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In 1837, Georgia lawmakers authorized a “Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum.” Five years later, the facility opened as the Georgia Lunatic Asylum on the outskirts of the cotton-rich town that served as the antebellum state capital.
Truth is, most of downtown Milledgeville is on a few blocks off the main drag, West Hancock Street. There are the antebellum houses straight out of a Flannery O’Connor story, the grass carpet rolled out as Georgia College’s front lawn, the bars and restaurants lining the street, and the Gothic Revival spires of Georgia Military College in the distance.