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Augusta, Georgia

Master Tournament at Augusta National Golf Course

Whereever you go in the world, mention Augusta, Georgia and inevitably the first questions you get are about our city's internationally acclaimed golf course and tournament. Without question it is one of the premier events in the sporting world. Held here in early spring, the tournament provides the world a glimpse into the wonderful area in which we live.


According to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, the Augusta MSA is the fastest growing in the state of Georgia and the 25th fastest in the country: Population estimates for 1994 are over 450,000 people. Augusta, the county seat of Richmond County and the second oldest city in Georgia, is in the east central section of the state on the south bank of the Savannah River which serves as the boundary between Georgia and South Carolina. Augusta is on the fall line and has a landscape dotted with foot hills which descend to the coastal plain. The second largest city in Georgia, Augusta is at the head of navigation on the Savannah River and is 135 miles east of Atlanta, 127 miles northwest of the port of Savannah, and 72 miles southwest of Columbia, South Carolina. Augusta is the trade region for 13 counties in Georgia and five in South Carolina, a section known as the Central Savannah Area. The Augusta Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area is the second largest metro area in Georgia and includes Richmond, Columbia and McDuffie counties in Georgia and Aiken and Edgefield Counties in South Carolina. Augusta is at the center of one richest marketing areas in the United States, reaching 13 major metropolitan markets.



The Augusta area is a growing urban center of diverse industry. The largest employers are the Savannah River Site, Fort Gordon, and the Medical community. The Savannah River Site is currently operated by Westinghouse, and is one of the largest nuclear research facilities in the World. Fort Gordon is the home of the United States Army Signal School and Dwight David Eisenhower Regional Medical Center. The Medical College of Georgia and several other state and federal regional hospitals are located in Augusta, making Augusta the medical center of Georgia. Augusta has a variety of other industries that contribute to a strong manufacturing base.


Augusta MSA encompasses 2,452.7 square miles. Of this, 323 square miles are Richmond County, 290 square miles are Columbia County, 247 square miles are McDuffie County, 1,100 square miles are Aiken County, SC, and 492.7 miles are Edgefield County, SC.


Augusta's altitude ranges from 137.06 feet at the monument in front of the Municipal Building at the corner of Greene and Monument streets to the highest point on the hill, Hillcrest Avenue, 462.63 feet.


The Augusta area has short winters and long, warm summers. Golf and tennis are yearround sports. Measurable snow is a rarity and then remains on the ground only a short time. Ice storms, damaging winds, and very low temperatures are also a rare occurrence. The Augusta area has been protected, to a great extent, from flooding of the Savannah River by the construction of three multipurpose dams. The Clarks Hill Dam is located 21.7 miles above the city, Russell Dam 53 miles above, and Hartwell Dam has been constructed 89 miles above Augusta. The length of the growing season averages 241 days. The last freeze in the spring occurs on March 16, and the first in the fall on November 12, with freezing temperatures having been observed as early as October 17 and as late as April 21.



Augusta has newly consolidated is county and city governments to make it second only to Atlanta in population. Its government is progressive and accomodating with a very attractive tax structure.


Richmond County has 38 elementary schools, 9 middle schools, and 9 senior high schools. The total enrollment in the school system is 15,534 with 7,660 enrolled in the elementary schools, 3,820 in the middle schools, and 4,054 in the senior high schools. Columbia County has 12 elementary schools, 5 middle schools and 3 senior high schools. There are 16 private schools in the Augusta area.


Augusta, the Central Savannah River Area, and the two-state area of Georgia and South Carolina, have much to offer in higher education. Augusta has three colleges, Augusta State University, Medical College of Georgia, and Paine College. Also nearby are the Aiken and Allendale campuses of the University of South Carolina and the Ridge Spring-Monetta Area Community College at Monetta, South Carolina. There are two technical schools in the region: Augusta Technical Institute in Augusta and Aiken Technical College in Aiken. Within the two states are 56 senior colleges and graduate schools offering degrees in every profession and specialty. There are non-credit courses at Augusta College also, designed to involve the community in special interest classes. Augusta State University -This is a 5,000 plus-unit of the University System of Georgia which offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Business Administration, and Master's degrees in Business Administration, Education and Psychology. The fall quarter 1993 enrollment was over 5,579 with a faculty of 173. Courses are offered day and evening. Augusta State University became a four-year college of the University System in 1966 after having been established by the Richmond County Board of Education in 1910 as a freshman program at the Academy of Richmond County. It became a junior college in 1926. Medical College of Georgia-The oldest school of medicine in the state, the Medical College is the main health-education-research complex of the University System of Georgia. The college, located in the heart of Augusta since 1928, is designed to meet the educational demands for careers in the health sciences. The fall 1993 enrollment was 2,520 with a teaching faculty of over 850. Paine College-A Methodist college, Paine was organized in 1882, was incorporated in 1883, and is a significant factor in Augusta's educational history. The college offers the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees and preparatory courses in medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy.


Southern Bell, a division of Bell South, serves Augusta and the CSRA with the latest in digital and fiber optic technology. Southern Bell offers state of the art features to all area businesses and residents. Southern Bell stands ready to be the information provider for Augusta and the CSRA. The Post Office is Class 1, with 5 branches an 3 contract stations.



Augusta existed as a river settlement in 1717, and was a busy trading post on the Savannah River, the focal point for the rapidly expanding land and river commerce in this part of the New World. In 1736, the fort was given official status by General James Oglethorpe who renamed it Augusta in honor of the wife of the Prince of Wales. St. Paul's Parish was established in 1758 and named for the first St. Paul's Church built adjoining the fort. The parish existed until 1777, when parishes were abolished by the state, and it became Richmond County and was named for the Duke of Richmond. Augusta became the temporary capital of Georgia in 1778 after the fall of Savannah to the British. Augusta was captured twice by the British, but served as Georgia's capital again from 1785 to 1795. The federal constitution was ratified in Augusta on January 2, 1789. That same year, Augusta was incorporated as a town and chartered as a city in 1798. After the American Revolution, Augusta boomed in the tobacco economy, then cotton, and by 1820, was the terminus for riverboats, barges, wagon trains, and traders carrying the staples and produce of the interior to the sea. Manufacturing began in Augusta in 1828, when the city's first textile plant was begun with machinery brought from Philadelphia. The city had no direct military involvement in the Civil War and was a major population center of the state during Reconstruction. By 1885, Augusta had a population of nearly 30,000. The Medical College, founded in 1835, had become a part of the University System of Georgia in 1873, and one of the first Negro colleges in the Southeast, the Methodist Paine College, had been established in 1883. By the 1900s, the area was well established in the vital role it continues to play today in Georgia's industrial, military, transportation, medical, and educational development. Today, Augusta is one of the leading medical and paramedical centers in the Southeast and has a rapidly developing and diversified industrial community encompasses textiles, food processing, chemicals, metal working, pulp and paper, and paper-related products.

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