Historic Markers Across Georgia

First Flight in Georgia Site of Ben Epps' Garage

Marker ID: GHS 29.5
Location: East Washington Street, Athens, GA
County: Clarke
Coordinates: N 33° 57.558    W 083° 22.605
  33.9593    -83.37675
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM5CP6
First Flight in Georgia Site of Ben Epps' Garage Marker  


Georgia´s pioneer aviator, Benjamin Thomas Epps, was born in Oconee County in 1888. He opened Athens´ first automobile repair garage at this location on East Washington Street in 1907. That same year, nineteen-year old Epps designed and built his first airplane here - a monoplne with an upright buggy seat, bicycle wheels, and a 35-foot wingspan powered by a fifteen-horsepower French Anzani engine. Its successful flight earned him recognition as the father of Georgia aviation. Epps tested his aircraft and operated a flying service at what is now Athens-Ben Epps Airport. He died of injuries suffered in a plane crash in 1937 at the age of forty-nine.
Erected by the Georgia Historical Society, Athens-Clarke County Government,
Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Epps Cousins Club
2007.10 29-5