In November 2008, Athens dedicated “The Character of a Champion,” a 14-foot-tall bronze statue of Vince Dooley, the legendary former football coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. Athens sculptor Stan Mullins crafted the statue of Dooley, depicting the former coach being hoisted onto the shoulders of his players after winning the 1980 national championship. Dooley was head coach from 1964 until 1988. He was the university’s athletic director from 1979 to 2004 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994. The memorial was dedicated in 2008 before the annual Georgia-Georgia Tech football game.
The “Murmur Trestle” has for years attracted R.E.M. fans from around the globe. Gracing the back of the band’s 1983 album “Murmur,” the bridge is best known today as the Murmur Trestle. The trestle was built in 1883 and served the Georgia Railroad and later CSX Transportation and was last used in 1998. Athens-Clarke County purchased the trestle in 2000.
Located at the intersection of Finley and Dearing streets in Athens, Ga., The Tree that Owns Itself is an oak tree that has been willed to itself. As the story goes, in about 1890, UGA Professor William H. Jackson willed the oak tree and the land that surrounds it to the tree to protect it in perpetuity. While the original tree fell during a windstorm on Oct. 9, 1942, the oak that today stands at Finley and Dearing streets is actually an offspring of the original and is known as the Son of The Tree that Owns Itself. It was planted on Oct. 9, 1946, by the Junior Ladies Garden Club in the exact same spot.
Located inside Memorial Park in the Five Points neighborhood, Bear Hollow is a zoo and natural habitat for rescued animals that cannot be released into the wild. Some are physically disabled, while others cannot care for themselves in the wild or are too trusting and fond of people.
The Double-Barreled Cannon was the brainchild of Dr. John Gilleland, a dentist from Jackson County, Ga., and a member of Mitchell’s Thunderbolts. Built in 1862 at the Athens Foundry and Machine Works, the Double-Barreled Cannon is today little more than a bookmark in history and a rather unique relic. The cannon was designed to fire two cannonballs connected by a chain so as to “mow down the enemy somewhat as a scythe cuts wheat.” According one account, the cannon was tested on a site along Newton Bridge Road, but since the two barrels did not have the same range, the chain broke in mid-air. According to some sources, one of the cannon balls killed a cow in a field nearby. According to a number of sources, including books and newspaper accounts, the cannon was not used in battle. But, according to a Confederate Veteran article, the cannon was used during a skirmish, but not as originally designed.
Athens, Ga., was once home to Navy Corps Supply School, which was located in the city’s Normaltown neighborhood from Jan. 15, 1954, until 2011. In 1990, as a tribute to the school, the Athens community placed a 4,000 pound, haze gray anchor in the median of Broad Street. The anchor for a destroyer ship was apparently donated because its bent shaft left it unusable for naval purposes.