Beyond NGE

Rolling up the Line

 High Falls State Park, near Jackson in Butts County, is a popular destination along the Towaliga River for camping and boating. The town of High Falls, established in the early 1800s, became a ghost town during the 1880s, when the railroads gained prominence over waterways for commercial transportation.

What connects the Masters golf tournament to the Middle Georgia Derby Demons to former Atlanta Braves pitcher Cory Rasmus? The fall line, of course! This series of waterfalls stretches across the state, from southwest to northeast Georgia. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, trade ships moved food and supplies all along the rivers of Georgia’s Upper Coastal Plain. But the boats stopped abruptly at the fall line because they could not float up the waterfalls. So, with upstream travel impossible, the traders bought and sold their goods in the cities along the fall line—including Augusta (home of the Masters), Macon (home of the roller derby league), and Columbus (home of the Brave). These cities all became early centers of commerce and are still important economic—and sports—hubs in Georgia today.

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Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries