Visiting West Central Georgia

Come to west central Georgia and you'll have the sense that time (almost) stands still.

| January/February 1989

west central Georgia - antebellum mansion

Some of the region's old antebellum homes still survive, in some cases because they've been restored.


"But it’s so empty!" I kept saying to myself.

That's an impression one would expect to receive from a far-western state — not when roller coastering up and down the well-maintained highways of these forest-covered foothills at the southern end of the Appalachians. Indeed, when in rural west central Georgia, it's often hard to believe that one of the nation's busiest airports, Atlanta's Hartsfield International, is a drive of just over an hour or so away and that you can be shopping in the huge malls that make up much of Georgia's second largest city, Columbus, in half that time.

In many areas of Troup, Meriwether, Harris and Talbot counties — which adjoin one another between the Chattahoochee River and Flint River — you're as likely to encounter a wide-eyed deer, a bobcat or a flock of wild turkeys as another car. Wildlife is abundant here, including a few black bears and, it's said, even occasional pumas (often called swamp cats in these parts) that make their home in the more remote regions.

True, the woods now and then open to reveal the landscaped grounds of a sprawling factory that spews out trucks and cars during shift changes. Some sections, too, are heavily sprinkled with brick ranch-style homes as well as old "tenant houses" left over from another era. In contrast are modern architectural gems, often tucked out of sight on what would be called estates in other parts of the nation. But more impressive are the untold numbers of magnificent antebellum houses — some meticulously maintained and others in need of tender, loving renovation. The countryside is also dotted with many small towns and communities that have physically changed little in the last half century.

1/18/2008 5:59:16 AM

Did you mean: " cretaceous aquifer "