Columbus State University Archives

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  • Collection: Columbus Whitewater Historical Sites

Rapid on the Whitewater Express

Rapid on the Whitewater Express

Rapid on the Whitewater Express

Rapid on the Whitewater Express

Rapid on the Whitewater Express

Rapid on the Whitewater Express.

The Chattahoochee River was an essential resource in deciding to locate the new city of Columbus, GA in 1828. The city saw the construction of three dams. As the city was established the City Mills dam was built to capture power to grind corn and…

Portrait of Horace King
Born into slavery in South Carolina, Horace King (1807-1885) and his owner John Godwin moved to Columbus in 1832 to support the rapid development of recently ceded Creek lands. King and Godwin’s initial contract was Columbus’ first bridge…

Advertisement for Slave Sale.
The trade in slaves and the labor they produced was the foundation of Columbus both in supporting the plantation economy of cotton and the city’s rising industrial power. Slaves built and worked in the mills and they labored as blacksmiths,…

Plan of the City of Columbus
There were settlements on both banks of the Chattahoochee prior to the founding of Columbus. The community of Wewoka was home to three hundred people who lived in log cabins and tents along the eastern banks of the river. Residents were involved in…

Creek Indian
The Creek Indians, British, and Spanish colonists had established trading relationships in the American southeast since the seventeenth century. The Creeks were adept diplomats between these two European powers. However, the newly formed nation of…

Fall Line Geology
Like its sister cities Macon, Milledgeville, and Augusta, Columbus, Georgia is located on the fall line. This predominant geological feature divides the more resistant geology of the Piedmont and the sedimentary rock Coastal Plain. The city is home…

City Plan for Girard, Russell County
In June 1832, local entrepreneur Daniel McDougald and Robert Collins from Macon paid $35,000 for the one square mile grant directly across the Chattahoochee from Columbus that the Treaty awarded to mixed blood Benjamin Marshall. They published in the…

Baseball.png
From the Creek game of stickball ( from which the game of lacrosse developed) in the nineteenth century along the banks of the river, to the twenty-first century whitewater rafting, Columbus’ recreation history is rich and colorful. Recreation…

The Phenix City Story - John Patterson's Speech.mp4
In the first half of the twentieth century, Phenix City, Alabama became a notorious haven of crime. Prohibition in Alabama began in 1915 (ended in 1933) and Phenix City developed as a large-scale alcohol manufacturing and distribution hub, along…

City Mills Company
Seaborn Jones, a wealthy planter and Congressman, moved to Columbus in 1828. Purchasing a tract of riverfront property, he built the city’s first hydro-powered gristmill (corn and flour). In 1865, Union forces burned the City Mills and it was…

Eagle and Phenix Mills
Owned by William Young, the Eagle Mill was built in 1851. Throughout the city, seventy percent of the mill workers were women and children as they had small and more dexterous hands, and they were cheaper to hire. During the Civil War, Columbus…

Iron Works.jpg
Since their founding in the mid-19th century, the Iron Works and One Arsenal Place first manufactured agricultural tools for the local plantation economy. During the Civil War, these facilities became a lead producer of textiles and gunboat parts for…

The Mott House
Built by slave labor, the Mott House was completed in 1839 for James Calhoun who was both a mill owner and the city’s mayor. James, cousin to vice-president of the United States John Calhoun, was one of the major land speculators who benefited…

Map of General J.H. Wilson's Calvary Campaign.
Late in the war, on April 16th, 1865, Union General James Wilson arrived on the west side of Girard, now Phenix City, Alabama. Having taken the cities of Selma and Montgomery, Wilson planned an attack on one of the major industrial hubs in the South,…