There’s more to Augusta than golf. Though the Master’s Tournament doubles the city’s population each year and is what the city is most known for, Augusta has one of the richest histories of any city in Georgia. Here are a few things you may not have known about the city of Augusta.
Woodrow Wilson lived there
Though Woodrow Wilson may not have been born in Georgia, he did live in Augusta for 10 years during his childhood. The Wilson’s occupied a home on 7th Street from 1860 to 1870. That places the nation’s 28th president in Georgia during the entirety of the Civil War and part of the reconstruction period. The president who would later guide the nation through World War I once said some of his earliest memories were of his boyhood home in Augusta.
It was also home to a signer of The Declaration of Independence
George Walton, one of the signers of The Declaration of Independence also called Augusta home. He is buried there underneath the Signers Monument on Greene Street along with fellow signer Lyman Hall. Incidentally, the third signer, Button Gwinnett’s remains, could not be found and were not re-located.
It was named after British Royalty
Backing up a little in history, before Woodrow Wilson and before the Declaration of Independence, Georgia was a British Colony. When Augusta was founded it was named in homage to a British Royal. The city was named after It was named after Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. Princess Augusta, as it turns out, was the mother of King George III. If you can’t remember why that name sounds familiar, George III was the very King the Declaration of Independence was written to. The name Augusta was chosen by James Edward Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia.
It is the second largest metropolitan area in Georgia
Augusta is part of the Augusta Metropolitan area. With a population of 600,151 people, it is the second largest metropolitan area in the state. The largest, of course, is metro Atlanta, which has a population of almost 6 million.
It was also Georgia’s second state capitol
Savannah was Georgia’s first state capitol — sort of. Savannah and Augusta alternated at first, with Augusta becoming the state’s second official state capitol from 1785 to 1795.
Augusta was spared from Sherman’s March to the Sea
Near the end of the Civil War, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman marched through Georgia, burning everything in his path. Sherman was under the impression that Augusta was more heavily defended than it was and avoided it, sparing one of Georgia’s most prominent cities from the fiery fate of Savannah and Atlanta.
…and back to Golf
Returning to The Master’s Tournament, which no list about Augusta would be complete without, during the Master’s Tournament, more than 200,000 people pack Augusta for one of the PGA’s most prestigious events known for its green jackets.