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Albany through the ages

The Flood of '94 hit the campus of Albany State University.

The Flood of '94 hit the campus of Albany State University.

1891- The entire city shut down for the funeral of Col. Nelson Tift, founder of Albany, who died on November 21 at the age of 82. The line of march for the services was in this order: Officiating ministers, pall bearers in carriages, hearse, escort of honor, family members in carriages, mayor and council, Confederate veterans, Board of Trade, Albany guards and white fire department, Colquitt guards and colored fire department and ending with the general procession.

1892 - The streets of Albany were labeled and a regular mail delivery began for the first time.

1893 - Albany's waterworks and sewer system was completed at the cost of $105,000.

1894 - Improvements to East Albany were moving at a rapid pace. There were four or five storehouses, a steam sawmill, a large fertilizer factory, an abundance of clean water and the area appeared virtually malaria-free.

1895 - Albany had a mule-drawn street car and also a Chinese laundry.

1896 - St. Paul's Episcopal Church laid its white marble cornerstone for a new church at 212 N. Jefferson Street.

1897- Residents wishing for a bit of culture could attend performances at the Opera House. Built completely of brick, stone, iron and wood, the house stood proudly on Broad Street.

1898 - Albany's first telephone directory was published with listings for 119 telephone subscribers.

1899 - A massive fire wiped out most of the business section of East Albany.

1900 - Steele's Furniture Store made setting up household affordable with solid oak dining room chairs with high backs and large cane seats on sale for 93 cents each.

1901 - A.W. Muse and Co.'s warehouse was destroyed by fire. A loss of 2,500 bales of cotton was burned and total losses were $100,000.

1902 - For a full week, residents and visitors enjoyed hosting the Georgia Chautauqua. Program items included reading, poetry, drama, music, vocals, lectures, and more.

1903 - African American educator Joseph Winthrop Holley founded Albany Bible and Manual Institute.

1904 - By this time, Albany was known as the Artesian City. The title came from the fact that 15 wells, 'flowing fountains of health", provided crystal clear water for all uses within the city.

1905 - The first automobiles began appearing in Albany but were not very popular with the majority of the citizens. The vehicles were noisy and scared the mules and horses and practically useless on the dirt street after a good rain.

1906 - Georgia law allowed counties to use convict labor. Official 'Convict Record Books' were printed at the newspaper and available for purchase.

1907 - While pecans were just beginning to catch on in Dougherty County, watermelons and cantaloupes were grown in great numbers.

1908 - The 'dog man' began patrolling the streets of Albany for vagrant animals. Unless retrieved immediately by the owners, the animals were usually incinerated.

1909 - The newly formed Albany Board of Automobile Examiners approved 49 applications for a drivers license. Of those, one was a woman.

1910 - The first female postmaster of a first class post office in the United States hailed from Albany. Nellie Brimberry went on to serve as postmaster (mistress) under five presidents.

1911 - Albany's post office at the corner of Broad and Jefferson was completed. It was said to have private passageways among the structure and almost completely fireproof. it was so modern that the judge's chambers included a private bathroom.

1912 - An electric streetcar began operation in Albany. The rapid transit ran on tracks for 28 blocks and cost one nickel to ride.

1913 - The boll weevil made its way into Southwest Georgia and destroyed 'King Cotton' as nothing had ever done before.

1914 - Work began on a new grammar school at the corner of Madison and Broad Avenues. Started in the summer, the school was expected to open following the Christmas holidays.

1915 - The Dixie Highway Commission voted unanimously for the new 'scenic route' to Florida to travel from Macon to Americus to Albany to Thomasville and into Tallahassee.

1916 - Albany's new Municipal Auditorium was opened with Andreas Dippel's 3-set opera, "The Lilac Domino."

1917 - An impound lot was location on Front Street for housing stray horses, mules, cows and sheep.

1918 - Work that began on the First Baptist Church on Pine Street in 1914 was completed.

1919 - Army surplus food was available for order at the post office. Albanians ordered more than $1,500 worth of food in the first three days.

1920 - A hydro-electric plant was built on the Flint River to provide electric power to Albany.

1921 - Albany's postal workers were armed with pistols. The weapons were the same automatics as used by the U.S. Army. An increase in robberies spurred this action by the federal government, supplier of the guns.

1922 - It was the law that births be reported. The city of Albany offered a $25 reward for anyone reporting a person for failure to register a birth.

1923 - Residents were encouraged to buy Albany-made products including red cypress and pine lumber, bricks, bread, candy, peanuts, butterfat, Lilliston Harvesters, ice cream, cotton fabric and meal.

1924 - Albany's first city manager was hired. W. Austin Smith came from Tallahassee, Fla.

1925 - Radium Springs was developed as a tourist attraction. The spot was previously called Blue Springs by area residents.

1926 - Contracts were let for the 25 homes, ranging in price from $5,000 to $15,000, in the Eugemar Subdivision off Slappey Drive.

1927 - Billed as the "World's Largest Musical Comedy", Irving Berlin's Music Box Revue came to the City Auditorium. The production included 125 cast members, seven train cars of scenery and a chorus of 60. Tickets ranged from $1 to $3.

1928 - The Albany Opportunity (Vocational) School was started in the basement of the City Auditorium.

1929 - This catchy slogan was seen in The Albany Herald's classified section: "Teach your dollars to make more cents."

1930 - Except for bonded indebtedness, the city of Albany was found to be completely without debt for the first time in its history.

1931 - Albany's Penny Club required members to pledge $4, which could be paid one penny at a time. The funds were to insure that local children were warm and fed over the winter.

1932 - In the throes of the Great Depression, the city coffers still held $8.80 per capita, owed not one cent and over the past three years, had lowered taxes by 28.2 percent.

1933 - A truckload of 150 cases of beverage labeled 'beer' arrived in Albany from Kentucky. At 20 cents per bottle, the less than 4 percent by volume beer was disposed of in less than 24 hours.

1934 - The Albany Trust and Banking Company purchased the Woolfolk Building on the corner of Washington and Pine. The building fell victim to the 1940 tornado and the space now serves as The Albany Herald parking lot.

1935 - An "Exposition of Progress" was held for seven nights in Albany. It was referred to by some as " a miniature world's fair at your door."

1936 - A public ceremony was held to dedicate Crown Hill Cemetery. Along with its high elevation, the cemetery boasted of private sections for children, Catholics and veterans of the Spanish-American War.

1937 - The Water, Gas and Light Commission reported 3,318 electric meters in the city, more than double the 1,457 meters just two years earlier.

1938 - Electrical service to a house with lights, a refrigerator, an iron and 2-3 other small appliances averaged $4.50 a month.

1939 - The Paramount Club on the Leesburg Highway provided dining and dancing nightly. Admission at the door was 25 cents.

1940 - Twenty palm tree were planted in downtown Albany.The 15-ft tall trees were planted in the 100 and 200 blocks of Broad Street and in the 200 block of Pine Avenue. Plans were to plant an additional 60 trees in the future.

1941- Ella Fitzgerald and her orchestra played at the Municipal Auditorium.

1942 - Albany, as did the entire nation, moved to 'War Time' in February by setting clocks ahead by one hour.

1943 - With a few days still left in the drive to sell the Third War Loan Bonds, Dougherty County had exceeded its quota of $1,549,300 by $80,700.

1944 - The Albany Chapter of the American Red Cross issued a plea for women volunteers. Workers were needed to knit sweaters, gloves and/or mittens for servicemen.

1945 - A notice in the August 14 edition of the newspaper stated that City Court would go into recess "if Japs surrender."

1946 - The March term of the grand jury called for the consolidation of Albany and Dougherty County governments.

1947 - Children came from all parts to see canine movie stars Boots and Saddles on stage at the Liberty Theater.Saddles had a wide range of tricks and Boots recognized 1,800 words-some of them just spelled out.

1948 - Darr Homes provide emergency housing with temporary barracks, 100 apartments as well as 105 permanent units. The post-war housing shortage left another 100 on the waiting list.

1949 - The air-conditioned State Theater was Albany's newest entertainment venue.

1950 - Word was received in Albany from the Army Air Force that the intent of the military was to designate Turner AFB as a permanent installment.

1951 - Slappey Drive was paved.

1952 - Phoebe Putney Hospital became the regional infantile paralysis (polio) treatment center.

1953 - Two F-84 jets from Turner AFB collided mid-air about 10 miles out Dawson Road. One pilot parachuted and survived, the other did not.

1954 - Two new swimming pools opened in the city. For whites, there was Tift Pool. For blacks, there was Carver Pool.

1955 - A group met to organize an afternoon Sunday school class, a mission of the First Baptist Church. From this mission, Sherwood Baptist Church was chartered the following year.

1956 - Construction on Sylvandale Grammar School was completed. The new facility featured 12 classrooms and cost $235,000.

1957 - The city of Albany paved 30 miles of streets and still held a budget surplus of $147,000.

1958 - Lunch at Hubbles on Washington Street: 1/2 fried chicken - $1 or two hotdogs - 25 cents or a hamburger - 20 cents. The diner was air-conditioned and bragged "Not the best lookin', but by far the best cookin'.

1959 - The new bridge at Oglethorpe over the Flint River was opened for travel.

1960 - The U.S. Department of Commerce designated Albany as a metropolitan area.

1961 - The NAACP Youth Council, the Black Ministers Council and others began The Albany Movement to coordinate protests in hopes of gaining civil rights.

1962 - The Albany Police closed down the city parks and public library after integrated groups attempted to use the facilities. The same week, St. Paul's Episcopal Church and St. Teresa's Catholic Church welcomed blacks in services.

1963 - Dougherty County voters overwhelmingly approved a $1.6 million junior college bond issue.

1964 - Angus Alberson turned the first shovel of earth at the site of the new $400,000 Doublegate Country Club.

1965 - St. Teresa's Catholic School completed extensive renovations. Student enrollment reached 580 with eight Sisters and 11 lay teachers.

1966 - Albany Junior College opened for its first classes. The expected enrollment of 500 had reached 732 by the first day.

1967 - Georgia State Patrol Post 40 was established in Albany.

1968 - Five members of Hell's Angels were detained by the Dougherty County Police for causing a disturbance at 'Skeeter Beach'.

1969 - The new Belk store at the corner of Broad and Washington Streets opened with much fanfare. Five-dollar gift certificate drawings were held every hour for the first four days. The grand prize drawing was for a 23-inch Philco color TV.

1970 - Dougherty Superior Court Judge Asa D. Kelley granted 38 divorce decrees...all in one day.

1971 - The balanced budget passed by the Albany City Commission included a 7 percent pay increase for all city employees.

1972 - Broad Street Cinema owner Billy Jenkins was charged with distribution of obscene material after showing the R-rated film, "Carnal Knowledge." Jenkins was fined $750 and ordered to serve 12 months probation.

1973 - The Big Star Food Store opened at the Oglethorpe Plaza Shopping Center.

1974 - While the nation saw a 17 percent increase in serious crime, Albany's rate jumped 29 percent. The homicide rate jumped 47 percent.

1975 - The Albany City Commission held a meeting that lasted 11 minutes, 10 seconds. After the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor James H. Gray gaveled the meeting to order. Of the 13 items on the agenda, 13 were quickly approved and the gavel fell to end the meeting.

1976 - Purchased by the city, Hotel Gordon had to say good-bye to its residents, guests and at least one longtime employee. Frank Postell started working at the hotel at age 12 in 1926. When asked who his favorite guest was over his 50 year tenure, he answered, "Dizzy Dean of the St. Louis Cardinals."

1977- The Albany Water, Gas and Light Commission joined the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia. The move enabled user rates to drop by an average of 18 percent.

1978 - The Sassy Fox was a favorite of the disco crowd. Located at 7th and Jefferson, the lounge was open from 3 p.m. until 3 a.m.

1979 - Five thousand people applied for 1,400 positions at the new Miller Brewing Company.

1980 - Movie choices were plentiful in Albany. There was the Georgia Four, the Martin Four, the Mall Twin, Albany Theater, the State Theater along with the Slappey Drive-in.

1981 - The First Albany Deliverance Cathedral on South Slappey Boulevard dedicated its new $7 million building complex.The service lasted close to seven hours in the ornate chamber with seating for up to 5,000 people.

1982 - George Strait performed at the Silver Saddle on West Broad. Tickets were $3.

1983 - The new Albany Humane Society on Oakridge Drive opened.

1984 - The guest speaker for the Albany Chamber of Commerce annual banquet (held at the Heritage House) was former astronaut John Glenn. Music was provided by the New Christey Minstrels.

1985 - The rock group Foreigner spent a week in Albany rehearsing in preparation of a 200-plus city tour. Before leaving town, the band played to a sold -out concert at the Albany Civic Center.

1986 - Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital announced that room rates were being cut by $10 per day.

1987- A revitalized Tift Park once again became a popular place to picnic and play. One of the highlights of the renovation was a jogging track.

1988 - Shiloh Baptist Church on Whitney Avenue celebrated its 100th year.

1989 - The team from Westover High became the first from a AAA school and the first from outside the Atlanta area to win the state mathematics tournament.

1990 - In a survey of parents of students in the Dougherty County School System, 71 percent rated the school their child attended as good or excellent.

1991 - Skin tests conducted at Monroe High School indicated in January that 56 people had been infected with tuberculosis. An addition 26 students returned positive tests in April.

1992 - The Carnegie Library, opened in 1906, was renovated and became the headquarters of the Albany Area Arts Council.

1993 - The board of education officially made it a system-wide policy that no fundraisers (candy sales, catalog sales, etc.) could be held in grades K-5.The policy did not prohibit on-campus fundraisers such as car washes, spaghetti suppers and carnivals.

1994 - The 500-year Flood of '94 swept much of Albany away leaving behind a devastated southwest Georgia in the summer of 1994. By the time the Flint River crested at more than 43 feet in Albany, the worst-hit community, 23 square miles of Dougherty County were under water, and 23,000 residents had been forced to evacuate. The cost of damage was reckoned in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

1995 - Albany's Procter & Gamble plant announced it was phasing out diaper production by increasing the production of tissue and towels. None of the 200 diaper workers would lose their job.

1996 - Albany's Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse was destroyed by fire, leaving behind losses of about $10 million.

1997 - The Colorado Silver Bullets, the country's only women's professional baseball team, called Paul Eames Sports Complex home for one season.

1998 - Christmas came early to Albany when the Dougherty High Trojans brought home the Class AAA state football championship.

1999 - Members of Temple B'nai Israel dedicated a new facility that was four years in the making. The new temple became only the third home of Albany's 123-year-old congregation.

2000 - Gas prices in Albany soared to $1.34 per gallon.

2001 - Filtering devices were installed on all Dougherty County School System computers to limit sites accessible to students.

2002 - Former Monroe High School football standout and Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch signed with the New England Patriots.

2003 - After almost eight decades of life in the limelight, the wrecking ball demolished Radium Springs Casino.

2004 - Dr. Willie Adams Jr. became Albany's first African-American mayor.

2005 - The Dougherty County Board of Education approved a measure to create its own internal police department.

2006 - "Facing the Giants", a second movie written and produced by members of Sherwood Baptist Church, opened in 441 theaters across the country.

2007 - The complete shutdown of Merck Chemical Plant took a $70 million bite out of the local economy.

2008 - Albany Tomorrow Inc, which had guided downtown Albany redevelopment for nearly a decade, held its last full board meeting as the entity was dissolved.

2009 - For the first time in more than two decades a new Dougherty County sheriff was sworn in. Kevin Sproul replaced retiring Sheriff Jamal Saba.

2010 - A young man who lost his life trying to save a child from the Flint River, D.J. Vinson, was recognized as a Carnegie Medal winner for his efforts.

2011- The Albany Herald celebrates its 120th year of publication.