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Palatka, Florida

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Palatka is a city located in Putnam County, Florida. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 10,033. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 10,796. It is the county seat of Putnam County.

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Tybee Island, Georgia

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Tybee Island is an island and a present-day city located in Chatham County, Georgia near the city of Savannah. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 3,392.

Tybee Island may be best known outside of Georgia as the home of the Tybee Bomb, a nuclear weapon that was lost offshore on February 5, 1958. Officially renamed "Savannah Beach" in a publicity move at the end of the 1950s, the city of Tybee Island has since reverted to its original name. The small island, which has long been a quiet getaway for the residents of Savannah, has become a popular vacation spot with tourists from outside the Savannah metropolitan area.

Tybee Island is also the site of the first of what became the Days Inn chain of hotels.

Tybee Island was originally inhabited by the Euchee Native American tribe and gave the island its name: tybee is a Euchee word for salt.

Later, in the 1500s the Spanish laid claim to the island and named it Los Bajos. During that time the island was frequented by pirates who used the island to hide from those who pursued them. Pirates later used the island’s inland waterways for a fresh water source. As Spain gave up its claim to the island, and the surrounding areas stretching down to modern day Florida, English and French settlements sprang up around the area.

In 1733 English settlers led by James Oglethorpe settled on Tybee Island before moving on to settle eventually in Savannah. In 1736 John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church, arrived on Tybee Island.

Lighthouse

Tybee Island LighthouseThe Tybee Island lighthouse was built in the year 1736. The lighthouse was of brick and wood, standing 90 feet tall; it was the highest structure in America at that time. Five years later the lighthouse was destroyed by a storm.

In 1742 a second lighthouse was finished; this version reached 94 feet into the air. In 1773 a third lighthouse was constructed which was also destroyed, this time in 1862 by Confederate troops from nearby Fort Pulaski. Of the 100 feet of the third lighthouse only 60 feet remained which served as a rebuilding point for a fourth lighthouse.

In 1869 it was decided that the lighthouse must be protected from ever increasing tides and gale force winds so it was moved 164 feet back from the shoreline. In the years from 1871 and 1886 the walls of the lighthouse became cracked by storm forces and later the light lens was broken by the Charleston earthquake of 1886.

The latest incarnation of the Tybee Island lighthouse stands at 154 feet and in 1933 became an electrically driven lighthouse. Due to the fact that modern marine navigation techniques outgrew the need for such a lighthouse the Tybee Island lighthouse became obsolete. Just three weeks after it became electrically driven it was donated to the Georgia Historical Society by the U.S. government.

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Augusta, Georgia

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Augusta is a city located in the state of Georgia. As of 2000, the population is 199,775. In 1996 the governments of the City of Augusta and Richmond County combined to form a single governing body known as Augusta-Richmond County.

Augusta is located on the Georgia-South Carolina border, about 150 miles east of Atlanta. It is the second largest city and second largest metropolitan area in the state. It is the birthplace of the Southern Baptist denomination, and the location of one of the first autonomous black Baptist churches in the nation. The region’s three largest employers include the Savannah River Site (a Department of Energy nuclear facility), the U.S. Army Signal Center and Fort Gordon, and the Medical College of Georgia. The city’s famous golf course (the Augusta National Golf Club) has attracted national media attention for its refusal to allow women membership.

The city was originally named after Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, and was the second state capital of Georgia (alternating for a period with Savannah, the first).

The location of Augusta was first used by Native Americans as a place to cross the Savannah River, because of Augusta's location on the fall line. But the settlement of Augusta didn't yet exist.

In 1735, two years after James Oglethorpe founded Savannah, he sent a detachment of troops on a journey up the Savannah River. He gave them an order to built at the head of the navigable part of the river. The job fell into the hands of Nobel Jones, who created the settlement to provide a first line of defense against the Spanish and the French. Oglethorpe then named the town Augusta, after Princess Augusta, wife of Frederick, Prince of Wales.

The town was laid out on the flat slopes of the Savannah River, just east of the sand hills that would come to be known as "Summerville". The townspeople got along peacefully (most of the time) with the surrounding tribes of Creek and Cherokee Indians.

In 1739, construction began on a road to connect Augusta to Savannah. This made it possible for people to reach Augusta by horse, rather than by boat. Because of this, more people began to migrate inland to Augusta. Later on, in 1750, Augusta's first church, St. Paul's, was built near Fort Augusta. It became the leader of the local parish.

In 1777, under Georgia's new constitution, a new political structure would be laid out and Augusta's parish government would be replaced by a new county government, Richmond County, which was named after the Duke of Richmond.

During the American Revolution, Savannah fell to the British. This left Augusta as the new state capital and a new prime target of the British. By January 31, 1779, Augusta was captured by Lt. Col. Archibald Campbell. But Campbell soon withdrew, as American troops were gathering on the opposite shore of the Savannah River. Augusta again became the state capital, but not for long. Augusta fell into British hands once more before the end of the war.

From then until the American Civil War, with the establishment of the Augusta Canal, Augusta became a leader in the production of textiles, gunpowder, and paper. The Georgia Railroad was built by local contractors Fannin, Grant & Co in 1845 giving Augusta a rail link to Atlanta which connected to the Tennessee River (at Chattanooga, Tennessee) thus providing access to the Mississippi River. The cost-savings of this link from the middle of the country to the Atlantic Ocean via the Savannah River increased trade considerably and it had a population of 12,493 by 1860, being just one of 102 U.S. cities at the time to have a population of over 10,000, and making it the second largest city in Georgia. But then came war.

Originally, Augustans welcomed the idea of war. The new Confederate Powderworks that opened boosted trade and job opportuinities. Many Augustans went away to fight in the war, not knowing the terrors that awaited them. War did not set into the minds of Augustans until the summer of 1863. It was in that year that thousands of refugees from areas threatened by invasion came crowding into Augusta, leading to shortages in housing and provisions. Next came the threatening nearness of General Sherman's advancing army, causing panic in the streets of this once quiet town.

In 1828, the Georgia General Assembly granted a formal charter for the Medical Academy of Georgia and a school began training physicians in two borrowed rooms of the City Hospital. By 1873, an affiliation was made with the University of Georgia and the school became the Medical Department of the University. The School became the Medical College of Georgia in 1956 and forms the anchor of a heavily developed medical sector in the city.

Unlike most Southern cities, Postbellum life for Augusta was very prosperous. By the beginning of the 20th century, Augusta had become one of the largest inland cotton markets in the world. In 1913, the Medical College of Georgia was founded, and in 1914, University Hospital was founded nearby. These two buildings would form the nucleus of a future medical complex. A new military cantonment, named Camp Hancock, opened nearby during World War I.

Prior to World War II, the U.S. Army constructed a new fort near Richmond County that was named Camp Gordon. It was finished just a few days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Many new soldiers were brought to this camp to train to go off to war. While they were there, though, the townspeople treated them very nicely, causing many of them to come back to Augusta at the end of the war. But within the few months after WWII, trouble began to set in. Many of the GIs at Camp Gordon had been sent back home, and the importance of the army in the community seemed to almost come to an end. But then Augusta would go through its golden age.

In 1948, new life came to the city when the U.S. Army moved the Signal Training Center and Military Police School to Camp Gordon. Later on, in November of 1948, the Clarks Hill Reservoir was created by a newly constructed dam, which provided the city with a good supply of hydroelectric power. Then, in 1950, plans were announced to build the Savannah River Plant nearby, which would boost the city's population about 50,000. Augusta moved into the second half of the twentieth century on the threshold of becoming an urban industrial center in the South.

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Prosperity, South Carolina

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Prosperity is a town located in Newberry County, South Carolina. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 1,047.

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Newberry, South Carolina

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Newberry is a town located in Newberry County, South Carolina. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 10,580. It is the county seat of Newberry County6.

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Columbia, South Carolina

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Columbia is the capital of South Carolina. As of the 2000 census, it has a population of 116,278. It is the county seat of Richland County, but a small portion of the city is located in Lexington County.

The estimated population for the then two-county metropolitan area (Richland and Lexington) was 516,251 in 1999. In June 2003 the United States Census Bureau added four more counties — Fairfield, Calhoun, Kershaw, and Saluda — to Columbia's standard metropolitan statistical area. This should give the metro area a population of about 679,456.

Fort Jackson is the largest United States Army Initial Entry (basic) training base and is located east of the city.

Columbia recently gained a world-class sporting and event arena, the Colonial Center. This is part of a revitalization campaign which has also brought the city a new convention center located near the arena, with a new hotel and restaurants.

Columbia's daily newspaper is The State; Columbia is home to the headquarters and production facilities of ETV (and ETV Radio), the state's public television and public radio networks.

The city and its surroundings are served by Columbia Metropolitan Airport. Major highways serving Columbia include I-26, I-77, I-20, U.S. 1, U.S. 21, U.S. 176, U.S. 321, and U.S. 378.

Columbia is home to the Columbia Inferno of the ECHL.

The site was chosen as the new state capital in 1786, due to its central location in the state. State legislature first met there in 1790. After remaining under the direct government of the legislature for the first two decades of its existence, Columbia was incorporated as a village in 1805 and then as a city in 1854.

On February 17, 1865, during the American Civil War, much of Columbia was destroyed by fire while being occupied by Union troops under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman.

Controversy surrounding the burning of the city started soon after the war ended. General Sherman blamed the high winds and retreating Confederate soldiers for firing bales of cotton, which had been stacked in the streets. General Sherman denied ordering the burning, though he did order militarily significant structures, such as the Confederate Printing Plant, destroyed. First-hand accounts by local residents, Union soldiers and a newspaper reporter offer a sinister tale of revenge by Union troops for Columbia's and South Carolina's pivotal role in leading Southern states to secede from the Union.

Today, tourists can follow the path General Sherman's army took to enter the city and see structures or remnants of structures that survived the fire.

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Portsmouth, Virginia

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Portsmouth (pronounced "Port-smith") is an independent city located in the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 100,565, but a July 1, 2002 Census estimate showed the city's population dropping to 99,790.

A Virginia state legislator recently proposed a plan by which Portsmouth would merge with its neighbor cities of Norfolk and Suffolk. After a cold reception from Suffolk, the legislator changed the plan so that it would merge only Portsmouth and Norfolk. The plan, in any form, is enthusiastically embraced in Portsmouth, which has virtually no room for growth and a radically limited tax base. A large portion of the city is controlled by the U.S. Navy; when Navy facilities are combined with schools, churches, and other tax-exempt entities, over half of Portsmouth's assessed valuation is off the tax rolls.

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Chesapeake, Virginia

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Chesapeake is an independent city located in the South Hampton Roads region of eastern Virginia in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 199,184, but as of 2004, the population estimates given by the U.S. Census Bureau was 214,725.

Chesapeake is one of the larger cities in Virginia and the nation in terms of land, a fact that poses challenges to city leaders in supporting a large infrastructure. The presence of many historically and geographically distinct communities also poses challenges to city leaders.

The city was created in 1963, when the former independent city of South Norfolk was consolidated with Norfolk County and reincorporated (approval from the Virginia General Assembly) as the new City of Chesapeake. The new name was selected through a voter referendum.

For more history of these predecessors, see articles on Norfolk County and South Norfolk

Chesapeake's history goes far back into Virginia's colonial roots. The Intracoastal Waterway passes through Chesapeake. On the waterway, at Great Bridge where the locks transition you from the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River to the Chesapeake and Albemarle Canal lies the site of the Battle of Great Bridge. This American Revolutionary War battle was responsible for removing Lord Dunmore and any other vestige of English Government for the Colony of Virginia during the early days of the Revolution on December 9, 1775.

The Dismal Swamp Canal runs through Chesapeake as well. The site of this canal was surveyed by George Washington, among others, and is know as "Washington's Ditch." It is the oldest continuously used man made canal in the United States today and has been in service for over 230 years. The canal begins in the Deep Creek section of the city branching off from the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River. The canal runs through Chesapeake paralleling U.S. Highway 17 into North Carolina and will take you to Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

Until the late 1980s and early 1990s, much of Chesapeake was either suburban or rural, serving as a bedroom community of the adjacent cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach with residents commuting to these locations. Beginning in the late 1980s and accelerating in the 1990s, however, Chesapeake saw significant growth, attracting numerous and significant industries and businesses of its own. This explosive growth quickly led to strains on the municipal infrastructure, ranging from intrusion of saltwater into the city's water supply to congested roads and schools.

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Norfolk, Virginia

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Norfolk is a city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States of America. It is an independent city, and therefore not included in any county. Norfolk is one of Virginia's largest cities; as of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 234,403. However, a recent 2004 census shows that the city's population has since risen to 237,835.

Norfolk is located on the Elizabeth River, in Hampton Roads, a large natural harbor. It is a part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, officially known as the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA.

The city has a long history as a strategic military and transportation point. Norfolk is home to both the Norfolk Navy Base, the world's largest naval base, and the Norfolk Southern Railway, one of North America's principal Class I railroads. It has many miles of riverfront and bayfront property, and is linked with its neighbors through an extensive network of Interstate highways, bridges, tunnels, and bridge-tunnel complexes.

Since the 1970s, the downtown area and waterfront has undergone substantial revitalization. It is home to the Norfolk Tides, the top International League affiliate of the New York Mets, and the Norfolk Admirals, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks.

The site of what is now Norfolk was originally the Chesipean Indian town Skicoak. (The Chesipeans had been destroyed by Powhatan by the time of the arrival of the first English settlers, who, in 1585, settled on Roanoke Island in modern-day North Carolina. In 1591, the colony of Roanoke disappeared without a trace.) The city was laid out in 1682 and incorporated in 1845. It became an independent city from Norfolk County in 1871.

In 1855, the city suffered an epidemic of yellow fever which killed 1 of every 3 citizens. In 1858, the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad built by William Mahone was completed to Petersburg, where major connections were made with railroads to points north, west, and south. During the US Civil War, in 1862, the Battle of Hampton Roads between the ironclads Monitor and Merrimac was fought off Norfolk. Early in the war, Mahone commanded the city's defenses during the period of Confederate occupation which ended in May, 1862.

In the late 19th century, the Norfolk and Western Railway established the community as a major coal export port and built a large transloading facility at Lambert's Point. The year 1907 brought the Virginian Railway and the Jamestown Exposition to Sewell's Point. The large naval review at the Exposition demonstrated the favorable location, laying the groundwork for the Norfolk Navy Base which was built there beginning in 1917. The city limits were expanded in 1923 to include Sewell's Point, Willoughby Spit, and Ocean View, adding the Navy Base and miles of beach property fronting on Hampton Roads and the Chesapeake Bay.

Today, Norfolk is experiencing a great deal of urban renewal. Beginning in the late 1970s, mall-developer James W. Rouse developed Waterside in downtown Norfolk, a festival marketplace concept which helped transform a formerly seedy harbor area into a major catalyst for other redevelopment. Downtown Norfolk is clean, attractive and growing quickly. Many other areas of Norfolk are being revitalized, including Ocean View and East Beach, both on the Chesapeake Bay.

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Williamsburg, Virginia

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Williamsburg is a city located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 11,998. It is the county seat of James City County6, although it is itself an independent city. The Bureau_of_Economic_Analysis combines the city of Williamsburg with James City county for statistical purposes. Williamsburg is well-known for the restored colonial area of the city, Colonial Williamsburg, and for the College of William and Mary which is situated mostly within the city of Williamsburg. The newspaper of record is The Virginia Gazette.

17th-19th centuries
Williamsburg was settled in 1632 and was called Middle Plantation. The College of William and Mary was founded in Middle Plantation in 1693. In 1699 the village was laid out and renamed to Williamsburg in honor of King William III of England. The town was granted a royal charter as a city in 1722.

Jamestown was the original capital of Virginia Colony, and remained as such until its burning in during the events of Bacon's Rebellion in 1676. Temporary quarters were established about 12 miles away on high ground at Middle Plantation, but the rebuilt statehouse in Jamestown burned again in 1698. After that fire, upon suggestion of students of the College of William and Mary, the colonial capital was permanently moved to nearby Middle Plantation again, and the town was renamed Williamsburg.

Williamsburg's local newspaper, the Virginia Gazette, was the first newspaper paper published south of the Potomac River in 1736. The publisher was William Parks.

In 1780, during the American Revolutionary War, the capital was moved again to Richmond at the urging of then-Governor Thomas Jefferson, who was afraid that Williamsburg's location made it vulnerable to a British attack. During the Revolutionary War many important conventions were held in Williamsburg.

With the capitol gone, Williamsburg also lost prominence. Early 19th century transportation was largely by canals and navigable rivers. It was not located along a waterway like many early communities in the United States. Early railroads beginning in the 1830s also did not come its way.

With the exception of some activity during the Peninsula Campaign of the American Civil War (1861-1865), notably the Battle of Williamsburg on May 5, 1862, the arrival of Collis P. Huntington's Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad (with mostly through-coal traffic) in the 1881, and the ongoing activities of the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg became a sleepy and somewhat forgotten town for over 150 years. However, this very lack of rebuilding and expanding literally laid the groundwork for Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin who became Rector of Bruton Parish Church in 1903, and a dream he was to develop for restoration of the colonial capital city.

20th century restoration: Colonial Williamsburg
In the early 20th century, one of the largest historic restorations ever undertaken, championed by the Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin of Williamsburg's Bruton Parish Church. Initially, Dr. Goodwin wanted to save his historic church building, and this he accomplished. However, he began to realize that much of the other colonial era buildings also remained, but were at risk. He sought financing from a number of sources before successfully drawing the interests and major financial support of Standard Oil heir and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife which resulted in the creation of Colonial Williamsburg, to celebrate the patriots and the early history of America. Today, Colonial Williamsburg forms the centerpiece of the Historic Triangle with Jamestown and Yorktown joined by the Colonial Parkway.

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