Fort Hawkins (also known as Macon's Birthplace) Celebrates 217 Year Anniversary in 2023


The museum at Fort Hawkins has many interesting and compelling exhibits and artifacts (Photographer Nate Weeks)

This year Macon celebrates 200 years since its founding in 1823. A vitally important part of Macon's history that is often overlooked is Fort Hawkins, which was established in 1806 as a U.S. Army Fort , trading post or factory, and a place to meet with Native Americans in Middle Georgia.

Fort Hawkins still watches over Macon although what remains of it now is a faint reminder of the imposing buildings, large wooden fence, and two towering blockhouses that once existed.

Visitors to Fort Hawkins around 1806 would see a large fort surrounded by an imposing wooden fence (Photographer Nate Weeks)

President Thomas Jefferson established Fort Hawkins along with Indian Agent Colonel Benjamin Hawkins. It was strategically located on the highest hill of the area, which was known as the "Old Fields". 

The Old Fields were considered sacred ground for Muscogee Creek Nation at the time, according to the Friends of Fort Hawkins. Archeologists have uncovered evidence of over 15,000 years of constant human habitation at the nearby Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park.

Fort Hawkins was built to overlook the Muscogee Creek Nation and was similar in function to what the Pentagon's function is in the modern U.S. It served an important strategic role to the U.S. in the war of 1812 as well as the Creek and Seminole wars.

Fort Hawkins also became part of the Federal Road that connected Washington, D.C. to Mobile, Alabama.

The fort was named for Colonel Benjamin Hawkins. Hawkins nickname was "Beloved Man of Four Nations" due to his good reputation with the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Creek peoples.

Native Americans arrived in the area where Macon is now located over 15,000 years ago, according to archeologists (Photographer Nate Weeks)

A replica of the Southeastern Blockhouse was built in 1938 through the dedication of the Nathaniel Macon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution partnering with the Works Progress Administration. 

Macon is celebrating its 200 year anniversary this year and Fort Hawkins is also celebrating their own anniversary as well: the fort was established 217 years ago.

The First Annual Fort Hawkins' Birthday celebration will take place on Saturday, March 25th from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m.

There will be several educational activities and live entertainment taking place as part of the celebration including live music, a cannon salute, live history reenactments, an Indigenous Celebration with dancers, a Musket Salute, and more.

The 217 anniversary celebration will include a cannon salute (Photographer Nate Weeks)

The family-friendly anniversary celebration is free to attend though Fort Hawkins gladly accepts donations to support their educational and preservation efforts.

Fort Hawkins is located near a cabin like building that houses a museum full of historical artifacts and replicas. It is currently open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. after it had previously been closed to visitors due to the pandemic of 2020.

More News from Macon
This imposing blockhouse is a recreation of the original blockhouse that once existed in the same location (Photographer Nate Weeks)
This American flag would have been flying over Fort Hawkins when it was established in 1806 (Photographer Nate Weeks)
Visitors to the three story blockhouse replica can look out from its windows to see Downtown Macon (Photographer Nate Weeks)
Many ancient stone tools, arrowheads, and other artifacts are on display in the museum at Fort Hawkins (Photographer Nate Weeks)
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