One of Athens' most prized possessions is the Double-Barreled Cannon, a weapon built in 1863 when the Athens community feared attack by invading northern armies. The concept of the cannon was to load two balls connected by a chain into the barrel, which would then cut down approaching enemy soldiers. Legend has it that when the cannon was first tested, the only victims of the weapon were a field of very unfortunate cows. The cannon was never used again, but it still sits in downtown Athens facing north today. (Just in case!)
We've all HEARD of the Tree that Owns Itself, but do you actually know the story behind it? Legend has it that in the early 1800s, Professor William H. Jackson devised a peculiar plan to protect his favorite tree. He enjoyed the tree's shade so much that he wanted to ensure its survival, even after his own death. Jackson deeded the tree in his will, as well as all of the land within eight feet of its sides. Today, the tree continues to be surrounded by chains, and it's property rights have never been questioned.
If you're interested in learning more about some Athens' best-kept secrets, be sure to schedule a Classic City tour of your own! The Classic City tour runs five days a week at 2 p.m. Tickets are generally $15, but the Athens Convention and Visitor's Bureau is currently offering coupons online for $5 off! For more information about the Classic City tour, please visit the Welcome Center online or call 706-353-1820.