Top 5 Macon Urban Legends Debunked



Urban legends are incredible stories which have a tantalizing bit of plausibility to them. Urban legends contain many folkloric elements and they spread quickly through a community or society.  They are true stories that have happened to real people, although they may in fact be in fictional form.  Here are our Top 5 Urban Legends of Macon debunked.

1.  mercer university featured in playboy

TRUE.

Mercer University, Macon, Georgia’s private Baptist school founded in 1871, prohibits alcohol on campus, has no co-ed dorms and still designates the 10:00 morning hour for chapel and yet, some students commute from their homes and many students will admit to driving 90 miles to Atlanta for fun. 

But in 1987, Mercer University was ranked #9 on page 173 of Playboy’s January issue, a list of the nation’s “TOP 40 PARTY COLLEGES.”  The information for Playboy's 1987 list of party schools had been compiled in 1986 from the reports of Playboy staffers who interviewed campus club leaders, dorm rush chairmen, fraternity presidents and other campus social studs at more than 250 schools nationwide. A member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity was cited in the Playboy article for “pulling the great stunt of firing cue balls from a cannon out the administration building windows.”

 

2.  The Allman Brothers Band's Record Eat a Peach  is a reference to Duane Allman and Berry Oakley’s fatal motorcycle accidents

FALSE.

The Allman Brothers have had more than their share of bad luck, especially Duane Allman and Barry Oakley, both original members of the group, who perished in motorcycle accidents, within a year of each other, with the accidents in close proximity.  Duane Allman’s career was cut tragically short on 29 October 1971 when he died trying to avoid running into a flatbed truck bearing a lumber crane.  The ancillary legend that the back cover art for Eat a Peach was a reference to the death of bassist Berry Oakley (who supposedly crashed his motorcycle into a watermelon truck) is just as misleading. Oakley's fatal accident involved a city bus on 11 November 1972, not a watermelon truck.

3.  Confederate Gold Hidden in Macon

TRUE.

The existence of reserves of hidden or lost Confederate gold has been the source of numerous legends and folklore in Macon.  These legends were fueled by the fact that Georgia was the hub of gold mining, minting and trading after Richmond, Virginia fell to Union forces at the end of the Civil War and the bulk of the Confederate treasury was brought to Georgia, where much of it disappeared.  By the end of the war, Union General E.L. Molineux in Macon was in charge of $275K confiscated gold and silver.  However, he did not find $200K in gold coins from the Georgia State Bank of Savannah that was hidden in Macon and it has never been located.

4.  Downtown Macon Clothing Store Wins Guinness Book of World Records

TRUE.

In 1886, Jos. N. Neel clothiers opened its doors in downtown Macon.  Under the heading all good things must come to an end or, another cherished tradition bites the dust, a clothing store cited by the Guinness Book of World Records as ``the most durable advertiser.`The ad has run on the second page of the Macon Telegraph every day for 98 years. 

The Jos. N. Neel Co. ad has been a daily fixture in the Georgia newspaper since the Feb. 22, 1889, edition. Guinness cited the Jos. N. Neel clothier ad in 1981.


5.  molly hatchet played on the roof of the phi delta theta lodge at mercer

TRUE.

According to Mercer University Alumni and the 1975 President of the Georgia Gamma chapter of Phi Delta,  Robbie Robertson, Molly Hatchet did indeed play at the Phi Delta Lodge but did not play on the roof.  Fraternity brother Phil Walden was able to book their newly signed Capricorn artist, Molly Hatchet to play for their fall rush party.  In 1979, Molly hatchet went on to release their triple platinum album Flirting with Disaster.