Thomaston, Georgia was founded in 1825 and named for General Jett Thomas, an Indian fighter in the War of 1812. Like many other Southern towns, the courthouse is at the center with a grid surrounding it. A cannonball sits on the grounds that is believed to be the first “shots fired” from Fort Sumter, signaling the beginning of the Civil War.
The area was looted after the surrender of the war when troops were returning home. The town also has the country’s longest-running commemoration of freedom from slavery, dating back to 1866. Today, it has less than 10,000 residents.