Welcome to Thomson, The Camellia City!

The Wilson Company takes pride in welcoming you to Thomson, one of the most charismatic and friendly cities in the South.

Belle Meade Fox HuntWe're glad to be a part of Thomson's phenomenal growth. Industry looks favorably upon our area due to our intensive labor force, our near proximity to Augusta and Atlanta, due to Interstate 20, our rail system and airport facility and our hospital and medical services. We are proud of our top-notch schools, both public and private. We have industrial sites ready now with all public utilities available. With the mountains just two hours away and the beach just three hours away, one could literally be snow skiing in the morning and deep sea fishing in the afternoon.

Of course, we have a playground of our own right here at Clarks Hill lake which has 1100 miles of shoreline. Our Belle Meade Hunt that rides to the hounds from November through March is a site to behold. Our two golf courses are most popular. The Wilson Company takes pride in selling Thomson to the world. It's a great place to live and work.

AGAIN, WELCOME TO THOMSON.                

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Thomson/McDuffie County

McDuffie County is located in East Central Georgia, 30 miles west of Augusta, 90 miles north of Macon, 123 miles east of Atlanta, and 35 miles from the South Carolina border. Thomson is located 2.5 miles from I-20 which runs from Atlanta to Augusta. It also offers the nearest route to the Atlantic Coast via GA 17, between Interstates 85 and 95.

The County is divided along the geographic fall line with the red clay hills of the Piedmont lying to the North, and the sandy kaolin clay hills of the Coastal Plains lying to the South. The climate is conducive to enjoyable year round living and makes the area desirable for both business and industrial growth.

topEx-military families who have seen the world find there is no place like Thomson/McDuffie County. Fort Gordon, about 20 miles away, allows convenience to continue military benefits offered to retirees.

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Government
 

The City of Thomson is governed by a mayor and five member council elected to four year terms. Thomson also has a full-time city administrator. A five-member Board of Commissioners, elected to four year terms, and a county administrator governs McDuffie County. McDuffie County CourthouseCooperation between the city and county governments is a model for other communities to emulate. The two governments have combined eleven services, thereby reducing duplication and using the taxpayer's dollars more wisely.

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Protective Services

The county has six fire stations with one primary point of dispatch. Thomson citizens benefit from a Class 4 insurance rating. Thomson-McDuffie is fortunate to have two state regional offices located here. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and Georgia State Patrol offices are located on Highway 78 north of I-20. The headquarters of our county sheriff's department and Thomson City Police are in our new state-of-the-art McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center which has a 180-prisoner capacity. McDuffie County residents enjoy the peace of mind that is afforded by our extremely low crime rate.

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Hospital
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McDuffie County HospitalUniversity Hospital-McDuffie is a full-term facility, which provides a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic services to both hospital patients and referrals from private physicians. The emergency room has excellent facilities with advanced, up-to-date technology and provides 24-hour coverage.

The medical staff includes family practice physicians as well as physicians specializing in pediatrics, internal medicine, and surgery. Before physicians are given staff privileges, they are carefully screened through credentials review and background survey. They are board certified or board eligible in their specialty and have offices located near the hospital.

The idea for a wellness center as an outreach to the community was conceived in early 1989. The hospital recognized the need to create a center where individuals could focus on wellness. The facility has grown in size and membership in its recent location of 7,500 square feet of multi-purpose space. This facility is complete with modern fitness equipment and expert advice on how you can create a healthier lifestyle.

Construction has been completed on the new 28,000 square foot Ambulatory Care Center that is attached to the west side of the Hospital. The Center offers new and expanded Inpatient and Outpatient Surgical Services, new Emergency and separate Prompt Care Services, and new Radiology Services.

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Industry

topThe county is continually striving to maintain a good balance between agriculture, business, and industry. Assistance to businessand industry is available from the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce, 111 Railroad Street, Telephone (706) 597-1000; and the McDuffie County Developmental Authority, 136 Railroad Street, Thomson, GA 30824; Telephone: (706) 595 - 5967. Among the industries located in Thomson are: Thomson Plastics Shaw Industries, Temple-Inland Forest Products Corporation, United Technologies Automotive, Milliken's Kingsly Mill; Thomson Oak Flooring Company; Hoover Universal's Wood Preserving Division; GIW Thomson, Inc.; Camak Manufacturing Company; W.S. Badcock Corporation; Vigortone Company, and Thomson Plastics.

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Shopping

The commercial business district of Thomson-McDuffie is a thriving and constantly growing community. The City of Thomson has a multitude of grocery stores including locally owned stores and some nation's leading chains: BI-LO, Winn-Dixie, and Food Lion. Antique and art collectors will want to be sure to visit Weathervane Antiques.  Among others, Thomson is home to clothing stores such as Fashions by Prestwyck , Moore's, Cato, and Shoe World. Recently, Thomson's Wal-Mart was renovated to become a Super Wal-Mart and attracts shoppers from surrounding communities. Whatever your needs, they can certainly be met without ever leaving Thomson.

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Public Library

topThe Thomson-McDuffie County Bartram Trail Regional Library is a prized possession of our city. The library provides books, recordings, periodicals, filmstrips, videos, audio cassettes, and films to registered card holders. Any person over the age of 14 and with a permanent address may apply for a card. The library also periodically displays historical artifacts and, with a large and technologically-advanced conference room, serves the community constantly as a popular meeting place.

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Airport

Thomson is proud of our local airport which boasts of a 5,200 foot asphalt runway. Local hobbyists and pilots are welcome to use these facilities upon request. The Thomson McDuffie Airport provides services and navigational aids such as aircraft tiedown, airframe and power plant repair, and a lighted runway. An ILS system has been added to our runway in the spring of 2001.  For more information, contact the Thomson McDuffie Airport, 501 John P. Lane Road, Thomson, Georgia 30824; Telephone: (706) 595-1300.

Thomson also benefits from its close proximity to Augusta's Bush Field Airport, which is served by airlines with connecting flights to all major cities from Atlanta.

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Recreation

topThe Thomson-McDuffie Recreation Department offers adults and children a chance to get involved in their community by coaching and participating in sports such as football, baseball, cheerleading, and more. Parents and adults in the community are encouraged to coach or sponsor a team.  Sweetwater Park has seen major improvements with the addition of several new fields and now hosts national softball and baseball tournaments. Senior citizens can also become involved in the Recreation Department. Dances, social, arts and crafts, and other activities for older adults are developed by the Recreation Department. For more information contact the McDuffie County Recreation Department, Director's Office, 808 Whiteoak Road, Thomson, Georgia 30824, Telephone: (706) 595 - 2152.

McDuffie County's ideal location near Clarks Hill Lake offers a wide Clarks Hill - Lake Thurmondvariety of outdoors recreation. Swimming, fishing, camping, water sports, and motor boating, can be enjoyed at recreational spots such as Big Hart and Raysville. These activities can also be found at nearby Mistletoe State Park. McDuffie County offers public fishing ponds and picnicking facilities located throughout the county.

McDuffie County contains six tennis courts, two swimming pools, and four public parks. There are two private country clubs with golf courses, tennis courts, swimming facilities, and club house facilities. Yearly attractions to come to Thomson are the McDuffie County Fair and Oktoberfest in October, and the Belle Meade Hunt from November to March.

Golf

Belle Meade Country Club has an 18-hole championship golf course plus driving range, modern facilities including club house, lockers, lounge, swimming pool, and tennis courts. There are also dining facilities for groups of Golfing in Thomson - McDuffie Countyup to 250 people. The club is open to members and guests.

Thomson Country Club has an excellent nine-hole golf course open to members and guests. The club has a modern clubhouse, dining facilities, swimming pool, and tennis courts. Several amateur golf tournaments are held here each year.

Fishing

McDuffie Public Fishing AreatopMcDuffie County Public Fishing Area, with 14 ponds covering 100 acres, provides the finest pond fishing in Georgia. Located seven miles west from Thomson, the McDuffie County Public Fishing Area is a state-owned public facility. Bream, bass, and channel catfish are the most popular catches. Clarks Hill Reservoir offers the avid fisherman a chance to land large mouth bass, white bass, bluegill, bream, and channel catfish among others. Championship tournaments for bass are held at the Reservoir each year.

Hunting

Sportsmen choose the Clark Hill Wildlife Management Area, covering 15,000 acres, during Fall and Winter seasons for hunting deer and small game and Spring for turkey. Managed by Georgia Department of Natural Resources 706-595-4222 - Permit required, US 78 - 10 miles NW of Thomson from I-20.

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Education

General Information

topMcDuffie County Schools with its seven schools provides educational programs which meet the learning needs of all students from Pre-Kindergarten through high school. The curriculum is based on the state-required objectives of the Quality Core Curriculum and national standards for curriculum. Results of the state mandated student testing program with tests administered at grades 3, 5, and 8 show that McDuffie County students exceeded the state goals set for those grades. High School students in the college preparatory program also exceeded that state average in scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). All schools are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

  • The Pre-Kindergarten Program, funded by the Georgia Lottery, helps develop concepts which will enable four-year children to be ready to learn when they enter kindergarten.
  • Grades K - 5 offer an integrated curriculum with an emphasis on the mastery of basic skills, as well as providing remediation and enrichment activities. Technology has become an important part of the instructional part of the instructional program through the use of computers, satellite transmitted programs, and access to the Internet.  Maxwell Elementary School has been designated a School of Excellence.
  • Thomson Middle School's instructional program, which meets the developmental needs of students is grades 6 & 7, provides a balanced curriculum of integrated academic subjects with exploratory courses such as music, band, computer skills, vocational/career studies, foreign language, and art. Thomson Middle School was a recipient of a model technology grant enabling the school to provide additional highly advanced technology for students to engage in learning activities including multi-media computer programs. The middle school also has an outstanding band program which has received numerous awards and offers extracurricular athletic programs including football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and tennis.
  • Thomson-McDuffie Middle School opened school year 2008. McDuffie School District is blazing trails in providing extraordinary support to our student body. An exceptionally qualified faculty awaits students, ready to provide challenging and engaging educational experiences that will not only prepare students for their futures, but will also foster in them a life-long love of learning. In addition to rigorous core course offerings taught with the support of a cohort group of teachers, students will have the opportunity to explore a broad range of courses including band, chorus, computer applications, drama, horticulture, construction, health, personal fitness, weightlifting, physical education, study skills/careers, JROTC, current issues, gifted offerings, journalism, and local area studies. Moreover, TMMS will provide excellent support services and a wide selection of courses for students of all abilities. In an effort to help students develop their personal interests and talents, the junior high school will also offer a variety of clubs and activities and will afford participation in eighth and ninth grade sports.
  • Thomson High School, a State and National School of Excellence, offers a strong academic program which enables students to receive a Thomson High Schoolcollege preparatory or a technological preparatory diploma. The high school received a state waiver to offer an innovative program which enables students to take eight courses each semester. This allows students to complete the basic requirements for a diploma and to take additional higher level courses and more elective courses. The Technological Preparatory Program which is a collaborative effort between the high school and Augusta Technical Institute provides a coordinated curriculum from grades 10 - 12 through two years of technical school. This program replaces the traditional vocational program with a more advanced, technological program which helps prepare students to enter a post-secondary school or the workplace. The Apprenticeship Program and other work-study programs provide valuable experience in career planning and preparation.
    Thomson High also provides extracurricular athletic programs which include tennis, football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and golf. Both the middle and high schools have extracurricular activities available for students including art, music, drama, literary events, and academic competitions.
Post-Secondary Opportunities:

Augusta Technical Institute - Thomson - McDuffie CampusSeveral major post-secondary institutions are within 62 miles of Thomson including: Augusta State University, The Medical College of Georgia, the University of Georgia, Georgia College, and the newly constructed Thomson/McDuffie campus of Augusta Technical Institute.

Augusta Technical Institute administers a "Quick Start" program to aid new industries and prospective employees. On-the-job training and employment opportunities are available through the JTPA (Job Training Partnership Act) program.

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Historical Information and Tours

topMcDuffie County, created in 1870, was named for George McDuffie, a native son who earned fame as a lawyer and governor of South Carolina. McDuffie County encompasses most of what was within the 44,000 acres of land granted to a group of Quakers in 1768 as the colonial Wrightsborough Township, part of St. Paul's Parish. In 1777 the area became Richmond County, in 1790 part of Columbia County, in 1973 part of Warren County, and mostly formed again as McDuffie County in 1870 with 266.2 square miles. The routine of the Georgia Railroad along the fall line of the Piedmont and Coastal Plains also led to the development of towns in this area.

Thomson was named for J. Edgar Thomson, chief civil engineer responsible for surveying and constructing the Georgia Railroad which began in Augusta in 1834. The town was incorporated in 1854 and designated the seat of government for McDuffie County in 1879. With a population of over 20,000 McDuffie County represents a center of growth for the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) in Georgia. The Courthouse was built in 1870's and renovated in 1970's.

Dearing was named for William Dearing, president of the Georgia Railroad Banking Company. The town was incorporated in 1910, but has been an active village since the early 1840's.

Thomson - McDuffie Chamber of CommerceHistoric house tours for groups can be arranged by contacting the Thomson-McDuffie Tourism Convention Visitors Bureau located at the Thomson Depot in downtown Thomson, 111 Railroad Street, Thomson, Georgia 30824; Telephone: (706) 597-1000. Arrangements to visit the Rock House (an 18th century house museum), Hickory Hill (home of the late Senator Thomas E. Watson), the home of blues great "Blind Willie" McTell, and historical or genealogical information is also available at the same office.top