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McRae–Helena is a city in the U.S. state of Georgia, formed on January 1, 2015, by the merger of the two cities of McRae and Helena. McRae–Helena is the county seat of Telfair County.

McRae–Helena, Georgia
City of McRae–Helena
Downtown McRae–Helena, Georgia
Downtown McRae–Helena, Georgia
The Purple Heart City
The Crossroads City
McRae–Helena, Georgia is located in Georgia (U.S. state)
McRae–Helena, Georgia
McRae–Helena, Georgia
Location in Georgia
Coordinates: 32°04′10″N 82°54′10″W / 32.06944°N 82.90278°W / 32.06944; -82.90278Coordinates: 32°04′10″N 82°54′10″W / 32.06944°N 82.90278°W / 32.06944; -82.90278
CountryUnited States
CountyTelfair, Wheeler
 • MayorMike young
 • City ManagerLiz McLean
 • Total650
 • Estimate 
ZIP code
Area code(s)229

It is largest city in Telfair County, with an estimated population of 8,380 in 2018.[2] This includes the population held as inmates at McRae Correctional Institution.


On January 1, 2015, McRae and the adjacent town of Helena merged to form McRae–Helena. This merge was initiated because Helena could not manage the city’s wastewater capacity. If McRae took on Helena’s water services, Helena would have been left with less revenue, and it would have been left providing only two services.[3] The cities were united under House Bill 967, sponsored by Representative Jimmy Pruett of the 149th district. It was signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal on April 10, 2014. [4]


McRae–Helena is located in northern Telfair County at 32°3′52″N 82°53′54″W / 32.06444°N 82.89833°W / 32.06444; -82.89833 (32.064508, -82.898251).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.34000 square miles (11.24055 km2).[2] The Little Ocmulgee River flows just northeast of the city limits, while Sugar Creek passes through the southwest border of the city.


Several highways travel through McRae–Helena Area. U.S. Route 23 (US 23), along with US 341/SR 27 travel through the city as a one-way pair using Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (formerly Railroad Street), heading northwest 20 miles (32 km) to Eastman and Oak Street heading southeast 24 miles (39 km) to Hazlehurst, while US 280/US 319/US 441/SR 30/SR 31 travel through as Third Avenue, crossing US 23/US 341/SR 27 in the center of the city. US 280/SR 30 heads northeast 33 miles (53 km) to Vidalia and west 55 miles (89 km) to Cordele, while US 319/US 441/SR 31 heads south 19 miles (31 km) to the small town of Jacksonville and north 35 miles (56 km) to Dublin.

Major railroad lines include the former Macon and Brunswick Railroad, now the Brunswick Division of Norfolk Southern Railway which passes through both former cities, and a former Seaboard Air Line Railroad line now owned by the Heart of Georgia Railroad that passed only through Helena. A junction between these lines exists in the former Helena.

Sites of interestEdit

Located in downtown McRae–Helena is Liberty Square, home of a Statue of Liberty replica that is one-twelfth the size of the original. The square is also the site of a replica of the Liberty Bell and a marble memorial to Telfair County residents who died in military service.

On the outskirts of McRae–Helena is the Talmadge Home. This historic home was occupied by two former Georgia governors, Eugene Talmadge and Herman Eugene Talmadge. McRae–Helena was the birthplace of Marion B. Folsom (1893–1976), a longtime executive of the Eastman Kodak Company who served as the United States Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare during the Eisenhower administration.

Famous railfan photographer William B. Folsom is buried in McRae–Helena.


Telfair County School DistrictEdit

The Telfair County School District holds pre-school to grade twelve, and consists of one elementary school, a middle school, and a high school.[5] The district has 112 full-time teachers and over 1,648 students.[6]

Higher educationEdit


Census Pop.
Est. 20188,380[1]
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

In 2015 it was estimated there were 8,754 people, including the population held as inmates at McRae Correctional Institution, residing in the city.[2] McRae-Helena as Telfair County's largest city is the cultural and economic center of the County. The city of McRae-Helena has a Trading Area of 25,000 people.


McRae-Helena City Limits Sign

Major employers in McRae–Helena include:

Arts and cultureEdit

Museums and other points of interestEdit

The Telfair County museum of history

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "QuickFacts McRae-Helena city, Georgia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  3. ^ McLean, Liz (April 10, 2015). "Once Divided, Now United, McRae-Helena Focused on Future, Downtown". Georgia Municipal Association. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  4. ^ "2013-2014 Regular Session - HB 967 City of McRae-Helena; create and incorporate new municipality; provisions". Georgia General Assembly. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  5. ^ Georgia Board of Education, Retrieved June 27, 2010.
  6. ^ School Stats, Retrieved June 27, 2010.
  7. ^ Heart of Georgia Technical College Archived 2010-09-24 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved June 4, 2010.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ [3]
  12. ^ [4]
  13. ^ [5]
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-03-17. Retrieved 2014-02-11. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ [6]
  16. ^ [7]
  17. ^ [8]

External linksEdit