Cover photo

Why is Waycross, Georgia So Popular?

What's so special about this little gem of the south?

By Excel 23, used under Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 4.0

I don't know what it says about Theresa and I that our top three most viewed videos are all about small Georgia towns. Neither of us are from Georgia. We've never lived in Georgia. These were not the first videos we recorded. Yet, our videos on Brunswick, Waycross, and Madison are our three most view videos to date.

Waycross, Georgia is particularly puzzling to me because it's a small town nestled in south Georgia. It's not a tourist town, though I'd recommend you tour this little gem as soon as you are able.

With a population just under 14,000 in 2020, Waycross is a beautiful little community, humble, and fun. You won't find water parks or amusement parks with a lot of pomp. There are no scream-at-you-from-the-top-of-the-world tourist traps to get sucked into. But there is some history there that bears some exploration. It's also a cool place to just sick back and relax.

The city itself is named for its cross junction of railroad lines that meet in the city. Six of them. But it didn't come by that name until 1874, 50 years after its founding.

In the early years, it was known as "Number Nine," aka "Old Nine." Then folks started calling it Pendleton. In 1857, in got a new name—Tebeauville. It was incorporated under that name in 1866. In 1873 it became the county seat of Ware County. The next year, it became what it is known as today—Way Cross. Note, however, the space between the two words "way" and "cross." I'm not sure when they were brought together to form the compound, but that's where we stand today.

There are other cool historical facts about Waycross. For instance, it was the first town in Georgia to allow white women vote. As it were, some of the most prominent land owners in town at the time were women, and they wanted a say in how their tax dollars were spent. Who can blame them?

Waycross is home to several media organizations, and several celebrities hail from there, as well.

Among the cast of celebrities who have called Waycross home include:

  • Professional pool player Johnny Archer

  • Jimmy Carter's brother Billy Carter

  • Actor Ossie Davis

  • Singer and actress Nikki DeLoach

  • Professional football players Drayton Florence, Ernest Jones, Tim McCray, and LeoMdis McKelvin

  • Musician Gram Parsons

  • Actor Pernell Roberts

  • And many more

We had fun in Waycross, Georgia and invite you to check out our small town historical walking tour of this little gem.

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