Did you know that Augusta is the second oldest and second largest city in the state of Georgia? It held great significance during both the American Revolution and the Civil War. With its rich history, there are plenty of sites and monuments to visit. Whether you want to learn more about the Garden City or just need something new to do, check out these places of interest:
Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson, 419 7th Street, Augusta
Woodrow Wilson’s childhood home is a beautifully preserved old brick house in Augusta. The 28th President of the United States spent his formative years here and witnessed the horrible results of the Civil War. This was one of the last houses built prior to the beginning of the Civil War and was sold to the Trustees of First Presbyterian Church, just across Telfair Street. He had a bright future from the start, acting as president of his neighborhood’s baseball club. He would go on to become President of Princeton University, Governor of New Jersey and then President of the United States.
Tours are available at the home from 10:00 am-4:00 pm Tuesday-Saturday and admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for students. Children age 5 and under can visit for free.
Augusta Canal National Heritage Area, 1450 Greene Street, Augusta
Built in 1845 as a source of water, power and transportation, the Augusta Canal is the only industrial canal in the American South that is still intact for continuous use. Henry H. Cumming took charge of the construction when the South began to realize they were dependent on the manufacturing centers in the North and there was tension between the two areas. By diverting water from the Savannah River Rapids through Augusta and back to the river, a flow of water was produced that was able to turn the turbines of textile mills and provided drinking water for the growing city. During the Civil War, the Canal provided water for the Confederate Powder Works, which was the only permanent structure ever built by the Confederate government. They produced gunpowder for Southern armies in the war and the large chimney still stands today.
In 1996, the canal was named a national heritage area by the United States Congress.
To take a tour, visit the main office Monday-Saturday from 9:30 am-5:30 pm and Sunday from 1:00 pm-5:30 pm.
Magnolia Cemetery, 702 3rd Street, Augusta
Magnolia Cemetery is one of the most historic burial grounds in the state of Georgia. There are 7 Confederate generals buried there as well as veterans of the American Revolution, War of 1812 and more recent conflicts. Anyone can visit during daylight hours.
Old Medical College of Georgia, 598 Telfair Street, Augusta
The historic Old Medical College was built in 1835 as a center for medicine and learning and has now been designated as a National Historic Landmark. The Greek Revival architecture is one of the most dominant features of the building and served medical students from the 1830s until 1913 when the school was relocated. There was a large need for renovations by the 1980s after the building had served American soldiers in World War II and multiple purposes in the years following. It is now used as a conference and events center.
Self-guided tours are available by appointment Monday-Friday from 9:00 am-12:00 pm.
Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site, 181 Redcliffe Road, Beech Island, South Carolina
James Henry Hammond owned 4 plantations along the Savannah River, but his non-working estate in Beech Island was Redcliffe Plantation. It was the antebellum era equivalent of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” with its Greek Revival architecture sitting on a hilltop of 400 acres. The house was built mostly to show how rich his family was. In 1973, the plantation was donated to the state of South Carolina by Hammond’s great grandson and opened as a public historic site in 1975.
Outdoor admission to the plantation is free, but paid tours of the mansion are available Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm. The cost is $7.50 for adults and $5 for children age 6-15.
The Partridge Inn, 2110 Walton Way, Augusta
Morris Partridge acquired this two-story residence in 1900 when it was almost 100 years old. He began offering guest accommodations during the Augusta winter season and expanded the inn several times between 1907-1929. It became a year-round commercial hotel after the Great Depression. After World War II, the building fell into deep disrepair and was almost demolished until local citizens chose to preserve the landmark. There have been many renovations made to the hotel since then and it underwent a certified rehabilitation in 2006 using federal historic preservation tax credits. It now contains historic charm while staying up to date to meet the needs of guests. It is a popular spot for weddings and corporate events as well.
This list barely scratches the surface of the history surrounding the CSRA, but it will at least get you started on an adventure!