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Fitzgerald has a unique history

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September 23, 2004

Fitzgerald-- Fitzgerald, referred to as the Colony City, is the place where the North and South came together.

After the Civil War, Indiana attorney P. H. Fitzgerald sought a place where Union Veterans could live to escape depression and drought in the Midwest. He struck a deal with then-Georgia Governor William J. Northern, and by the summer of 1895, people started filing into this area by wagon, horseback, steamboat, and train.

The colony later became Fitzgerald. Today, that history is reflected in Fitzgerald's blue and gray sidewalks, and streets named for Union and Confederate Generals.

Fitzgerald is a thriving South Georgia town, with 48 major industries and a population of about nine thousand. There's gorgeous architecture and many parks and plazas around Fitzgerald. And in the springtime, Fitzgerald's Georgia Harmony Jubilee celebrates history, harmony and heritage in the city where America reunited in 1896.

A great place to learn about the history of Fitzgerald is the Blue and Gray Museum. Located in the historical railroad depot, the museum tells the founding story of Fitzgerald and its roots in the Civil War.

 There are more than 1200 objects, photographs, household items, memorabilia and artifacts are now displayed and the museum is still growing. "We continually receive artifacts that relate to the founding of Fitzgerald," said Museum Director Patricia Walker. “We receive those almost weekly from people whose family might just have passed away and they go through their treasures in their home and they share the ones that are indicative to the history of this museum that we want to tell about the founding of Fitzgerald."

In the museum's Hall of Honor, you can see the names of the pioneer Civil War Veterans who founded Fitzgerald and an overhead display of rare swords and canes.

And the Colony Days Gallery, which displays clothing, china, glassware, cooking utensils and other memorabilia. The Blue/Gray Museum is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10 until 4 and Sundays from 1 to 5.

posted at 10:00AM by dave.miller@walb.com