The city of Athens was no more than a trading settlement on the banks of the Oconee River called Cedar Shoals during the late 1700’s. On January 27, 1785 the Georgia General Assembly chartered the University of Georgia as the first chartered state-supported university. The charter was drafted by Abraham Baldwin and existed only on paper for 16 years. On July 25, 1801 John Milledge purchased 633 acres from Daniel Easley and donated it to the university. He named the land Athens in honor of the Greek city that was the center of culture and learning during ancient times. The city of Athens was incorporated on December 8, 1806.
The 20th century continued the positive evolution of Athens, witnessing the growth of The University of Georgia into an internationally recognized educational and research institution. During the final quarter of the century, historical preservation became a great priority. The citizens of Athens value the stunning architectural heritage of the city, and irreplaceable treasures of the past continue to be restored to their original glory. Today, Athens-Clarke County, the commercial, medical, professional, and educational hub of northeast Georgia, is home to 101,489 residents (2000 U.S. census). The University remains a great influence on lifestyle, tempo, and outlook for the community, maintaining a crucial link with tradition while assisting in propulsion into the 21st century.
Athens, Georgia has a vibrant cultural scene and a strong health care system. Downtown Athens lines the north edge of The University of Georgia and offers a wide variety of eating and drinking options. Athens has very strong ties to the music industry and has spawned the likes of R.E.M., The B-52’s, and country singers T. Graham Brown and John Berry.
Athens was just recently tagged as one of the best places to retire in the country! Don’t you think it’s time you came to visit Athens, Georgia?