Historic Macon hosts a series of lectures and talks known as “Sidney’s Salons” in honor of the famed poet Sidney Lanier. Historic Macon inherited the Sidney Lanier Cottage from the Middle Georgia Historical Society and continues to uphold the legacy of Sidney Lanier through these programs.

Salons are generously supported by Capital City Bank and Bob and Carolyn Hargrove.

All Salons begin with a reception at 5:30pm and the presentation begins at 6pm. Salons are free for members, $5 for non-members, and $3 for students.

Salon with Billie Coleman, Author of Images of America: Textile mills of central georgia

January 17 • 5:30-7pm • Sidney Lanier Cottage • 935 High St.

On Tuesday, January 17, Historic Macon will present an exclusive pre-release of Images of America: Central Georgia Textile Mills. Author Billie Coleman will present her research on historic textile mills during this special Sidney's Salon. Coleman was inspired to write this book after moving to Payne City, a former mill town in Macon. Her book explores the history of the rise of textile mills with a specific focus on mills in Central Georgia using compelling historic images.

As a special bonus, books will be available for purchase at the Salon. This is an exclusive opportunity! Books will not hit bookstore shelves until January 30th. Be sure to come out and learn about this fascinating piece of Southern history.


Cotton was once king throughout Georgia. Reconstruction investors and railroad tycoons saw this potential to open textile mills in the South instead of sending cotton up North. Towns across Central Georgia became a prime spot to locate textile mills because of the access to cotton from local farms, cheap labor, and nearby rivers to power the mills. Textile mills were operated in cities and towns across Central Georgia such as Macon, Columbus, Augusta, Tifton, Forsyth, Porterdale, and Hawkinsville, among others. The textile mills provided employment and sometimes a home in their villages to people across Georgia as the agrarian lifestyle gave way to industrial expansion. In these mills, photographer Lewis Hine captured iconic images of child labor. After the decline of production and closing of the mills, many have been revived into new usages that honor the legacy of the mill workers and their families who lived in the villages of the textile mills across Central Georgia.


Author Billie Coleman is a historian and cultural preservationist of Southern history. She was inspired to write this book after moving to Payne City, a former textile mill village in Macon, Georgia. Billie is currently working on her second book with Arcadia, Images of America: Dodge County, about her hometown Eastman, Ga. She is also doing research for new books projects, one that discusses the burning of textile mills in the South and another project that uncovers unknown WPA artwork from New Deal archaeological projects.



Join Historic Macon and speaker Rick Hutto for the first annual Jordan Massee Lecture in Southern History and Culture. The series has been endowed at the Community Foundation of Central Georgia and the funds will enable an annual presentation to take place in perpetuity. Each year, a lecture will take place in Macon by regional and national experts in Southern history and culture.


January 29 • 4pm • sidney lanier cottage • 935 high st.

Everyone in Macon knows about the William Butler Johnston family who built the Hay House. The OTHER Johnston family was integrally invested in Macon's development at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries and had close ties to the great New York City families of the Gilded Age. Rick Hutto will draw attention to this forgotten piece of history during the lecture.