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Monroe County is located in
west central Georgia about fifty miles south of Atlanta and
twenty-five miles north of Macon. The state legislature
designated the county seat as Forsyth in 1823.
Monroe County Courthouse
The Monroe Railroad, begun in 1838, was the
first railroad in Georgia and connected Forsyth to Macon. A
later depot for the Central of Georgia Railway in Forsyth
has been restored and now serves as the county's historical
Agriculture was a substantial part of the
county's economy until the era of the boll weevil, whose
destruction of the county's cotton caused many farmers to
turn to commercial dairy farming. However, agriculture
declined in favor of timber-related industries and textile
production. In 1968 the construction of Interstate 75
cemented the county's departure from agriculture in favor of
manufacturing. Today one of the largest employers is Georgia
Places of interest include the Chattahoochee
National Forest (Monroe County is one of the eighteen
counties over which this national forest spreads); High
Falls State Park, a 1,050-acre park that features
waterfalls; and Lake Juliette, a 3,600-acre reservoir
operated by Georgia Power and open for waterfowl hunting.
Many sites in Monroe County are on the National Register of
Historic Places, including the Hil'ardin/Sharp-Hardin-Wright
House in Forsyth; the Montpelier Female Institute, west of
Macon; and the State Teachers and Agricultural College for
Negroes Women's Dormitory and Teachers' Cottage in Forsyth.
Juliette, an abandoned railroad town in the county, was
reconstructed as the fictional town of Whistle Stop for the
making of the film Fried Green Tomatoes (1991). Today
Juliette offers several souvenir shops as well as the
operational Whistle Stop Cafe.