Have you ever driven down a street and wondered how it got its name? Or do you see buildings and spaces that carry the same name and thought "Who is the special person for which these buildings and schools are dedicated?"
In this bi-weekly blog series, we're going to be answering these questions. Below is a list of a few Macon places, spaces, streets and buildings and how they came to be named.
Tattnall Square Park, Tattnall Square Academy, Tattnall Square Baptist Church, etc.
The Tattnalls are a distinguished family of Georgia who settled in Savannah in 1762. Josiah Tattnall served as the 25th governor of Georgia. When he was 18, the American Revolution broke out, and against his family's wishes, he took up arms against the British. He had a great military career which fueled his ascension to governorship.
Governor Tattnall's youngest son, Commodore Josiah Tattnall, had a distinguished military career himself, and gained notoriety for popularizing the phrase "Blood is thicker than Water" in America, used to defend his reasoning for assisting a British and French fleet struggling against the Chinese in 1895.
Although the Tattnalls had no ties to Macon, nor is there evidence that the Tattnalls visited the city, there are a few theories as to why the park was named for them. The simplest answer is that the family was well-known in the state and their notoriety motivated citizens to use the name for the park. While the elder Tattnall died 20 years before Macon was established as a city, the younger Tattnall was becoming increasingly popular during this time.
Others suggest the park was given Governor Tattnall's name because of his opposition to the Yazoo Land Act and his role in passing the Yazoo Rescinding Act. It has also been suggested that the land on which Macon is currently located was obtained by Governor Tattnall through the 1802 treaty with the Creek Indians, specifically along the Ocmulgee River.
Downtown Post Office
Macon's main post office, located at 451 College Street, is officially named the Henry McNeal Turner Building. Henry McNeal Turner was a jack of all trades, but his most notable were being the first Southern Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, a Georgia Congressman, and the appointed postmaster for Macon in 1869, making him the first African-American postmaster in Georgia.
Pio Nono Avenue and Pierce Avenue
Pio Nono was named in honor of the now defunct diocesan college, Pio Nono College (est. 1874), which was named after Pope Pius IX (Pius IX is Pio Nono in Italian). As you continue north on Pio Nono Avenue, you'll notice that the street changes names to Pierce Avenue. Part of Pio Nono was renamed Pierce Avenue in honor of George Pierce, a Methodist bishop and first president of Wesleyan College.