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city, seat (1872) of Ware county, southeastern Georgia, U.S., on the coastal plain, about 50 miles (80 km) west of Brunswick. Early settlers had built blockhouses in the area by the 1820s as a protection against Native Americans. Originally the hub of stagecoach and pioneer trails, Waycross developed as a sawmill, turpentine, and farming community. The city's name signifies its location at the junction of roads and rail lines. The economy is based on tobacco and light industry; manufacturing centres on wood and paper products. Dixon Memorial State Forest, containing Laura S. Walker State Park, and the northern entrance to the Okefenokee Swamp Park and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge are a short distance to the south. Waycross is the birthplace of actor Burt Reynolds. Inc. 1874. Pop. (1990) 16,410; (2000) 15,333.