Did You Know...

As I add to this site I am learning more and more about this area. I have lived here all my life and still am surprised at the things I am learning. This page is for different little facts I uncover along the way.


Many of us have visited the Naval museum and seen the Civil War cannons there. But, did you know that at one time they stood outside this house on Hamilton Rd? In 1942 they were to be taken up and used for scrap iron. They were returned in 1943 at the insistance of several orginizations.

some of the cannons at the Confederate Naval Museum "


This school in Waverly Terrace was built in 1906. It was called Sceondary Industrial School. It was said to be the First Industrial or Vocational School in the Country. It served as a high school until Jordan Vocational High School was opened in 1937. "Old Industrial" then became Columbus Junior High School. It is now the Academic Success Center. The School is located at 1112 29th ST.


The YMCA building was dedicated in 1903. It was a gift from George Foster Peabody. At the time it was built it was said to be the only marble YMCA in the world. It is located at 124 11th ST.


At one time this fountain stood outside the old Court House downtown. It is now in the median in front of the Goetchius House Restaurant.


I was not able to take a picture of the actual house, but past this sign there is a house that was built by a prominent local man. It burnt and was rebuilt in the early twenties. It was said to be the highest point in Muscogee County.


Lewis Grizzard Is probably my favorite comedian of all time. Maybe the reason for that is he is a Southerner. I can identify with so much of his material. It takes a Southerner to really appreciate what he is talking about. I knew he was raised in Moreland, Georgia. I had heard him speak of Moreland many times. What I did not know was that he was actually born at Fort Benning. Might as well say right down the road from me. These pictures are of the sign in front of the Lewis Grizzard Museum and his grave site, both in Moreland.


I found out about Radcliff School from Monique in VA. She used it as a point of reference in her directions to some forgotten graves. I talked to some co workers about the school and one said her Mom graduated from there in 1937. The school burned down in the 1970's. Nothing is left, but a historic marker is at the site. Radcliff School was on Radcliff Street, off Buena Vista Road. Thanks Monique and Dynelle.


This Marker is located near the Jesus Tree, off Cusseta Rd. As so often, I found this by accident. This marker honors Dr Edwards for his medical achievements.


Long before the War Dogs came about there had been a Top Dog at Fort Benning named Calculator. Calculator lived in Columbus and rode the train just like, if not the same one shown below, to Fort Benning. He would stay all day and in the evening catch a ride back to Columbus on the train. He was well known and loved by all the soldiers. Calculator was crippled. He was named Calculator because it was said he put down three and carried one. One day Calculator was found dead, poisoned. When word got out, many Soldiers from bases all over contributed for a marker for him. The Plaque on the large stone reads, Calculator Born? Died August 29, 1923. He made Better dogs of us all. This is located outside the Infantry Museum. Inside the Museum there is a painting of Calculator.


Did you know that our jail was immortalized in a song from 1927? Well, here is the marker that tells about it. It is located at the old stockade in Downtown Columbus.


According to an article in the Ledger Enquirer in 1985, The cafeteria of Edgewood school may be on top of a black cemetery or a group of black graves. If anyone knows about this, please let me know.


Most of us Columbus residents are pretty familiar with Bibb City and the now closed Bibb Mill, but, did you know that behind the Bibb Mill was once a spot called Lover's Leap? The story goes that an Indian Brave and an Indian Maiden fell in love. They were from different tribes, I heard Cuseta and Coweta, but I cannot be sure. Both tribes were against the relationship. I read one account that said the couple was being chased through the woods by Braves from the Maidens tribe, I believe. Rather than being caught and seperated they jumped to their deaths into the Chattahoochee River. I tried to get pictures of the site where this took place. I could not get near it from the Columbus side so I went over to Phenix City. I wish the picures could show more, but at least you get the idea of the area. At one time this was a well known spot.


This next section has some really interesting stories from Vic. He has lived here all his life and has shared some really great things with me. I am so glad to be able to post these!

Spanish Conquistadoress In Columbus????

This "tale" was related to me by my ex-father-in-law who is now passed on. He swore that it was true and considering his background I have no reason to have doubted it. He was a self taught historian and archeologist. He probably knew more about local Indian lore than any other person in the area. There were times that he would tell me about Indian mounds (located on private property) in the area and would take me to see them. He told me that they were scared and made me swear to never reveal their locations. They are on property owned by an extremely prominent family. Once when I was at his house a car bearing Oklahoma license plates drove up into the yard and four men got out. It was very obvious that they were of Native American extraction. They asked if he could tell them where a certain mound was. He offered to guide them to it but they told him no. They were very emphatic that they were there to pay homage to ancestors and that "white men" would not be permitted to participate. The old man give them directions to the mound which was on property adjacent to his and owned by a large paper company. The men walked off into the woods and returned about an hour and a half later. They then thanked us for our assistance and told us that the spirits would be favorable to us. They then drove away and were never seen again. The following day the old man and I walked to the mound. There we found several large feathers and a plug of Brown Mule chewing tobacco at the mound site. The old man told me that these were offerings and not to disturb them. He would not let me photograph them either as he said the were sacred. Many people thought the old man was "full of bull" when he talked of these things but as for me this incident "sealed the bill" that the things he would relate were the truth.

Now, on to the story of the Spanish Conquistadores......The old man went to work for the Ga. Power Company as a laborer on the Bartlett's Ferry dam. Following its completion he secured a permanent job with the power company at Bartletts's Ferry. He never had any other job and retired from the power company. Because of his extensive knowledge of local Indians the power company would on occasions have him look over construction sites in the area to determine if they would be encroaching on any places that might be of significance with respect to Indians who once populated this area. When construction on Oliver Dam and Lake Oliver began the old man was transferred for awhile to the site to determine if there was anything of significance there. According to his "tale" he spent several weeks simply exploring the area and according to him, somewhere near what is now the shoreline in Green Island Hills he found what he described to me as a cave in a small hillside. He had to crawl into this so called cave (actually it may have been an outcropping of rocks) and inside he found what appeared to be the remains of several helmets like the one's worn by the Spanish explorers and the remains of a sword hilt. He notified his supervisor of this find and some people from the University of Georgia were called in and they removed these artifacts. The old man told me that he never heard anymore about them. He was shortly transferred back to his regular job at Bartlett's Ferry. He later contacted the Columbus Museum about it but they claimed that they had no knowledge of the matter. The old man always said that the matter was "kept under wraps" because it would have significantly altered history. It was his theory that explorers during the time of Ponce de Leon came into this area.

Re: Grist Mill

On Lindsey Creek on the property that is now CSU there used to be the ruins of an old grist mill. When were kids we used to hike out there and camp out. I sure that nothing remains now.

Re: A local legend Linwood Cemetery

A local legend tells it that in Linwood Cemetery there is a mausoleum (excuse my spelling) that has a working telephone in it....just in case the occupant wakes up!!! I wonder who started that one???????????????

The Old Federal Road

About mile north of the Mountain Hill School in Harris County on River Road, on the left you used to be able to see the outline of what was an old stagecoach road. I don't know if you can still see it as it has been a long time since I have been there and the area may now be built up. This is one of the places I explored with "the old man". Legend tells it that there was a "treasure" buried somewhere along its route.

The Beryl Mine

Just north of the Whitesville Community was a real mine.....The mineral Beryl was mined there...Beryl is a low grade gem stone related to Emerald....its used for abrasives...its green and glassy looking but has a very high quartz content. The "old man" took me there many times. The owner's of the property were friends of his. They have since closed the mine, filled it in, and its no longer accessible. They just had too much problem with "rock hounds" wanting a sample of it.

Shark Teeth

Eons ago the southern part of Russell County was part of the Gulf of Mexico.....Just south of CVCC at the intersection of US 431 and Ala 169 look to your left and you will see a cut where 169 enters 431. After a heavy rain you can find shark teeth and other small fossils embedded in the dirt. Look in the areas where the dirt is kind of a dark grey color.

Norsemen at Ft. Benning?

A stone was found at Ft. Benning near Lawson Airfield that had some very strange symbols carved into it and it appeared that it was very old. A local curator ( he will remain nameless because I don't know if he is still living) declared that the marking were Norse runes and that the stone was absolute evidence that the Norsemen had visited this area. The story made the national papers. As it turned out the markings on the stone were nothing more than some scratching made on the stone by a GI taking a night orientation class so he could remember his directions!!!!!


Did you know that in the 1950's there was a train that carried mill workers to and from the outlaying areas of Columbus? It would pick them up in areas like Nankipoo and Fortson and take them to this depot on Third Avenue. It would take them home also. The building is no longer there. But this is the area where it was. Thanks to Vic for this one!


Do you remember Peter Rademacher, he won the gold medal in Olympic boxing in the 50's. He turned pro and went on to fight Floyd Patterson for the heavy weight championship. He lived just down the street. The house is no longer there it has been torn down. He was sort of the neighborhood hero to us kids. He was one great guy. He also fought Rocky Marciano and although he lost on a decision he was the only boxer to have ever put Marciano down for a mandatory count. We used to go down to his house and watch him train in his garage. He taught me how jump rope like a boxer in training but I wouldn't try to do it now!!! HA HA HA!!! Us kids thought he was "tough" but he always told us never to use our fists in anger, only in sport and that it took a real man to turn a walk away from a fight..


Did you know that several parks in this area are part of the Bull Creek watershed Project? Heath Park and Cooper Creek are just 2 examples. The Bull Creek project was started in 1960. The project was to conrtol flooding in our area. The project consisted of earthen dams with spillways and lakes. This marker sits in a field at the corner of Macon and Lynch Roads.


Holy Family Catholic Church is one of our beautiful old Downtown Churches. But, did you know that there is a Priest buried there? Just to the left of the main entrance lies a Priest who died in 1877 and was buried in this spot in 1881.


Did you know that there is a replica of the Little White House in Atlanta? This house once belonged to Georgian musician Graham Jackson. He once played for several Presidents and also at several well known Atlanta restaurants. He had his house bult to be a replica of FDR's Little White House. Mr Jackson died in 1983 and is buried in Atlanta's Southview Cemetery.


Thunderbolt, Georgia is a small town just outside of Savannah. At one time it was a very active shrimping community. Henry Ambos, son of a prominent local shrimper, along with William Mullis, a Savannah grocer teamed up and produced a product that would take the seafood and grocery businesses by storm.

In 1948 Mr. Mullis approached Mr Ambos with an idea he had to make shrimp easier for housewives to cook. He thought that if the women could buy shrimp that took less time and was easier to prepare they would buy more. He and Mr Ambos experimented with the shrimp until they found a way to batter and freeze the shrimp. When they were happy with the results of hteir experiments they sold it in Mr Mullis Savannah grocery store. It was a hit. The Trade Winds Company was formed and the product was shipped out all over the East coast. The Trade Winds Company was located on River Drive in thunderbolt. Eventually other seafood was added to the pan ready line such as oysters and perch.

Trade Winds not only was a major boost to the Thunderbolt community but it changed the seafood and grocery industries forever. Below are pictures of what is left of some of the old buildings. A local said that excess batter was often dumped into the river. The fish seemd to love it. They could catch a lot of fish near where that batter was dumped!


Howard Deering Johnson started his empire with a small drugstore and ice cream parlor in Quincy Massachusetts in 1925. He developed 28 flavors of ice cream using a recipe that called for increased butterfat. He later opened the first Howard Johnson's restaurant in Quincy. By 1939 107 of his restaurants were found around many east coast highways. World War II took a toll on the restaurants growth, but by 1954 there were 400 of the restaurants. In 1954 the first Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge was opened. Right here in Georgia in our very own Savannah! It was located on Ogeechee Road. The motel is now under a different Company, but the building still remains. The swimming pool is gone and the restaurant is now closed but the building belonging to the old restaurant is still standing also. Too bad the people running it have no idea of its history. Too bad HoJo didn't see fit to mark this special place! But, then again neither did Days Inn!


Cecil B Day was a real estate developer and Christian Philanthropist.The Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens is named After him. The first Days Inn was built on Tybee Island in 1970. Franchising was began in 1972. In the 1970's guests were allowed to take Bibles from their rooms for free. Many had Tasty World Restaurants and gift shops in them.Below are pictures of the First Days Inn. It is now the Sand Castle Inn.It is good to see the building still standing and in use. Now if we could just get them to put a marker on it, it would be great!


In 1926 the Oglethorpe Hotel was built on Wilmington Island, just outside of Savannah. In it's day many popular entertainers performed there. Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason and Dean Martin once played there. Many more modern entertainers have stayed there, John Travolta, Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds, just to name a few. Many mobsters were known to hang out there too. It was an ideal location because of its seclusion. It was not nearly as populated or well known as Miami or other places

At the time of Hoffa's disappearance the reasort was owned by the Teamsters Union Pension Fund of the Central states Southeast and Southwest. The same group who wanted Hoffa out of Union political business. At the time of his disappearance a a concreste slab was poured on the grounds of the resort. It was to be used as a helicopter pad.The owners were in such a hurry to build this pad that they did it in the middle of the night.

The resort is now a gated private condo community. The helicopter pad was busted up with the rebuilding or remodeling. I doubt anything was found when the concrete was busted up, I certainly haven't heard anything! But it really has been a rumor for years that he could be buried somewhere there. Even if some rumors are not true they can be fascinating! I wonder if we could be hiding Elvis somewhere too!


Did you know that the small south west town of cordele has a rocket? It is standing in the parking lot of a gas station! It is a 100 foot Titan 2 rocket. The town wanted it for use as a community landmark. The rocket has been there since 1968 or 1969. I tremember seeing it as a little girl. It was so big! Seeing it again as an adult was so different. It seemed so much smaller than I remembered, but it was good to see it just the same!

This article is from Ron Rollin's Columbus Georgia On Line story. A special Thank You to Richard Hyatt for use of this story and to longtime friend Mr. Vic for sending me this story! You're the best Mr Vic (you too Mr Hyatt)!

A NASCAR Track in Columbus, GA.

How did I ever miss hearing about this?

Oh, but I did, till now! As a child of the 50's and 60's I remember the old track just off Victory Drive on South Lumkin Rd. and when the Idle Hour Park had a race track, airport, bowling ally, accade's, swimming pool, roller rink, zoo and boats on Moon Lake. I spent a lot of time at the Phenix City Drag Strip and East Alabama Track; but I had never heard of "The Columbus Speedway"! If I missed it, I figured others must have too!!

So, here it is, my research is done, here are the facts on " Columbus Speedway".

After World War II, when Detroit automakers retooled from makeing war supplies and begain producing cars again; Americans were ready to buy and America was ready to race them. Race tracks started poping all around the country, and spectators flocked to watch the races. Lakewood Speedway was a dirt track around the lake at Atlanta Fair grounds, it started in 1938 and drew good crowds, but after the WWII atendance really boomed and profits too. Soon with money to be made tracks were put in at Savannah, Macon, and Augusta. Not to be left out of making money, in Columbus 15 local busnessmen decided to build a race track in Columbus to share in the growing phenomenon racing was creating. In the spring of 1948, work begain on a site and officers were selected; Tom Sikes - president, Ed Rusk-- vice-president, and Harold Hill -- general manager. The location of the track was 8 miles northeast of (then) Columbus on the east side of Blackmon Rd., about 2 1/4 miles off Warm Springs Rd. , about a mile before Pierce Chapel Rd. With-in 45 days from the beginning construction a 6,000 seat grandstand and 1/2 mile dirt track was ready at a cost of $50,000. The first race day was set for June 20, 1948 with a $2,000 purse at stake. Columbus Speedway was born !!

It was announced that at the June 20,1948 race at Columbus Speedway, that Bill France, NASCAR president; would personally supervise the race on race day. Local dignitaries and 4,000 fans were there the day of the race to see it be won by Bob Flock ; making this a historic day in racing. You see, the Flock Brothers were well know in racing and with Bob's win in Columbus, Fonty's win in Birmingham, and Tim's win in Greensboro,NC; the Flock Brothers had made a clean sweep by winning on the same day. Bill France made the announcement that NASCAR would race again in Columbus on July 25, 1948. NASCAR now had Columbus on it's touring circuit.

NASCAR History: Bill France, in 1947, formed a private corporation to unifie and organize a touring racing series setting a points standing under standard set of rules, it was first called National Championship Stock Car Circuit (NCSCC). In December 14,1947 Bill France met with 35 others that shared a concern in the future of Stock Car racing at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach. A set of rules were established and Red Vogt coins the name to National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). Fonty Flock, winner of the NCSCC title, will be listed as the 1947 NASCAR Champion in all early season press releases.At this time in racing all tracks were dirt, with the exception of Daytona Beach which was partially paved as it used a Beach road as part of the course and the sand beech as the rest, as it to ran in a left turn circle. in 1959 Daytona International Speedway held the Daytona 500 on it's 2.5 miles of pavement with steep banked turns. Daytona concidered the premier track on NASCAR schedule " some tracks seperate the men from the boy's but this track seperates the brave from the weak after the boy's went home"; but in 1969 the 2.66 mile Alabama International Speedway eclipsed Daytona as the Biggest and Fastest, better known as TALLADEGA!

Columbus Speedway, July 25,1948: Race Day for NASCAR at Columbus, the big boys in town for trials on the 24th Robert Red Byron a points leader is here. Big names of times are ready to race.THe Red Byron's '39 Ford with Red Vogt as mechanic were sure to win, was the talk. The green flag is dropped and the race is on dust flying everywhere. The Red Byron was running hard! This race today was a 40 lap feature and the point were very important to several drivers, all wanted to by the NASCAR points champion and colect the point's money as the season comes to a close.Only 3,000 fan's are gathered, others are on the hill behind the fence tailgating in their pickups with family in tow. As the race laps count off and the Byron has lead since the 17th lap with challengers on his tail, fans move closer to the cattle fence on the hill to cheer their champion to the finish. The Byron look as though he will win. He's comming trough the 4th turn, then it happens---a tire explodes, the right front tire!( You know NASCAR circles to the left, no right hand turns in NASCAR.) The Red Byron now was not in a fight for the finish line, but in a fight to controll his car, as it drove trough the turn at high speed, heading to the clay bank and barbed wire fence,where fan were huddled watching the race not ten feet behind the fence. The Byron according to witness's made one last attempt to stop what he knew what was happening; he gassed the engine and turned hard left back into other racers on the track. as luck would have it , this didn't work. The car hit the fence and plowed into the crowd. as the car hit the barbed wire fence posts became like missles launching as the car moved trough the wire into the crowd. One of the post hit 7 year old Roy Brannon in the head, 16 others were injured. Little Roy Brannon died less than 24 hours later from hemorages, at the City Hospital. ( He is buried in the Riverdale Cemetery in his Family's Plot). Driver Billy Carden won the race that fatefilled day at the Columbus Speedway; but the Red Byron did return to the Columbus Speedway to race again and win on, Nov. 14, 1948.

Only five months into its first season, NASCAR also suffered it's first fatalities, as on that same day in Greensboro N.C. driver Bill "Slick" Davis was killed when he flipped his 1937 Chevy several times and died later that night.

NASCAR Races at Columbus Speedway

Date Winner Attendance

June 20, 1948 Bob Flock 4,000

July 25, 1948 Billy Carden 3,000

Sept. 5, 1948 Gober Sosebee 2,500

Nov. 14, 1948 Red Byron 2,000

June 10, 1951 Tim Flock 9,000

The 10th race of the 1951 season was held on June 10th at the Columbus Speedway in Columbus, Ga. Gober Sosebee won the pole. During the first caution, Marshall Teague suffered a leg injury after being T-boned near the back strightaway by Fireball Roberts. as you can see from the above stats on the 10th race attendance was the best ever. Here is a list of the top 10 results of the race June 10, 1951. ---- 1. Tim Flock 2. Gober Sosebee 3. Herb Thomas 4. Jim Paschal 5. Lee Petty 6. Red Byron 7. Donald Thomas 8. Frank Mundy 9. Jimmy Ayres 10. Ed Massey

After 4 years of NASCAR, at seasons close in 1952, The Columbus Speedway was no more!! No one seems to know for sure why, but its is now an almost lost memory of Columbus's past.

The farm, the track was built on in 1948, is now a high-end sub divison. Full of houses and families that probably have no idea that NASCAR Races with early (Hall of Fame Drivers) once raced trough their yards.Today, NASCAR is now a big money busness; what would the City of Columbus be like today if the track had survived to race again?


For more facts on NASCAR, 1947 to 1953 National Points Leaders, & Columbus Speedway;search it on the internet under "NASCAR History"!

Columbus Ledger Enquirer

A special Thanks to Richard Hyatt, for allowing me use of some photo's and information from the great article he wrote on in the paper on July 25, 2005.

CGO READERS: IF You Know of Any Other Track old Locations in Columbus Area or Have Pictures or Facts About them Contact Me at my E-Mail or Jan Page at( page007655@cs.com). We would like to place them on "Gone and Almost Forgotten Georgia" Mrs. Page's well know Web Site to keep them known in history!@ Thanks Ron Rollins


Did you know the very first S and S cafeteria was located here in Columbus? S and S stands for Smith and Son. The Company was founded by J.A Smith Jr. of Macon. The cafeteria opened in 1936. They are still active in the food service industry providing food to hospitals, nursing homes and other businesses. There are even some cafeterias open in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The first picture is of the original Broadway location. The second is of the 13th street location, the one I went to growing up! The third picture is how the 13th Street location appears today.


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