Albany Concert Association, the Albany Museum of Art, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, and Theatre Albany.

The Thronateeska Heritage Center, located at the old railroad station, has an impressive exhibit of trains and train memorabilia on display.

inside the Albany Civil Rights Movement MuseumThe Albany Civil Rights Movement Museum commemorates Albany's role in the national Civil Rights Movement -- on December 16, 1961, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ralph David Abernathy were arrested, along with 250 other protestors, while attempting to desegregate government buildings.
Left: Inside the Albany Civil Rights Movement Museum.

Blue Hole Spring at the Flint RiverQuariumAlbany is also home to the Flint RiverQuarium, the Wetherbee Planetarium, Confederate Memorial Park, Astronauts Memorial Park, and Radium Springs, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia.
Right: Blue Hole Spring at the Flint RiverQuarium.

Several Albany buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Albany is home to the South Georgia Wildcats, an arena football team.

Other Information

Albany was featured in several chapters of W. E. B. Du Bois' The Souls of Black Folk (1903) as a typical African-American rural town in the South.

Ray Charles PlazaNotable individuals from Albany include: New England Patriots football player Deion Branch; pianist, singer and songwriter Ray Charles; Olympic gold medal jumper Alice Coachman; U.S. Representative from Illinois William Levi Dawson; television chef Paula Deen; animal expert Jim Fowler; U.S. ambassador Edward Gnehm; astronaut Thomas J. Hennen; Big Band leader and jazz trumpeteer Harry James; architect Edward Vason Jones; former White House Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan; civil rights attorney C.B. King; baseball player Ray Knight; golfer Nancy Lopez; soap opera actress Amelia Marshall; television actress Jo Marie Payton-Noble; science fiction writer Paul Preuss; conductor and composer Wallingford Riegger; U.S. Representative from Illinois Bobby Rush; country singer Ray Stevens; and Olympic gold medal hurdler Angelo Taylor.
Left: Ray Charles Plaza

OFFICIAL WEBSITES
Albany Chamber of Commerce www.albanyga.com
City of Albany--Dougherty County Official Website www.albany.ga.us

SEE ALSO
Albany, New York
Ralph David Abernathy
Nancy Lopez

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The Robinson Library >> American History >> United States: Local History and Description >> South Atlantic States >> Georgia

This page was last updated on January 13, 2017.