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Explore Georgia’s rich music history

From blues and soul to classical and country—our Spotify playlists feature 130+ songs written and performed by Georgians.

Camp Meeting

Camp Meeting

A hand-colored aquatint by M. Dubourg depicts a Methodist camp meeting held in North America, circa 1819. Camp meetings were a common event during the years of the Second Great Awakening, a series of Protestant revivals held between 1790 and 1830.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

John Wesley

John Wesley

John Wesley, a native of England, served as Anglican rector to the Georgia colony between 1735 and 1737. During this time, Wesley's interactions with Moravian settlers influenced his theological perspective, which eventually led to the formal establishment of the Methodist Church in England in 1784. His teachings also spread throughout the colonies, and the Methodist denomination in America was formalized that same year.

Sardis Methodist Church

Sardis Methodist Church

Sardis Methodist Church, established in a log chapel in 1825, is the oldest church in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. The current structure was built after 1875, when a tornado destroyed the previous church building.

Courtesy of Susan Barnard

Peachtree Road UMC

Peachtree Road UMC

Peachtree Road United Methodist Church was established in Atlanta in 1925 and moved to its current Buckhead location in 1941. As of 2007 the membership of the church numbered nearly 6,000.

AME Church Bishops

AME Church Bishops

Richard Allen (center), the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination, is depicted with other bishops in an 1876 lithograph. Established in Pennsylvania in 1816, the AME Church arrived in Georgia at the close of the Civil War, as missionaries from the denomination entered the state with Union troops.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Mulberry CME Church

Mulberry CME Church

Mulberry Christian Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1873 and offered church services and a school to Black residents of Lincolnton, the seat of Lincoln County. A congregation of approximately 200 members continues to meet in the church.

Courtesy of Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce

AME Zion Congregation

AME Zion Congregation

Members of the Bush Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church congregation in Barrow County pose at the church on Easter Sunday, 1925. The AME Zion denomination was founded in New York City in 1821 and arrived in the South to minister to freedpeople during the Civil War.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
brw115.

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Andrew College

Andrew College

Old Main Hall on the campus of Andrew College, a two-year institution in Cuthbert. Founded in 1854 as a women's college, today the school offers a liberal arts curriculum to approximately 400 male and female students. Named for Methodist bishop James Osgood Andrew, the school is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

Image from Rivers Langley

Orphan’s Home

Orphan’s Home

The Orphan's Home, pictured circa 1910, was founded in Norcross in 1871 but moved soon thereafter to its current location in Decatur. Known today as the United Methodist Children's Home, the institution houses around 70 children and provides a variety of social services to approximately 3,000 children each year.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #dek420-85.

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Warren A. Candler Hospital

Warren A. Candler Hospital

Warren A. Candler Hospital, pictured in the early 1960s, was founded as a seaman's hospital in Savannah in 1803 and was acquired by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1930. The Methodists named the facility in honor of Bishop Warren A. Candler.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
ctm134.

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Virginia Highland Bungalow

Virginia Highland Bungalow

Built in the 1920s on Rupley Street in Virginia Highland, an Atlanta neighborhood, this home is an example of the architecture inspired by Gustav Stickley through his magazine, The Craftsman, published from 1901 until 1916.

Savannah Post Office

Savannah Post Office

The post office in Savannah, pictured circa 1900, was built in 1898 at the corner of Bull and Whitaker streets. Architect William Aiken designed the building in the Renaissance-revival style.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, # ctm087.

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Sand Hills

Sand Hills

Women play badminton at the home of Dr. Hickman in Sand Hills, an Augusta neighborhood, circa 1898. During the late Victorian period (1895-1920), smaller cottages in the Sand Hills area were replaced with larger homes.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, # ric158.

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Ansley Park

Ansley Park

Ansley Park, a late-Victorian suburban development in Atlanta, was established in 1904. During the first two decades of the twentieth century, several new neighborhoods grew up around downtown Atlanta, including Druid Hills, Morningside, Garden Hills, and Brookwood.

Image from Warren LeMay

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Ponce de Leon Apartments

Ponce de Leon Apartments

The Ponce de Leon Apartments, designed by W. L. Stoddart and completed in 1913, was the premier apartment building in Atlanta during the late Victorian period.

Georgian Terrace Hotel

Georgian Terrace Hotel

Designed by W. L. Stoddart, the Georgian Terrace Hotel was one of several luxury hotels built across the South during the late Victorian period. Completed in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the hotel continues to operate.

Windsor Hotel

Windsor Hotel

The Windsor Hotel (1892) in Americus was designed by G. L. Norrman in the Queen Anne style. It was conceived as an attraction for wealthy northerners looking for summer accommodations. The hotel was renovated and restored in the early 1990s.

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Piedmont Hotel

Piedmont Hotel

The Piedmont Hotel, built in Atlanta in 1903, was known to the city's residents as "our New York Hotel." Designed by W. F. Denny, a native of Jefferson County, the hotel was demolished in the 1960s.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Briarcliff Hotel

Briarcliff Hotel

The Briarcliff Hotel in Atlanta, pictured in 1979, was designed by G. Lloyd Preacher. Also known as the "Seven Fifty," the hotel was built on the corner of Ponce de Leon and North Highland avenues in 1924-25.

Equitable Building

Equitable Building

Considered to be Atlanta's first skyscraper, the eight-story Equitable Building (1892, razed in 1971) was designed by John Wellborn Root in the Chicago School style. It was the first fireproof office building in the Southeast, and is the only building Root designed in Georgia.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey, #HABS GA,61-ATLA,13--1.

Flatiron Building

Flatiron Building

The Flatiron Building, pictured in 1911, is the oldest standing skyscraper in Atlanta. Built in 1897, the building was designed by Bradford Gilbert, a New York architect.

Savannah Volunteer Guards Armory

Savannah Volunteer Guards Armory

The Savannah Volunteer Guards Armory (photographed here circa 1902) was designed by William G. Preston in the Romanesque revival style. The Savannah College of Art and Design purchased the Bull Street structure in 1979. After restoration, the building was renamed Poetter Hall for two of the school's cofounders.

Courtesy of Georgia Southern University, Image from Art Work of Savannah and Augusta, Georgia

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Empire Building

Empire Building

Bruce and Morgan's Empire Building (1901), influenced by the Chicago style of architecture, was the first steel-framed structure to be built in Atlanta. In 1929 Philip Shutze redesigned the three lower floors, giving the building a Beaux-Arts character.

From AIA Guide to the Architecture of Atlanta

Carnegie Education Pavilion

Carnegie Education Pavilion

From left (inside arch), Corporation for Olympic Development in Atlanta president Clara Axam, Georgia State University president Carl Patton, Atlanta mayor Bill Campbell, and Spelman College president Johnnetta Cole attend the 1997 dedication of the Carnegie Education Pavilion in Atlanta. The arch, designed by Henri Jova, incorporates a fragment of the Carnegie Library, built in Atlanta by Ackerman and Ross in 1900-1902.

Peachtree Arcade

Peachtree Arcade

Evangelist minister Billy Graham holds a noon prayer meeting at the Peachtree Arcade in Atlanta during his six-week crusade to the city in 1950. The arcade, built in 1916-17, is an example of the Beaux-Arts style of architecture popular during the late Victorian period. It was designed by A. Ten Eyck Brown, a prominent Atlanta architect.

Atlanta Terminal Station

Atlanta Terminal Station

Atlanta's Terminal Station, pictured in 1955, was designed in the Beaux-Arts style by P. Thornton Marye. Completed in 1905, the station was renovated and expanded in 1947.

Georgia State Prison

Georgia State Prison

The Georgia Industrial Institute, later the Georgia State Prison, in Reidsville was completed in 1936. Pictured in 2013, the building was designed by the Atlanta architectural firm Tucker and Howell.

Courtesy of Robert M. Craig

Grady Memorial Hospital

Grady Memorial Hospital

The design for Grady Memorial Hospital, pictured here in 2014, was completed in 1948 and construction was completed in 1958. Robert and Company designed the building in the modern style.

Courtesy of Robert M. Craig

Atlanta City Hall

Atlanta City Hall

Atlanta City Hall, pictured in 1942, was designed by G. Lloyd Preacher in the neo-Gothic style. Completed in 1930, the building stands at the corner of Washington and Mitchell streets.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, # ful0154.

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Georgia Archives

Georgia Archives

The Georgia Archives building, built in 1965 on Capitol Avenue in downtown Atlanta, was designed by A. Thomas Bradbury, the architect for several government buildings around the state capitol. In 2003 the archives relocated to a new site in Morrow.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives.

The Varsity

The Varsity

The Varsity restaurant, pictured here in 2009, first opened in Atlanta in 1928. In 1940 it was renovated by architect Jules Grey in the streamlined modern style.

Courtesy of Robert M. Craig

Hinman Research Building

Hinman Research Building

The Hinman Research Building, built in 1939 as part of the "academic village" at Georgia Tech, was designed in the Bauhaus modern style by Paul M. Heffernan. Today the building houses the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Hightower Textile Engineering Building

Hightower Textile Engineering Building

Designed by architect Paul Heffernan, the Hightower Building (1948-49, razed) was part of a Bauhaus-inspired, Early Modern-styled "academic village" on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Courtesy of Georgia Institute of Technology

Briar Hills Apartments

Briar Hills Apartments

The Briar Hills Apartments, built in 1946-47, are an example of the modern architectural aesthetic. The apartments, known today as Briar Hills Condominiums, are located on the border of the Druid Hills and Virginia Highland neighborhoods in Atlanta.

Image from James Lin

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First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church in Savannah, constructed on Chippewa Square in 1833, is the oldest church building in the city. The congregation formed in 1800 under pastor Henry Holcombe.

Photograph by Sarah E. McKee, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Baptismal Pool

Baptismal Pool

The dressing room for baptismal candidates stands beside the baptismal pool of the Kiokee Baptist Church in Columbia County. The church, founded in 1772, is the first continuing Baptist church to be established in the state.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
clm008.

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Baptist Sermon

Baptist Sermon

A sermon entitled "The Duty of Baptists to Teach Their Distinctive Views" was delivered by John A. Broadus at the 1881 meeting of the American Baptist Publication Society. The sermon was published by the Christian Index, a Baptist periodical established in 1822 and still in print today.

Courtesy of Jack Tarver Library Special Collections, Mercer University

J. H. DeVotie

J. H. DeVotie

J. H. DeVotie was hired as the first professional leader of the Georgia Baptist Convention in 1877. Under his leadership the membership, missions, and finances of the organization began to flourish.

First African Baptist Church

First African Baptist Church

First African Baptist Church in Savannah, founded around 1777, is one of the oldest Black congregations in the United States. The church's current building was constructed in 1859 and houses a museum containing the church archives and historical artifacts.

Photograph by Sarah E. McKee, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Baptist Sign

Baptist Sign

A sign directs passersby to the Northside Baptist Church, an independent Baptist church in Athens. Northside identifies itself as a "KJV church," indicating that the congregation relies exclusively on the King James translation of the Bible.

Photograph by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Camp Creek Baptist Church

Camp Creek Baptist Church

Camp Creek Primitive Baptist Church was founded in Lilburn in 1823; the current church building (pictured) was erected in 1906. Like other traditional Primitive Baptists, the Camp Creek congregation follows a model of worship as described in the New Testament.

Shallowford Free Will Baptist Church

Shallowford Free Will Baptist Church

Shallowford Free Will Baptist Church in Marietta offers a variety of ministries to its congregation and the community, including Bible study, counseling, choir, and missions. An emphasis on both mission work and education forms a central tenet of the Free Will denomination.

Courtesy of Sean C. Powell

Birdsville

Birdsville

The original home of Francis Jones, a colonial settler in Georgia, stands on the site of his Birdsville plantation in Jenkins County and represents one of the few colonial residential dwellings still standing in the state. The home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
bur068.

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Fort Frederica

Fort Frederica

The tabby ruins of Fort Frederica, which was established by James Oglethorpe in 1736 on St. Simons Island, are among the oldest architectural remnants left from the colonial period in the state.

Image from UncleBucko

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Midway

Midway

The Midway Congregational Church was erected in 1792 to replace a church built by Puritans in 1756. The walled cemetery on the church grounds is the only remaining structure that dates from the colonial community at Midway.

Courtesy of Explore Georgia, Photograph by Ralph Daniel.

Bethesda

Bethesda

A drawing of the Bethesda orphan home in Savannah, built in 1740 by Anglican deacon George Whitefield, depicts the hipped roof and piazzas of the original structure, which burned in 1773.

Courtesy of Bethesda School for Boys

Savannah City Plan, 1734

Savannah City Plan, 1734

The original caption of this print by Paul Fourdrinier reads: "A View of Savannah as it stood on the 29th of March 1734. To the Hon[orable] Trustees for establishing the Colony of Georgia in America. This View of the Town of Savannah is humbly dedicated by their Honours Obliged and most Obedient Servant, Peter Gordon."

Richmond County Garden

Richmond County Garden

This formal garden (no date available) in Richmond County is characteristic of the high-style landscape designs preferred by the wealthy in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Georgia. Styles in landscape design change over time and reflect the various social, economic, and political situations around the state.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
ric128.

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Fitzgerald Garden

Fitzgerald Garden

Settlers in Fitzgerald stand in their garden in 1896. Domestic yards from the colonial period to the twentieth century in Georgia were used primarily for such sustenance activities as gardening, cooking, and laundering.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
ben091.

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Hamilton-Turner Inn

Hamilton-Turner Inn

Known as the "Grand Victorian Lady," the Hamilton-Turner Inn in Savannah embodies the Victorian style of the nineteenth century in both its architecture and landscaping. Owned today by the Historic Savannah Foundation, the inn was built in 1873.

Courtesy of Explore Georgia, Photograph by Ralph Daniel.

Kipahalgwa

Kipahalgwa

This watercolor portrait of "General" Kipahalgwa of the Yuchi Indians was painted by the German artist Philip Georg Friedrich von Reck around 1734. Kipahalgwa is depicted wearing an English-style shirt, leggings, and shoes.

Illustration by Philip Georg Friedrich von Reck

Bonaventure

Bonaventure

This sketch of Bonaventure, along the Warsaw River about four miles outside of Savannah, appeared in an 1871 article on Savannah in Appletons' Journal, a popular nineteenth-century magazine.

From Appletons' Journal

Zebra Swallow-Tail Butterfly

Zebra Swallow-Tail Butterfly

This print of a zebra swallow-tail butterfly by Mark Catesby, an eighteenth-century illustrator, appears in his book Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands, first published in 1731-32.

From Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands, by M. Catesby

Water Melon

Water Melon

Philip Georg Friedrich von Reck, an eighteenth-century German artist, traveled to the Salzburger settlement of Ebenezer in 1736. There he documented the town, as well as the neighboring Yuchi Indians and local plant and animal life, in watercolor-and-pencil sketches.

Illustration by Philip Georg Friedrich von Reck

Franklin Tree

Franklin Tree

Bartram's Travels is an account of his second trip to the Southeast (1773-77). He accurately described the flora and fauna in their natural habitats, including Georgia's rare Franklin tree (Franklinia alatamaha).

From Travels, by W. Bartram

Anona Grandiflora

Anona Grandiflora

This drawing by botanist William Bartram appears in his 1791 publication, Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or the Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Choctaws. The drawings in this book were based on earlier sketches made during his travels in the Southeast during the 1770s.

From Travels, by W. Bartram

La Belle Dame d’Amerique

La Belle Dame d’Amerique

This watercolor of a butterfly, today identified as the American Painted Lady, is one of many images depicting butterflies and moths by John Abbot, a British collector and illustrator who lived and worked in Georgia from 1775 until around 1840.

From The Natural History of the Rarer Lepidopterous Insects of Georgia, by J. Abbot

Tomochichi

Tomochichi

As the principal mediator between the native population and the new English settlers during the first years of Georgia's settlement, Tomochichi (left) contributed much to the establishment of peaceful relations between the two groups and to the ultimate success of Georgia. His nephew, Toonahowi, is seated on the right in this engraving, circa 1734-35, by John Faber Jr.

Sequoyah

Sequoyah

This hand-colored lithograph of Sequoyah (also called George Gist or George Guess), the legendary creator of the Cherokee syllabary, was made in 1833 after an oil portrait by Charles Bird King as part of a series depicting Native American leaders.

From The Indian Tribes of North America, by T. L. McKenney and J. Hall

Burning of Savannah

Burning of Savannah

The English artist Joshua Shaw painted Burning of Savannah in 1820 as part of a series depicting the "beautiful and sublime" in the American landscape. His paintings were published as hand-colored aquatints made by printmaker John Hill in London, England.

From Picturesque Views of American Scenery, by J. Shaw

Savannah

Savannah

Charles Parsons created this drawing of Savannah, published circa 1856, after a painting by John William Hill. Prints and drawings of Savannah architecture were very popular during the nineteenth century.

Print by Charles Parsons

Lover’s Leap

Lover’s Leap

The British painter Thomas Addison Richards is well known for his romantic depictions of the southern landscape. This steel engraving of Lover's Leap, located on the Chattahoochee River two miles north of Columbus, appeared in Richards's 1842 book .

From Georgia Illustrated, by T. A. Richards and W. C. Richards

Toccoa Falls

Toccoa Falls

Thomas Addison Richards, a nineteenth-century landscape artist, painted and sketched numerous scenes in Georgia that were engraved and published in popular magazines of the day. This print of Toccoa Falls, located in present-day Stephens County, appeared in Richards's 1842 book Georgia Illustrated.

From Georgia Illustrated, by T. A. Richards and W. C. Richards

Major Jones’s Courtship

Major Jones’s Courtship

William Tappan Thompson published his novel, Major Jones's Courtship, in 1844 as part of the Library of Humorous American Works series. The novel was illustrated with prints of wood engravings by Felix Octavius Carr Darley.

Augusta

Augusta

In the years following the Civil War, a national interest in the South spurred the publication of southern scenes in a variety of popular publications. This engraving of Augusta appeared in an 1871 issue of to illustrate an article on that city.

From Appletons' Journal

Uncle Remus

Uncle Remus

The Uncle Remus stories, published in 1881 by Georgia author Joel Chandler Harris, were illustrated by James Henry Moser. From 1882 until about 1887, Moser lived in Atlanta and headed the art department of Miss Ballard's Seminary.

From Uncle Remus, 1881

Yoholo Micco

Yoholo Micco

This hand-colored lithograph of Creek chief Yoholo Micco was made after a portrait in oil by Charles Bird King. King painted oil portraits of many Native American leaders who visited Washington, D.C., in the early 1830s. The series was commissioned by Thomas Loraine McKenney, the federal superintendent of Indian affairs at the time.

Print by Charles Bird King. From History of the Indian Tribes of North America, by T. McKenney and J. Hall

Sapelo Island Cultural Day

Sapelo Island Cultural Day

Singers perform during the Sapelo Island Cultural Day, held each October on the island. The festival celebrates the songs, stories, dances, and food of the Geechee and Gullah culture, which developed on the Sea Islands among enslaved West Africans between 1750 and 1865.

Photograph by Jennifer Cruse Sanders

Folk Crafts, Net Maker

Folk Crafts, Net Maker

On Georgia's coast, the net-making tradition has been passed down generation to generation.

Folk Crafts, Net Maker

Folk Crafts, Net Maker

A close-up view of the tool used in net making.

The Sacred Harp

The Sacred Harp

First published in 1844, The Sacred Harp songbook has helped to promote the style of singing known as "Sacred Harp," "shape-note," or "fasola" singing.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Foxfire Community Celebration

Foxfire Community Celebration

Foxfire's community celebration is held each spring at the Foxfire Museum in Rabun County to honor the local residents who have shared their stories and skills with Foxfire students.

Brer Rabbit

Brer Rabbit

A statue of Brer Rabbit, a major character in the Uncle Remus tales by Joel Chandler Harris, stands in front of the Putnam County Courthouse. Harris's work, particularly his animal tales, brought African American folklore into the public spotlight.

Image from Mdxi

Lanier Meaders

Lanier Meaders

Lanier Meaders, a Georgia folk potter known for his face jugs, throws a clay vessel. In 1967 Meaders took over his family's celebrated pottery shop, Meaders Pottery, which was established in 1893 in the Mossy Creek area of White County. He received the National Heritage Fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1983.

Storytelling Traditions

Storytelling Traditions

Myths are defined as sacred stories supporting a religion; they often explain the present order of things as the creation of divinities. In Georgia, oral myths are found primarily among Native Americans.

Okra

Okra

Okra, originally an African plant, probably arrived in the South by way of slave ships. Okra is now a favorite summer vegetable in Georgia.

Hmong Story Cloth

Hmong Story Cloth

A story cloth by textile artist and Hmong refugee May Tong Moua depicts Hmong villagers fleeing Communist forces (upper right-hand corner) in Laos and crossing the Mekong River to arrive at a refugee camp in Thailand. A resident of Lilburn, May Tong Moua is among a number of Hmong refugees who resettled in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties. The story cloth, made in 1991, is housed at the Atlanta History Center.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Barbecue

Barbecue

Many types of meat are barbecued, ranging from beef and whole hogs to chicken and, along the coast, fish and shellfish. Pork—primarily ribs, shoulders, and hams—is the meat of choice for Georgia barbecues.

Photograph by Judy Baxter

Blackberries

Blackberries

Blackberries, which grow wild around the state, were a staple food item for the Creek and Cherokee Indians living in Georgia before the arrival of the first white settlers.

Pork

Pork

If the 'king' of the antebellum southern economy were cotton, geographer Sam Bowers Hilliard writes in Hog Meat and Hoecake, "then the title of 'queen' must go to the pig."

Courtesy of Special Collections & Archives, Georgia State University Library, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archive.

Corn

Corn

Corn, easy to cultivate, harvest, and, most important, transform into meal for bread, has long been a staple of Georgians' diets.

Boiled Peanuts

Boiled Peanuts

Boiled peanuts are a Georgia favorite, with vendors found anywhere from fairs and flea markets to roadside stands.

Oyster Roast, St. Marys

Oyster Roast, St. Marys

An oyster roast in St. Marys, pictured in the 1890s. Oyster roasts have long made for a popular, festive occasion during the fall and winter months along the Georgia coast.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, # cam068.

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Vidalia Onions

Vidalia Onions

Prized for their sweetness, Vidalia onions get their name from the Toombs County town where farmer Mose Coleman first marketed them in the 1930s.

Image from UGA CAES/Extension

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Peaches

Peaches

The Elberta peach variety, which flourishes along the state's fall line, spurred Georgia peach production, and by the early 1900s Georgia was the leading peach grower in the nation.

Photo by AbbydonKrafts

Pickled Okra

Pickled Okra

Okra, an African plant, is today considered an integral part of southern cuisine. It was introduced into the Georgia diet as a result of the slave trade.

Barbecue Sandwich

Barbecue Sandwich

A barbecue sandwich at Pappy Red's Bar-B-Que in Roswell, Georgia, and a bowl of Brunswick stew are perennial menu favorites.

Soul Food

Soul Food

The late 1960s signaled the national debut of the term soul food, arguably a politicized renaming of the foods long savored by Black southerners.

Dexter Weaver: Soul Food

Dexter Weaver, owner of Athens eatery Weaver D's, explains that is food for the soul.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Dexter Weaver: Cooking Collards

Dexter Weaver, owner of the Athens soul food eatery Weaver D's, explains how he cooks his collards, a southern soul food staple.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

New Southern Cooking

New Southern Cooking

A growing national fascination with southern foods was born at the end of the twentieth century as cookbooks were published touting "new southern cooking," and restaurants served updated takes on traditional recipes.

Nathalie Dupree

Nathalie Dupree

Nathalie Dupree, one of the catalysts for the "rediscovery" of southern cookery by modern Georgians, featured both the old (poke sallet) and the new (grits with yogurt and herbs) in her 1986 public television show, New Southern Cooking, and cookbook by the same name.

Rice Field

Rice Field

Despite its huge importance to Georgia's economy, the rice industry was subject to relatively rigid geographical/environmental constraints, and it never utilized more than a small proportion of the available land in the Lowcountry, much less in Georgia as a whole. Even at its peak no more than 45,000 acres of land were devoted directly to rice production in Georgia.

Photograph by U.S. Department of Agriculture

Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Stew

Virtually any vegetable and seasoning can be added to the requisite meat, corn, and tomatoes, but onions, lima beans, and potatoes commonly make an appearance. The stew is often served with barbecue, coleslaw, corn bread, and iced tea.

Hillcrest Farms

Hillcrest Farms

Apple crops thrive in the cooler weather of north Georgia.

Arthur Dilbert

Arthur Dilbert

The African American tradition of carving walking sticks with reptile and human figures is exemplified by the work of coastal Georgia artists like Arthur "Pete" Dilbert of Savannah. Photograph by Billy Howard

Edwin Meaders, Folk Potter

Edwin Meaders, Folk Potter

Folk art refers to that which is done by artists who learned their trade informally within a community. The learning process was often family-based rather than one of formal apprenticeship. Edwin Meaders of Cleveland, Georgia, comes from a family of folk potters.

Lace Making

Lace Making

Betty Kemp, a resident of Powder Springs, in Cobb County, demonstrates the craft of English lace making at the Atlanta History Center in 1994.

Photograph by John Burrison

Folk Pottery

Folk Pottery

While clay pots were once put to use domestically and commercially, most are now made to sell as artistic wares. This alkaline-glazed jug was made by the second generation of potters at Mossy Creek, Georgia.

Lin Craven: Making a Ring Jug

Folk potter Lin Craven demonstrates as she explains how to make a ring jug.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Duck Decoy

Duck Decoy

Ernie Mills is one of the few working decoy makers who still use a hatchet to hand-chop each decoy. He moved to Perry, Georgia, in 1978, and is one of a small number in the U.S. still carrying on this folk craft.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Ernie Mills: Decoy Maker

Ernie Mills, who moved to Perry, Georgia, in 1978, is one of the few working decoy makers who still use a hatchet to hand-chop each decoy. Mills talks about decoy making.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders and Josh Borger, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Basket Weaving

Basket Weaving

Folk artists use wood, cane, grasses, and pine needles to form baskets, rugs, and other woven works.

Hmong Textile Artist

Hmong Textile Artist

Hmong textile artist May Yang Moua, pictured in 1991, displays her finished flower cloths. Hmong refugees from Laos settling in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties have brought their needlework traditions to Georgia.

Courtesy of Georgia Council for the Arts, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Libraries.

WSB Barn Dance

WSB Barn Dance

Musicians perform in 1947 before a live audience on the popular radio show "WSB Barn Dance." The program aired on WSB, Atlanta's first radio station, from 1940 to 1950.

Courtesy of Special Collections & Archives, Georgia State University Library, Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection.

Fiddlin’ John Carson

Fiddlin’ John Carson

Fiddlin' John Carson, pictured circa 1924, began playing fiddle on Atlanta's WSB radio station in 1922. On June 14, 1923, the country-music recording industry was launched when Carson made his first phonograph record. His recording career, which yielded some 165 recorded songs, lasted into the 1930s.

Photograph by Wilbur Smith

Alan Jackson

Alan Jackson

Alan Jackson, a native of Newnan, achieved success as a country musician during the 1990s. A member of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, Jackson was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2001.

Brenda Lee

Brenda Lee

Atlanta native Brenda Lee began her career at the age of five and achieved fame as a rockabilly singer during the 1950s and 1960s. During the early 1970s she transitioned into a country style and is, to date, the only female performer to be inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Pete Drake

Pete Drake

Pete Drake, a native of Augusta, produced albums for many music stars, including B. J. Thomas, the Four Freshmen, Leon Russell, and Beatles member Ringo Starr. He also founded Stop Records and First Generation Records.

Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries, Georgia Music Hall of Fame Collection.

Trisha Yearwood

Trisha Yearwood

Born and raised in Monticello, Trisha Yearwood rose to fame as a successful country musician during the 1990s. She was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2000.

Image from Walt Disney Television

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Johnny Mercer

Johnny Mercer

Johnny Mercer, a Savannah native, wrote numerous popular songs during the swing era, many of which are now considered classics. A vocalist as well as a lyricist, Mercer often sang with Benny Goodman.

I’ve Heard That Song Before

I’ve Heard That Song Before

Harry James is pictured on the cover of sheet music for "I've Heard That Song Before," published by Edwin H. Morris and Company. The song, performed with Frank Sinatra on vocals for the film Youth on Parade (1942), was nominated for an Academy Award.

Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries, Georgia Music Hall of Fame Collection.

Harry James

Harry James

Harry James, a renowned swing trumpet player during the 1930s and 1940s, rehearses for the Coca-Cola radio show in New York City around 1946. James was born in Albany to traveling circus performers and began playing the trumpet as a child.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Music Division, William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection.

Fletcher Henderson

Fletcher Henderson

Fletcher Henderson, an accomplished pianist and native of Cuthbert, is credited with forming the first big band orchestra in New York City during the 1920s. His musical contributions laid the foundation for swing music.

Image from Wikimedia

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Ray Charles

Ray Charles

As a performer and recording artist in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Ray Charles pioneered a new style of music that became known as "soul," a blend of gospel music, blues, and jazz that brought him worldwide fame.

Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries, Georgia Music Hall of Fame Collection.

Ray Charles

Ray Charles

Ray Charles began his professional career at age fifteen, playing in Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida. He later relocated to the West Coast to pursue better career opportunities, moving first to Seattle in 1948 and then to Los Angeles in 1950.

Zenas Sears

Zenas Sears

In 1956 disc jockey and social activist Zenas Sears established the Atlanta radio station WAOK, one of the first in the country to play blues, rhythm and blues, and soul music as the primary format.

Courtesy of Special Collections & Archives, Georgia State University Library, Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection.

Little Richard Penniman

Little Richard Penniman

Little Richard Penniman, a Macon native, is credited with being one of the first rock stars. He began his musical career as a young boy in a family gospel act, joined a minstrel show at the age of fifteen, and performed rhythm and blues before his 1956 hit "Tutti Fruitti" crossed over to the pop charts.

Photograph by xrayspx

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James Brown

James Brown

James Brown, known as the "Godfather of Soul" and "Soul Brother Number One," influenced a generation of younger singers with his energetic performances and distinctive vocal style. Active in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Brown continued to speak out about racism during his long career.

James Brown and Aretha Franklin

James Brown and Aretha Franklin

James Brown, pictured with Aretha Franklin, was instrumental in pioneering soul music, a dynamic blend of gospel and rhythm and blues. Two of Brown's singles in 1965, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag-Part 1" and "I Got You (I Feel Good)," were milestones of the genre.

Jesse Fuller

Jesse Fuller

Jonesboro native Jesse Fuller became a one-man blues band. He played twelve-string guitar, harmonica, cymbals, and a foot-operated bass. The San Francisco-based rock group the Grateful Dead covered some of Fuller's songs in the 1970s and 1980s.

From The Story of the Blues, by P. Oliver

Blind Willie McTell

Blind Willie McTell

Pictured in an Atlanta hotel room in 1940, "Blind Willie" McTell holds a twelve-string guitar. He recorded many blues classics, including "Statesboro Blues." McTell was the only bluesman to remain active in Atlanta (in the Decatur Street district) well after World War II.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Lomax Collection.

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Major “Big Maceo” Merriweather

Major “Big Maceo” Merriweather

A native Atlantan, "Big Maceo" Merriweather was an influential blues pianist of the 1940s who lived and performed in Chicago. Merriweather met fellow native Georgian Tampa Red in Chicago, who helped him obtain a recording contract with Bluebird Records, and Tampa Red and Big Maceo made several recordings together.

Robert “Barbecue Bob” Hicks

Robert “Barbecue Bob” Hicks

Barbecue Bob Hicks played a distinct style of country blues with his brother, Charlie, in Atlanta in the late 1920s.

Eugene “Buddy” Moss

Eugene “Buddy” Moss

Buddy Moss played a Piedmont style of country blues in Atlanta in the late 1920s and early 1930s. In his book The Story of the Blues, Paul Oliver describes Moss as "a link between Blind Blake and Blind Boy Fuller."

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Photograph by Jack Delano.

Joshua Barnes “Peg Leg” Howell

Joshua Barnes “Peg Leg” Howell

Peg Leg Howell, pictured in the early 1960s, started out as a street musician in the Decatur Street district in Atlanta. In the 1920s he recorded many songs for Columbia Records, and thus was one of the earliest musicians to record the Atlanta blues style.

From The Story of the Blues, by P. Oliver

Fort Valley Blues by Smith Band

This 1941 recording of "Fort Valley Blues" features the Smith Band, whose members are playing guitar, banjo, bass, and fiddle. The field recording was made at the Fort Valley Folk Festival and has been preserved at the Library of Congress.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, American Folklife Center, John Work Collection of Negro Folk Music from the Southeast.

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James Dickey

James Dickey

James Dickey ranks as one of the most important Georgia poets of the twentieth century. His poetry is intensely confessional, largely apolitical, and directly focused on the interactions of the individual with the natural as well as the technologically transformed modern world.

Alice Walker

Alice Walker

Alice Walker has written from a number of perspectives, exploring the nature of life for Black Americans in the modern world and examining the plight of women (especially women of color) in a male-dominated society.

Courtesy of Special Collections & Archives, Georgia State University Library, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archive.

Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O'Connor attended college at what is now Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville. She subsequently entered the master's program in creative writing at the University of Iowa and joined the now world-famous Writers' Workshop under Paul Engle.

Courtesy of Ina Dillard Russell Library, Georgia College and State University

Augustus Baldwin Longstreet

Augustus Baldwin Longstreet

Augustus Baldwin Longstreet was the dean of the Georgia humorists. His book of humorous sketches, Georgia Scenes (1835), paved the way for other satirists, collectively known as the Georgia humorists.

Augusta Jane Evans (Wilson)

Augusta Jane Evans (Wilson)

Augusta Jane Evans (Wilson) wrote nine novels that were among the most popular fiction in nineteenth-century America. Her most successful novel, St. Elmo (1866), sold a million copies within four months of its appearance and remained in print well into the twentieth century.

Courtesy of State Archives of Alabama

Sidney Lanier

Sidney Lanier

Sidney Lanier is most noted for his experimental musical renderings of Georgia's fields, rivers, and shores in such poems as "Corn" (1875), "The Song of the Chattahoochee" (1877), and "The Marshes of Glynn" (1879).

Conrad Aiken

Conrad Aiken

Conrad Aiken's literary autobiography, Ushant (1952), contains brilliant portraits of the literary scene in Boston, London, and New York during the first half of the century as it recounts the poet's literary pilgrimage.

Anthony Grooms

Anthony Grooms

Anthony Grooms is the author of a collection of poetry, Ice Poems (1988), a collection of stories, Trouble No More (1995), and two novels, Bombingham (2001) and The Vain Conversation (2018).

Photograph by J. D. Scott

Lillian Smith

Lillian Smith

Lillian Smith's best-known work, Strange Fruit (1944), is a novel of illicit interracial love that gained its author national attention.

Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell's epic Civil War love story, Gone With the Wind, was published in June 1936. Mitchell was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the novel in May 1937.

Erskine Caldwell

Erskine Caldwell

Erskine Caldwell settled outside of Georgia shortly before he was twenty-five, paying extended visits to his parents in Wrens for as long as they lived there. Though he lived much of his life outside the South, the region stayed on his mind and figured prominently in most of his writing.

Raymond Andrews

Raymond Andrews

An expansive, engaging man who made friends effortlessly, the writer Raymond Andrews was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of old movies and sports, especially football and baseball.

Courtesy of Emory University

Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O'Connor's first novel, Wise Blood (1952), is filled with her Christian vision and black humor. A novel of spiritual quest, it presents the male "pilgrim," Hazel Motes, as inhabiting a sterile and ugly modern landscape derivative of O'Connor's early model The Waste Land, a poem by T. S. Eliot.

Courtesy of Ina Dillard Russell Library, Georgia College and State University

Pam Durban

Pam Durban

Pam Durban has written several highly acclaimed short story collections and novels, including All Set About with Fever Trees and Other Stories (1985), The Laughing Place (1993), and So Far Back (2000). She has won numerous literary awards and honors.

Fort Frederica National Monument

Fort Frederica National Monument

The British regiment at Frederica disbanded in May 1749. In April 1758, a great fire swept Frederica, reducing much of it to ashes. Today the ruins form the Fort Frederica National Monument.

Savannah Skyline

Savannah Skyline

Savannah, the first city in Georgia settled by colonists in 1733, was also one of the first cities in the state to begin a historic preservation program.

J. S. Wood House

J. S. Wood House

Alfred Eichberg's historic J. S. Wood House (1891) in Savannah is an example of Georgia's Romanesque Revival period of architecture.

Courtesy of Richard D. Funderburke