Juliette: A hidden gem of Monroe County
JULIETTE, Ga. -- The city of Juliette has some hidden gems, starting with going way back to its beginnings.
The town is named for Juliette McCrackin, the daughter of a railroad engineer - and anyone who's ever spent time in the town can't miss the train that runs through it every hour.
Visitors also can't miss the tourist strip that's McCrackin St. Along it, you'll find locally-owned "mom and pop" stores, as well as the Whistle Stop Cafe that was made famous in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes.
Aside from the railroad, Juliette's signature sounds include the rushing Ocmulgee River, which is lined with homes and cabins available for rent. Employees of Plant Scherer - one of the largest power plants in the country - also use those cabins.
Plant Scherer is a coal-fired power plant that sits on 3,500 acres in Monroe County.
According to Georgia Power, commercial operation at Plant Scherer started in 1982. It's named after Robert W. Scherer.
The plant has four units that are able to produce about 3,600 megawatts of electricity - meaning the plant can supply energy to power more than two million homes. That's about five times the amount of homes in the eight counties that surround Plant Scherer.
The plant also helps contribute $7 million to Monroe County and the surrounding area in job opportunities as well as the benefits that come from having access to electricity. Right now 400 people work at Plant Scherer.
In the heart of McCrackin St. is the Whistle Stop Cafe - it's the staple that brings tourists from all over the world to visit Juliette. Before the cafe was part of one of the biggest movies of the early 1990's, it was a family grocery store.
WGXA caught up with Frankie Williams, the man some call the mayor of Juliette. And he knows the backbone of his town.
"It was our family grocery store. My grandfather built it in 1938. He was there til 1975. My father was there 14 years. The Williams family probably goes back about four generations. The opry building up the street was my great grandfather's store and we actually had several mom and pop stores that made a good living through the years," said Williams.