The uniqueness of Fitzgerald begins with that, its name. It’s the only city in the U.S. with that name. It is also one of only a few places in the world to have Burmese Wild Fowl running free through the city. Comical and Colorful, these birds are a true signature of Fitzgerald. Why did the chicken cross the road? Obviously, to buy a house.
It is also one of the few truly planned cities in America. The layout is a logical progression. The core of the city, some 1,000 acres, was laid out in a perfect square. Intersecting avenues (Central and Main) divide the city into four wards, and wards are subdivided into four blocks. Each block had sixteen squares, making a total of 256 identical parcels. The streets are sixty feet wide, and the alleys are twenty feet wide in business zones and fifteen feet in residential areas.
Within one year, the community had been surveyed and laid out, with streets named and utility systems begun. At the end of 1896, the new city had two railroads, 25 miles of open streets, a bank, three newspapers, 250 businesses, and eleven churches. 2700 Union Veterans and their families moved to Georgia, side by side with their former enemies, Confederate veterans, created a city with a population of nine thousand people. Initially called Shacktown, the city was ultimately named Fitzgerald in honor of its founder, Philander H. Fitzgerald.
The residents are proud of Fitzgerald and what it has to offer, from an outstanding educational system, including East Central Technical College to active recreational programs for all ages. Don’t miss the Wild Chicken Festival in March and the Ben Hill County Arts Council sponsors a free community concert every third Thursday.
For More information on Fitzgerald and Ben Hill County, please visit
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