Historic Markers Across Georgia

Railroad Street Commerce

Marker ID: CMAD 
Location: Jefferson St at Second St., Madison, GA
County: Morgan
Coordinates: N 33° 35.779    W 083° 28.105
  33.59631666    -83.46841666
  The coordinates have been estimated
based on the location of the marker.
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMR830
Railroad Street Commerce Marker
Photo by David Seibert


Early town of development focused upon the town square, but that changed when cotton and railroads grew in importance. In 1837, Georgia Rail Rroad construction was announced, and rail service arrived four years later in Madison - the endpoint until rail was extended west to Terminus (a.k.a. Marthasville/Atlanta). In the 1880s, north/south lines of the Covington & Macon (later Central of Georgia) Rail Road augmented the east-west service.

Anchored in one end by two depots - Georgia RR brick depot (1840, burned 1864; rebuilt) and Central of GA RR frame depot (c. 1901-09) - and at the other end by the town square, Railroad Street (W. Jefferson) rose quickly as a commercial corridor, lined with storefronts, lodging houses, saloons, warehouses and workshops, all supported by "King Cotton." For nearly 100 years, this quarter remained vibrant and vital, its importance reinforced by civic improvements, as in 1883 when the city was praised for "… macadamizing and grading Railroad Street … the most traveled street," and also in 1891 with the installation of a "Whiteway," using decorative iron and glass globe streetlights to illuminate downtown.

City of Madison, Madison Bicentennial Commission 1809-2009

Railroad Street Commerce
Photo by David Seibert