Macon, Georgia, a city and the seat of Bibb County. It is 75 miles (120 km) southeast of Atlanta, on the Ocmulgee River. Macon is the leading trade, transportation, and manufacturing center of central Georgia. Macon has food-processing plants and textile mills and factories that produce wood and paper products and clay products. Robins Air Force Base is just south of the city.
Macon is the seat of Mercer University (opened in 1838) and of Wesleyan College, opened in 1839 as Georgia Female College—one of the first women's colleges in the United States. The cottage where the poet Sidney Lanier was born in 1842 has been preserved, as has the Grand Opera House (1884). Macon also has an arts and sciences museum and a planetarium. Ocmulgee National Monument, on the city's outskirts, preserves relics of successive Indian cultures, the earliest of which date from about 8000 B.C.
Macon was founded in 1823 across the Ocmulgee River from Fort Hawkins (1806) and was chartered as a city in 1832. It became an important river port, cotton market, and railway hub. During the Civil War, Macon was a Confederate munitions and supply center. Large military training camps were at Macon during both world wars. Land annexations in 1961 greatly increased the city's area and population.