Ocmulgee National Monument Welcomes 7,000,000th Visitor | News
Denise Bailey of Athens made history Friday as the 7,000,000th visitor to the Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon.
Around 9 a.m., she and her husband Chris entered the Visitor's Center. They were greeted with applause and gifts from the Macon Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The park has been keeping track of visitors since it opened to the public in 1936. The last major milestone was in 2004, when the park hit the 6 million mark.
Since Denise opened the door first, she earned the distinction, while Chris was number 7,000,001.
The Baileys were first time visitors to the monument, and stopped in Macon while returned home from vacation in Savannah and St. Augustine.
They say they enjoy visiting historic sites, and had been planning to visit the mounds.
"I think that a lot of people don't truly understand what went on here until they see it firsthand," says Denise. "You don't have a personal understanding until you see it."
The site, which is run by the National Park Service, includes the Temple Mound and other mounds inhabited by Creek Native Americans thousands of year ago. It remains Macon's most visited landmark, with around 120,000 visitors per year.
Superintendent Jim David says this year alone, they received visits from 49 states, and dozens of countries, and says he already looking to forward to reaching their next million.
"I'm not sure if I'll still be around working when we hit the 8 million mark or not, but I'll probably still be in town."