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Athens, Georgia

Athens, Georgia

The city of Athens, Georgia began as a tiny settlement and trading post that emerged at Cedar Shoals, where an ancient Cherokee trail crossed the Oconee River. On January 27, 1785, the Georgia General Assembly created the University of Georgia as the first chartered state-supported university in the United States. It was not until the summer of 1801, though, that five men traveled to the area to look for an appropriate site for the University. One member of the delegation, John Milledge, purchased 633 acres on the hill above Cedar Shoals and donated it to the University. He renamed the area Athens in honor of the Classical Greek center of culture. Later that year, the General Assembly carved Clarke County out of Jackson County on December 5, 1801 and named it after Revolutionary War hero Elijah Clarke.

In the post-Civil War era, Athens, Georgia became known as a center of undergraduate education for freed slaves, as three different schools offered African-Americans primary, intermediate, industrial, and nurses training. Three black newspapers thrived in Athens when it was rare for a southern town to have even one. In the early 1900s, the corner of Washington and Lumpkin Streets downtown became known as the “Hot Corner” for the black community. The Morton Building, as well as the Samaritan Building and Union Hall, housed black lawyers, dentists, doctors and other professionals. The two-story opera house in the Morton Building hosted the likes of Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington.

Beginning in the late 1970s, the Athens, Georgia music scene began to gather momentum and international recognition, eventually earning the city worldwide recognition as a hotbed for music. Bands such as R.E.M. and the B-52’s became wildly popular throughout the 1980s while scores of bands continued nightly honing their skills in the Athens myriad clubs to this day. In 1998, the Athens band Widespread Panic hosted a free CD release party in downtown Athens which drew 70-100,000 people.

On August 7, 1990, a citizens’ referendum approved the consolidation of the governments of Athens and Clarke County after three previous rejections in 1969, 1972 and 1981. The vote created Georgia s second such consolidated government and the twenty-eighth of its kind in the country. An elected Mayor and ten commissioners, along with an appointed manager, head the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government.

Attractions and Entertainment  
Athens Creative Theatre – The Athens Creative Theatre presents well-known shows and original works by local artists. Founded over 30 years ago and located in Quinn Hall, an award-winning historic preservation project.
Canopy Studio – A community arts center offering exhibits, performances, and classes in flying dance trapeze, movement education and performance arts. Guest artists have included members of the famed Cirque du Soleil!
The Classic Center Theatre – A 2,050 seat showplace and home to Broadway productions, a country music series, headline entertainers, and the Athens Symphony. The Classic Center is also host to numerous conventions, meetings and special events. Located in the heart of downtown Athens.
Georgia Museum of Art – Housing a permanent collection of more than 8,000 works of art as well as a variety of traveling exhibitions, The Georgia Museum of Art is a modern and elegant facility and includes the Museum Shop and Figgie’s Café. Located on the University of Georgia’s campus.
The Morton Theatre – The Morton opened in 1910 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as one of the first vaudeville theaters in the United States built, owned, and operated by an African American. Fully restored, The Morton hosts a variety of performances.
The University Of Georgia Performing Arts Center – The Performing Arts Center hosts an exceptional array of award-winning acts including musical acts, dance performances and storytelling. Last-minute tickets are frequently available for popular performances.

Lodging – Athens, Georgia – Hotels & Motels
Hotels, Motels in Athens, Georgia – Review hotel photos, maps and amenities. Make hotel reservations. Multiple hotels and motels are listed in the Athens, GA area.

Community and News
Beech Haven Baptist Church

Government and Services
Artificial Intelligence Center
Athens Academy

Selig Center for Economic Growth
The University of Georgia

Health Services  
Athens Plastic Surgery Center
Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center
Blue Laser Group
St. Mary’s Health Care System
The Urology Clinic

Industry and Professional

Real Estate Agents and Real Estate Companies

Restaurants and Dining
Big City Bread – Handmade breads and pastries, Deli and cafe. Posts products and services

Retail and Shopping
Acura Of Athens
Dixie Canner Co.
Heyward Allen Motor Co.
Patton Brothers
T. H. Evans Enterprises, Inc.