What do a local dentist and civil rights leader, Capricorn Records, a sloping road, and segregation have in common? They’ve each played a role in the mission to get Cotton Avenue designated as an official Historic District. The Commission is requesting that Macon-Bibb Planning and Zoning designate the area as such.
That dentist and civil rights leader is Dr. D.T. Walton, Sr., and contributions to our community led to a portion of Cotton Avenue being named for him many years ago. That portion of road – which runs from College Street, down by the Government Center, and all the way down Cotton Avenue to Mulberry and 2nd Streets – is what people are hoping will become a historic district.
Back in the 1800’s, the slope of Cotton Avenue is what gave the road its name! The slant was perfect to rolls carts with bales of cotton down to barges on the Ocmulgee River. And during the Jim Crow era, African-Americans were forced to establish their businesses in separate districts; Cotton Avenue was one of those.
The Capricorn Records’ offices were located on that road, and that row of buildings is currently being renovated for potential use as lofts and retail space.
All of these historical events and people that contributed to our community played a major role in who we are today. Commissioners hope that by designating Cotton Avenue as an historic district, we’ll preserve our past and protect it as we move forward.