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Historic Bicycle Tours

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Dr. Gardiner was appointed assistant professor of History Education at Columbus State University in 2009; in 2010 he launched the Columbus Historic Bike Tours in order to bring the excitement of history education directly to visitors and residents of the Chattahoochee Valley. Dr. Gardiner invites you to enjoy a relaxing bike ride at a comfortable pace (@ 8-10 mph), see splendid riverside vistas, and stop at several exhilarating geographical locations where Dr. Gardiner will provide fascinating narratives that combine his expertise as an historian with powerful storytelling.1) The Battle of Columbus:

  1. The Last Battle of the Civil War
    Bike to the location and stand on the geography where the "last true battle" of the American Civil War was fought on Easter Sunday, 1865. Hear the dramatic narrative of how the Yankee raiders seized control of the bridge after nightfall and the chaos that ensued. Visit the Union army headquarters at Mott's Green.
  2. Coweta Town:
    Ancient Capital of the Creek Indians
    Bike to the location that served as the capital for tens of thousands of Creek Indians for hundreds of years. See the location where Georgia Founder Oglethorpe entered into the Treaty of Coweta in 1739, promising the Creek Indians peaceful relations.
  3. Black Historical Sites:
    Slave Quarters, Auction Block, & Lynching Site
    Bike to scenes of the African American struggle in Columbus. Stand on the location where a double lynching occurred in 1896 and see a recreated slave cabin. Hear the story of McGhee's slave auction. See the engineering and construction work of ex-slave Horace King, who rose to become an elected official in the state.
  4. Pemberton Residences:
    Homes of the Inventor of Coca-Cola
    Bike to the locations where the two original homes of John Stith Pemberton are located. See the houses of the man who invented the recipe for Coca-Cola as well as a recreation of his Eagle Drug & Chemical Company and visit the actual site where the prototype for his immortal drink was formulated.
  5. Linwood Cemetery
    Birthplace of Memorial Day in the U.S.
    Lizzie Rutherford and Mary Ann Williams were the originators of the Memorial Day holiday in the United States. Linwood cemetery is the location where they first conceived the idea.
  6. The Phenix City Story:
    The American Town General Patton Threatened to Destroy
    In the 1940s and 1950s, Phenix City, Alabama had the reputation of being the most corrupt city in the United States. When a group of citizens attempted to "better" the city through democratic means, assassinations and violence resulted, forcing the Governor to send in troops and declare martial law. Stand where the Governor's father was assassinated, leading to the production of a star-studded Hollywood movie.
  7. Site where Six Indians were Hanged:
    in the Creek War of 1836
    Stand where six Creek Indians who resisted Indian Removal were executed for their violence against the new white settlers in the 1830s.
  8. Kennard's Ferry: & the Beginning of the Trail of Tears
    In 1832 at nearby Cusseta, Creek Indians signed a treaty agreeing to be relocated to Oklahoma Territory. Bike to the location where the Federal Road crossed the Chattahoochee: the beginning of the Trail of Tears for thousands of Creek Indians.
  9. Heritage Park
    A Micro-Replica of the Chattahoochee
    This micro-replica of the Chattahoochee River includes models of the dams, the riverboats, the mills, and several statues by Jon Lumpkin of the various workers who have resided in Columbus. A statue of John Pemberton mixing a formula is the centerpiece of the park.
  10. Chattahoochee Wildlife
    Alligators, Turtles, Snakes, Herron, Armadillo, & Eagles
    Bike to a section of the Chattahoochee River that is designated "Alligator Habitat" and stay alert! See actual alligators and snakes at Oxbow Meadows. Along the Coweta Falls catch the many Herron, Turtles, Armadillo, and occasionally an American Bald Eagle!
  11. Historic Barracks
    Fort Benning**
    See a World War II era barracks on the same base where a dozen of the most noteworthy men in 20th century U.S. history were stationed including Patton, Eisenhower, Pershing, Bob Dole, William Calley, Colin Powell, Westmoreland, and Schwarzkoph.
  12. Golden Park:
    Where the U.S. Won a Gold Medal in the Olympics
    Bike to the location of Columbus' oldest athletic venue, Golden Park, first built in 1926. Golden Park hosted Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays. The renovated stadium is the location where the U.S. Softball team won the gold medal in the 1996 Olympics.
  13. Birthplace of the CSS Muscogee:
    The Confederate Naval Yard
    During the Civil War, Columbus was the location of an "ironclad" manufacturing site. See the location where the CSS Muscogee was scuttled and sunk during the Battle of Columbus.
  14. Eagle & Phenix Mills:
    The Industrial Revolution in Columbus
    Columbus was one of the greatest cotton cities in the Deep South and the Eagle and Phenix Mills was the largest of the mills. Visit the renovated Phenix and Eagle Mill Building 3, now luxury condos.
  15. Cook's Hotel
    John Wilkes Booth nearly Killed in Columbus
    Hear the story of the near fatal shooting of John Wilkes Booth in downtown Columbus in 1860.

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