Perry, Georgia

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Perry is a city in 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. This town is the county seat of Houston County (pronounced /ˈhaʊstən/)[3]. The city is in the Macon metropolitan area.

Contents

History

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, 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.

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 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.

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