Strange Facts about Georgia
Have you got Georgia on your mind? Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell did when they wrote it in 1930. Though whether you think it's about the state (it became the state song in 1979) or Hoagy's wife, whose name really was Georgia, the song is pretty great. Most of you are probably familiar with the blues version sung by Ray Charles in 1960. Or maybe even Willie Nelson's version in 1978. However you slice the (peach) pie, Georgia is on a lot of peoples' minds - especially those of retirees. Like you, perhaps? Unlike places such as Florida, Georgia remains a largely
untapped 'market' for retirees, meaning that costs are lower and opportunities are more plentiful. You could, as the saying goes, get while the getting is good.” But, in addition to doing all the normal research about the state before you go, making sure it meets all your needs and desires for a fulfilling life as a retiree, maybe you'd consider some of these odd facts that make Georgia just that much more colorful.
The Things That Make Georgia the Peach You Love
...Do stories about pirates brace your mainsail? Do tales and sea shanties of ocean-going buccaneers spark fire in your imagination? Edward “Blackbeard” Teach once made a home on the island that now bears his name. In the present day, the island has been turned into a nature preserve and wildlife refuge totaling some 5,618 acres. Wonder if there's any buried treasure out among the reeds?
...In 1733, the British general James Oglethorpe built a lodge on Cumberland Island. In the 1800s, the Carnegies (yes, those Carnegies) built a mansion on the site of the former lodge, adopting the name Dungeness from the former lodge. It burned to the ground in 1959. Today, the ruins of the Carnegies' once magnificent winter retreat still stand.
...Coca-Cola was invented in Pemberton, Georgia by a fellow named John Pemberton. Curiously, a prototype of what was to become one of the United States' best selling soft drinks was originally called “Pemberton's French Wine Coca.” Imagine if it still had alcohol and cocaine in it today! With that kick, saying that whole name doesn’t seem so exhausting, does it?
...South Dakota may have Mt. Rushmore, but Georgia has Stone Mountain. It is the world's largest hunk of exposed rock (many say it is granite, but it is actually a mixture of granite, quartz and other minerals. If that doesn't sound terribly impressive, consider the geography – the hills around Stone Mountain are gentle and sloping. Then suddenly there is this huge dome of rock sprouting from the earth. How can one not be impressed by the geological marvel? And if that isn't enough, take a look at its north face. Stone Mountain features the largest bas relief in the world – that of three men iconic in the south: Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
...We all know that the White House is in Washington D.C. but did you know that there's another house in Georgia that shares the honor? Franklin D. Roosevelt suffered from polio. He knew about this special place in Warm Springs, Georgia that had, what else? Natural hot springs. Liking the area so well, he had a modest white house built there when he was the governor of New York. As president, he maintained the property, which still stands today.
...Innovation has its ups and downs, its spectacular successes and even more spectacular failures. One of the latter resides in Athens, Georgia; it's an attempt the military made in the 1800s at a double-barreled cannon. Oh, it looks impressive enough, but it never actually saw use. Why's that? Well, you see, test-firings were meaningful exercises in ineptitude that resulted in the immediate death of a cow, the destruction of a nearby cabin's chimney and a stand of pine trees. None of these things, it ought to be noted, were the cannon's intended targets.