Madison, Georgia

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Not to be confused with Madison County, Georgia.
Madison, Georgia
Morgan County Courthouse, built 1905
Morgan County Courthouse, built 1905
Location in Morgan County and the state of Georgia
Location in Morgan County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 33°35′17″N 83°28′21″W / 33.58806°N 83.47250°W / 33.58806; -83.47250Coordinates: 33°35′17″N 83°28′21″W / 33.58806°N 83.47250°W / 33.58806; -83.47250
Country United States
State Georgia
County Morgan
 • Total 8.9 sq mi (23.1 km2)
 • Land 8.9 sq mi (23 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 679 ft (207 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 3,979
 • Density 408.5/sq mi (157.4/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 30650
Area code(s) 706
FIPS code 13-49196[1]
GNIS feature ID 0332303[2]

Madison is a city in Morgan County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Atlanta-Athens-Clarke-Sandy Springs Combined Statistical Area. The population was 3,636 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Morgan County and the site of the Morgan County Courthouse.

The Historic District of Madison is one of the largest in the state.[3] Many of the nearly 100 antebellum homes have been carefully restored. Bonar Hall is one of the first of the grand-style homes built in Madison during the town's cotton-boom heyday between 1840-60.

Holiday Travel magazine named Madison "The Prettiest Small Town in America." Madison was voted the #1 Small Town in America by Travel Holiday magazine. Budget Travel magazine voted Madison as one of the world's 16 most picturesque villages.[4]

Madison is featured on Georgia's Antebellum Trail, and is designated as one of the state's Historic Heartland cities.

The nearest state park is Hard Labor Creek, located approximately 12 miles west of Madison. The park is known for its golf course, rustic camping and Hard Labor Creek Observatory, which is part of the Georgia State University Astronomy program.


Madison was founded in 1807 as seat of the newly formed Morgan County, and was named for President James Madison.[5]

The community was described in an early 19th century issue of White's Statistics of Georgia as "the most cultured and aristocratic town on the stagecoach route from Charleston to New Orleans."[3] In a 1849 edition of White's Statistics of Georgia, the following was written about Madison: "In point of intelligence, refinement, and hospitality, this town acknowledges no superior."

While many believe that Sherman spared the town because it was too beautiful to burn during his March to the Sea, the truth is that Madison was home to pro-Union Senator Joshua Hill. Hill had ties with General William Tecumseh Sherman's brother at West Point, so his sparing the town was more political than appreciation of its beauty.[citation needed]

In 1895 Madison was audited as having in successful operation an oil mill with a capital of $35,000, a soap factory, a fertilizer factory, four steam ginneries, a mammoth compress, two carriage factories, a furniture factory, a grist and flouringmill, a bottling works, a distillery with a capacity of 120 gallons a day, an ice factory with a capital of $10,500, a canning factory with a capital of $10,000, a bank with a capital of $75,000, surplus $12,000, and a number of small industries operated by individual enterprise.[6]

Madison has one of the largest historic districts in the state of Georgia, and tourists from all over the world come to marvel at the antebellum architecture of the homes.


Madison is located at 33°35′17″N 83°28′21″W / 33.58806°N 83.47250°W / 33.58806; -83.47250 (33.588038, -83.472368).[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.9 square miles (23 km2), of which, 8.9 square miles (23 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.45%) is water.

Madison is situated on a high ridge which traverses Morgan County from the northeast to the southwest at an elevation of 760 feet.[6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,974
1890 2,131 8.0%
1900 1,992 −6.5%
1910 2,412 21.1%
1920 2,348 −2.7%
1930 1,966 −16.3%
1940 2,045 4.0%
1950 2,489 21.7%
1960 2,680 7.7%
1970 2,890 7.8%
1980 2,954 2.2%
1990 3,483 17.9%
2000 3,636 4.4%
2010 3,979 9.4%
Est. 2015 4,026 [8] 1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 3,636 people, 1,362 households, and 964 families residing in the city. The population density was 410.2 people per square mile (158.5/km²). There were 1,494 housing units at an average density of 168.5 per square mile (65.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 48.93% White, 47.83% African-American, 0.08% Native American, 0.99% Asian, 1.10% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.09% of the population.

There were 1,362 households out of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.0% were married couples living together, 22.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.2% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.1% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 84.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,055, and the median income for a family was $40,265. Males had a median income of $40,430 versus $21,411 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,551. About 10.3% of families and 11.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.2% of those under age 18 and 13.3% of those age 65 or over.


Morgan County School District[edit]

The Morgan County School District holds pre-school to grade twelve, and consists of two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school.[10] The district has 210 full-time teachers and over 3,171 students.[11]

Notable citizens[edit]


Madison is home to numerous art galleries and museums.

The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC) provides a regional focus for performing and visual arts, plus permanent exhibits including a historical exhibit of Georgia's Piedmont region. The Center occupies an elegantly restored 1895 Romanesque Revival building and is located in the heart of Madison's nationally registered Historic District.

Athens band, R.E.M., recorded an MTV Unplugged session at Madison-Morgan Cultural Center in 1991, where they played "Losing My Religion" with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.[16] Because of the legal dispute between Viacom and YouTube only a Japanese version of the permformance is available on YouTube. The song won the award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 34th Annual Grammy Awards in 1992.

The Steffen Thomas Museum of Art houses an extensive collection the art, research and documentation of the body of work of expressionist artist Steffen Thomas. The museum is located a few miles from Madison, towards 'the real' Buckhead.

The Morgan County African American Museum is located in Madison.

Heritage Hall is maintained by the Morgan County Historical Society and has been restored for its architectural and historical significance. Heritage Hall was built in Greek Revival style in 1811 and was a private residence until 1977.

Madison is the home of the Southern Cross Guest Ranch, the only dude ranch in Georgia.[17]

An independently owned and operated cinema, Ricky D's, opened in 2014 and has since closed and was located on the square in downtown Madison.

Madison was home to one local radio station, WYTH (1250 AM), which played pop standards and oldies. The station took a direct hit during the 2011 tornado that struck Madison.

The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum was located in Madison. Housing the largest collection of microcars in the world, the Microcar Museum featured over 300 bubble cars, which are tiny two-door vehicles with engines no greater than 300ccs. The microcar was invented in Europe during the depression after World War II. The museum collection was auctioned off February, 15-16 2013.[18]

The Madison Artists' Guild has more than 150 members and is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education in, and encouragement of, artistic endeavor in its members and the community through planned programs and regular gatherings.

Madison Museum of Fine Art is also located in the city.

Cultural references[edit]

Significant parts of the movie Goosebumps (starring Jack Black) were filmed in Madison and at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center.

In Harry Turtledove's final Southern Victory novel Volume 11: In at the Death, Madison was the site of an important climax to the long running series.

I'll Fly Away (1991–93), an NBC series starring Sam Waterston as a southern lawyer at the dawn of the civil rights movement, was shot largely in historic Madison.[19]

The historic mansion Bonar Hall was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's hospital in HBO's Warm Springs.

Scenes from My Cousin Vinny and Road Trip were filmed in Madison

The 1978 movie The Great Bank Hoax starring Ned Beatty, Richard Basehart and Charlene Dallas was filmed in Madison.

Portions of the TV series, October Road were filmed in Madison.

Portions of the TV series, The Originals', were filmed in Madison. The show was a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries.

Hissy Fit, a novel by Mary Kay Andrews, is set in Madison.[20]

The main character of the webcomic, "Check, Please!" Eric "Bitty" Bittle is noted as being from Madison.


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b "The Historical News". The Historical News. 21 (43): 7–8. June 2001. 
  4. ^ Budget Travel
  5. ^ Hellmann, Paul T. (May 13, 2013). Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Routledge. p. 238. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "A fruit paradise"; issued for Madison and Morgan counties, Georgia (1895 ed.). Atlanta, Ga.: The Foote & Davies co., printers. Archived from the original (Scanned archive from Library of Congress) on 12/5/2008.  Check date values in: |archive-date= (help)
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ Georgia Board of Education, Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  11. ^ School Stats, Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  12. ^ Louvish, Simon (June 23, 2005). Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy: The Double Life of Laurel and Hardy. Griffin: St. Martin's. pp. 40–41. ISBN 0312325983. 
  13. ^ Johnson, Lancelot. "Lancelot Johnson Paper" (PDF). Georgia Historical Society. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  14. ^ The City of Madison site. City of Madison, GA Retrieved 26 March 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Ruggieri, Melissa. "Atlanta Journal Constitution". Access Atlanata. Amy Glennon. Retrieved 2014-05-26. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Southern Cross Guest Ranch
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ Andrews, Mary Kay (2015-03-05). Hissy Fit. Harper Paperbacks. ISBN 0060564652. 

External links[edit]