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Tifton, Georgia
Tifton City Hall
Tifton City Hall
Nickname(s): 
Friendly City
Location in Tift County and the state of Georgia
Location in Tift County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 31°27′48″N 83°30′36″W / 31.46333°N 83.51000°W / 31.46333; -83.51000Coordinates: 31°27′48″N 83°30′36″W / 31.46333°N 83.51000°W / 31.46333; -83.51000
Country United States
State Georgia
County Tift
Area
 • Total 12.81 sq mi (33.16 km2)
 • Land 12.61 sq mi (32.67 km2)
 • Water 0.19 sq mi (0.49 km2)
Elevation
354 ft (108 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 16,350
 • Estimate 
(2019)
16,838
 • Density 1,334.87/sq mi (515.41/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
31793-31794
Area code(s) 229
FIPS code 13-76476
GNIS feature ID 0324159
Website http://www.tifton.net

Tifton is a city in Tift County, Georgia, United States. The population was 16,350 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Tift County.

The area's public schools are administered by the Tift County School District. Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College has its main campus in Tifton. Southern Regional Technical College and the University of Georgia also have Tifton campuses.

Sites in the area include the Coastal Plain Research Arboretum, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and the Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village. The Tifton Commercial Historic District and the Tifton Residential Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Geography

Tifton is located in south central Georgia along Interstate 75, which runs north to south through the city, leading north 167 mi (269 km) to Atlanta and south 45 mi (72 km) to Valdosta. Other highways that pass through the city include U.S. Route 41, U.S. Route 82, U.S. Route 319, and Georgia State Route 125.

Transportation

Major highways

  • I-75.svg Interstate 75
  • US 41.svg U.S. Highway 41
  • US 82.svg U.S. Route 82
  • US 319.svg U.S. Route 319
  • Georgia 125.svg State Route 125

Airports

  • Henry Tift Myers Airport

Henry Tift Myers Airport (IATA: TMA, ICAO: KTMA, FAA LID: TMA) is a public airport located two miles (3 km) southeast of Tifton, serving the general aviation community, with no scheduled commercial airline service.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 1,384
1910 2,381 72.0%
1920 3,005 26.2%
1930 3,390 12.8%
1940 5,228 54.2%
1950 6,831 30.7%
1960 9,903 45.0%
1970 12,179 23.0%
1980 13,749 12.9%
1990 14,215 3.4%
2000 15,060 5.9%
2010 16,350 8.6%
2019 (est.) 16,838 3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 16,350 people living in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 49.4% White, 36.0% Black, 0.1% Native American, 1.9% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from some other race and 1.1% from two or more races. 11.4% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of the census of 2000, there were 15,060 people, 5,532 households, and 3,601 families living in the city. The population density was 1,686.2 people per square mile (651.1/km2). There were 6,102 housing units at an average density of 683.2 per square mile (263.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 61.26% White, 31.57% African American, 0.23% Native American, 1.64% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 4.61% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.56% of the population.

There were 5,532 households, out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.9% were married couples living together, 20.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.9% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.08.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,234, and the median income for a family was $37,023. Males had a median income of $27,206 versus $20,174 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,455. About 20.7% of families and 26.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.0% of those under age 18 and 13.7% of those age 65 or over.

History

Child workers in Tifton, GA
Child workers at Tifton Cotton Mills, 1909. Photographed by Lewis Hine.

Tifton was founded in 1872 at an important railroad junction in Berrien County. The community was named for local sawmill owner Henry H. Tift. Tifton was incorporated as a city in 1890. In 1905, it was designated county seat of the newly formed Tift County.

Progress met the south when President Eisenhower called for a modern road system that would allow travelers to get from place to place safely and in record time: the interstate highways. The interstate was a major contributor to the demise of many downtowns. New areas of development came alongside these roadways as they were built.

Since World War II, many women had joined the workforce and did not have the time or luxury of staying home with children while father was at work. Quietly, the community's focus on town activities shifted from the town center to the new suburbs. Hotels were being built along the interstate to accommodate the travelers. Service stations and shopping areas were going where the development was occurring, on the interstate. The location along a major junction of highways made Tifton the ideal location for medical services serving a large (HSA 4140) geographic area.

Points of interest

Until recently, Tifton was the home of the world's second largest magnolia tree, which was located in Magnolia Tree Park. In 2004, the tree was burned in a fire. The cause of the fire has never been given by local authorities. Currently, the tree and observation area are blocked from visitors by a gate. Although it no longer grows, the tree still stands. It is not known where the new second largest magnolia tree resides.

Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village

The Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village, formerly known as Agrirama, is located in Tifton, Georgia. It opened on July 4, 1976. The grounds consist of five areas: a traditional farm community of the 1870s, an 1890s progressive farmstead, an industrial sites complex, rural town, and national peanut complex; and the Museum of Agriculture Center. Over 35 structures have been relocated to the 95-acre (380,000 m2) site and faithfully restored or preserved. Costumed interpreters explain and demonstrate the lifestyle and activities of this time in Georgia’s history.

Historic districts

The Tifton Residential Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 30, 2008. It is bounded generally by 14th Street, Goff Street, 2nd Street and Forrest Avenue at coordinates 31°27′35″N 83°30′25″W / 31.45972°N 83.50694°W / 31.45972; -83.50694 (Tifton Residential Historic District). The Tifton Commercial Historic District and the Tift County Courthouse are also on the National Register.

Sister city

  • People's Republic of China Linyi, China (2010)

Education

Tift County Board of Education
Tift County School District headquarters

Tift County School District

The Tift County School District holds pre-school to grade twelve, and consists of, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, and an alternative school. The district has 467 full-time teachers and over 7,641 students.

Private schools

  • Tiftarea Academy, located in Chula, Georgia (K-12)
  • Grace Baptist Christian School

Higher education

  • Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College - Main Campus
  • Southern Regional Technical College - Tifton Campus
  • University of Georgia - Tifton Agricultural Campus

Sports

In 2000, the boys 10u baseball team won the state championship with an undefeated season (24-0).

In 2010, the indoor football team Georgia Firebirds relocated from Waycross, Georgia to Tifton.

Infrastructure

WaterTowerTiftonGA
Tifton water tower seen from I-75

Transportation

Major highways

  • I-75.svg Interstate 75
  • US 41.svg U.S. Highway 41
  • US 82.svg U.S. Route 82
  • US 319.svg U.S. Route 319
  • Georgia 125.svg State Route 125

Airports

  • Henry Tift Myers Airport is a public airport located two miles (3 km) southeast of Tifton, serving the general aviation community, with no scheduled commercial airline service.

Notable people

  • Nanci Bowen - LPGA golfer
  • Austin Brown - member of a cappella group Home Free
  • Caitlin Carmichael - child actress
  • Larry Dean - football linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League
  • Dennis Dove - former MLB pitcher
  • Harold Bascom Durham Jr., US Army 2d Lieutenant awarded the Medal of Honor
  • Todd Fordham - former NFL offensive lineman
  • Bob Hoffman - sports promoter
  • Kip Moore, country music singer
  • Matt Moore - former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party
  • Wyc Orr - politician and lawyer
  • Ralph Puckett - US Army Colonel, Distinguished Graduate of the United States Military Academy, awarded Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross (with oak leaf cluster), Silver Star (with oak leaf cluster), Legion of Merit (with 2 oak leaf clusters), etc.
  • Austin Scott - U. S. Congressman representing Georgia's 8th congressional district
  • Members of alternative rock band September Hase
  • Clay Shiver -former NFL offensive lineman
  • James "Chick" Stripling - Fiddler, comedian, and buck dancer
  • Tyson Summers - American college football coach
  • Cyndi Thomson - country music singer
  • Dina Titus - U.S. Congresswoman representing Nevada's 3rd congressional district
  • Neil Norman - Associate Professor College of William & Mary

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