COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Columbus and Phenix City are rich in history. Some of it isn’t for the faint of heart. If you are interested in learning the darker side of the area’s past, there’s a tour for you.
The Wicked River Cities Tour will run from Saturday, Oct. 1 through Friday, Nov. 4. It will take place on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The Facebook page for the tour says it deals with “notorious, hideous and tragic events” in the area. The tour is for people ages 13 and up.
Tours can take place in shuttle vehicles or personal vehicles. They can be booked for individuals or groups. Each tour will start and end at the Chattahoochee Brewing Company, located at 505 13th Street in Phenix City.
The tours will be led by Victor Feliciano, who has owned and operated Vicinity Tours for five years. Feliciano lives in Phenix City but grew up in Columbus. He has lived in the area for over 40 years.
Feliciano said the tour covers about 30 places, all of which are optional. Most of them are in Columbus.
He said he was inspired by ghost tours to create the The Wicked River Cities Tour. He wanted to create something that suited October.
“There’s a lot of people interested in ghost tours,” he said. “And what I’ve noticed is [with] a lot of ghost tours, there is some backing to it, but there are some embellishments and such. In studying Columbus’s history, there’s so much dark history … so much bizarre stories that you don’t even have to make them up.”
Feliciano said he doesn’t have a script and that “no two tours are alike.”
“I don’t want to make it sound like I’m exploiting the situation, the people and such,” he said. “These are part of history. This is a part of Columbus’s history.”
The Wicked River Cities Tour used to be called the Not for Everyone Tour because of details people may find disturbing. The most recent story is from about 12 years ago. The oldest is from the 1800s. One story deals with the mob killing of Simon Adams.
“He was a young hired hand,” Feliciano said. “The story had it that he was caught inside one of the daughters’ rooms, which he [was] checking out and was escorted towards the police station but was detoured. And upon the detour, he was ambushed. So the story had it that they were ambushed, that they were ambushed by a mob that dragged Simon Adams over to the river and basically through him into the river and also shot him. And he was trying to stay afloat.”
Feliciano said Adams was tied to a stone.
The Wicked River Cities Tour isn’t the only tour offered by Vicinity Tours.
“We offer six different tours, types of tours – Everything from, like, downtown Columbus, Black heritage tour, we have food tours, we have Sin City tours (Phenix City),” Feliciano said.
Click here to book The Wicked River Cities Tour.