Perry, Georgia

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Perry, Georgia, USA
Perry City Hall in Perry, Georgia
Perry City Hall in Perry, Georgia
Nickname(s): Crossroads of Georgia
Location in Houston County and the state of Georgia
Location in Houston County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 32°27′54″N 83°43′16″W / 32.46500°N 83.72111°W / 32.46500; -83.72111Coordinates: 32°27′54″N 83°43′16″W / 32.46500°N 83.72111°W / 32.46500; -83.72111
Country United States
State Georgia
Counties Houston, Peach
 • Mayor James E. Faircloth
 • City Manager Mr. R. Lee Gilmour
 • Total 16.4 sq mi (42.5 km2)
 • Land 16.4 sq mi (42.5 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 364 ft (111 m)
Population (2008)
 • Total 12,990
 • Density 584.7/sq mi (225.8/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 31069
Area code(s) 478
FIPS code 13-60340[1]
GNIS feature ID 0320389[2]

Perry is a city and county seat of Houston County in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is part of the Warner Robins, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 9,600 at the 2000 census.[3] The city is in the Macon metropolitan area.


Founded in 1823 as Wattsville, the town was located near the center of Houston County and served as its courthouse. The name was soon changed to honor Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, a hero of the War of 1812. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the town on December 9, 1824. The original city limit was a circle, one mile in diameter, except where bounded on the north by Big Indian Creek.

Perry is perhaps best known as the location of the annual Georgia National Fair.

Ante-bellum industry in Perry included gristmills, sawmills, and cotton gins. The Houston Home Journal (now the Houston Times-Journal) began publishing in 1870. Robins Air Force Base in nearby Warner Robins has been a significant employer since World War II. Other manufacturers in the city have included Frito-Lay, Perdue Farms (formally Heileman Brewing Co.), and Cemex, Inc. (formally Penn-Dixie Cement and Medusa Cement Company).

Tourism has been important to the local economy since about 1920, when U.S. Highway 41 to Florida was paved. The New Perry Hotel, built in 1870 and rebuilt in 1925, became a landmark for many Florida tourists. President Jimmy Carter's family frequented the hotel. The downtown area is home to several quaint shops and restaurants. In the early 1960s Interstate 75 passed through the western side of the city, bringing more businesses that cater to travelers. The Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter opened in 1990. The Go Fish Georgia Education Center opened October 8, 2010.[4]

A resort country inn in Perry, Henderson Village, opened in 1998. It serves as a destination for retreats and hunting.

A few of the city's best known natives are ABC News correspondent, Deborah Roberts, former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn, chillwave musician Ernest Greene (better known by his stage name Washed Out), and Mildred Warren Evans, the Home Journal columnist whose 1969 book, The Art of Southern Cooking (ISBN 0-517-34664-8), remains in print as of 2006.


Perry is located at 32°27′54″N 83°43′16″W / 32.46500°N 83.72111°W / 32.46500; -83.72111 (32.464940, -83.721163).[5] It is on Big Indian Creek, a tributary of the Ocmulgee River.

Perry is located along Interstate 75, and also U.S. Highway 41, south of Atlanta and Macon, Georgia. Interstate 75 is the major north-south artery through Georgia. U.S. Highway 341 also passes through Perry.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.4 square miles (42 km2), all of it land.


Dogwood Festival[edit]

The Dogwood Festival is held the second weekend of April each year in historic downtown Perry. The Perry Chamber of Commerce stages this event as a way to bring local people together to celebrate the beauty of Perry in the spring and to invite all to discover the city's unique downtown area. For each festival there is a pageant, arts and crafts, food vendors, kids zone, youth entertainment stage, dog dock diving competition, and a hot air balloon rally. The 2015 festival marks the 27th year the festival has taken place.

Buzzard Drop[edit]

The City of Perry and Perry Main Street ring in the new year by presenting the Perry Buzzard Drop each New Year's Eve. The event includes live entertainment, spirits sold on site, and souvenir memorabilia.

Georgia National Fair[edit]

The Georgia National Fair is a state-sponsored fair that is held every October at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry. The fair is an 11-day event offering a wide range of activities and shows, such as agricultural, livestock and horse shows, home and fine arts competitions, youth organization events (4-H, FBLA, FCCLA, FFA, and TSA), circus, midway rides and games, fair food, major live music concerts in Reaves Arena, family entertainment, and nightly fireworks.

Georgia Artisan Center[edit]

The Georgia Artisan Center is a venue where Georgia artisan works are showcased, traded, and highlighted as opportunities for education and celebration. A variety of quality handcrafted Georgia made items, from paintings and textiles to pottery, wood turning, food products, and more are exhibited for sale at the center. The center is currently located inside the Perry Welcome Center. The hours are Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Perry Area Historical Museum[edit]

The Perry Area Historical Museum was founded to identify, protect and preserve the Perry area's historical landmarks, artifacts and histories of its people. Exhibits include military, social, agricultural, fashion, education, and political memorabilia. Services offered by the museum include a heritage library of local and regional publications, records, documents, family histories, and other research material. Programs offered include guided tours, special events, kids programs, and activities. The hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The museum is also open by appointment.

Go Fish Education Center[edit]

The Go Fish Education Center takes visitors on an educational journey through Georgia’s watersheds to learn about the diverse aquatic wildlife, their natural habitats and the impact of water pollution. Visitors can see freshwater aquariums, explore underwater habitats, view aquatic wildlife, catch fish in a stocked pond, view a movie exploring Georgia's fishing options and traditions, and try out interactive fishing and boating simulators. The Go Fish Education Center is part of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (Fisheries Management Section). The hours are Friday & Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The center is reserved Tuesday through Thursday for school field trips and other groups.

Other Attractions[edit]

  • Historic Downtown Perry
  • Perry Independence Day Parade and Freedom Fireworks
  • Christmas at the Crossroads
  • The Perry Players Community Theater
  • Perry Historic Walking/Driving Tour
  • Flat Creek Public Fishing Area
  • Georgia Grown Trail 41/341


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 836
1880 929 11.1%
1890 665 −28.4%
1900 650 −2.3%
1910 649 −0.2%
1920 678 4.5%
1930 1,398 106.2%
1940 1,542 10.3%
1950 3,849 149.6%
1960 6,032 56.7%
1970 7,771 28.8%
1980 9,453 21.6%
1990 9,452 0.0%
2000 9,602 1.6%
2010 13,839 44.1%
Est. 2015 15,457 [6] 11.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 9,602 people, 3,720 households, and 2,574 families residing in the city. The population density was 584.7 people per square mile (225.8/km²). There were 4,053 housing units at an average density of 246.8 per square mile (95.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 59.53% White, 37.18% African American, 0.21% Native American, 1.25% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.90% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.85% of the population.

There were 3,720 households out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 19.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.8% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,418, and the median income for a family was $38,480. Males had a median income of $35,870 versus $21,136 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,266. About 15.6% of families and 18.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.4% of those under age 18 and 15.4% of those age 65 or over.

Notable residents[edit]


  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. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  • Bobbe Hickson Nelson, A Land So Dedicated: Houston County, Georgia ([Perry, Ga.], 1977) OCLC 3597733.

External links[edit]