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Georgia Natural Wonder #158 - Etowah Indian Mounds - Cartersville (Part 1)
September 12, 2020 11:36PM

Georgia Natural Wonder #158 - Etowah Indian Mounds - Cartersville (Part 1)

Etowah Indian Mounds

This is my 200th post on TRD's Georgia Natural Wonders and I like to think 200 of the best (most effort) post on HOTD. Poured my little heart out plagiarizing Internet text and images and trying to squeeze in my own photos and observations from visits with my family to these sites. Before you post about visiting a spot in Georgia on the main board, and what you should do there, check out the Forum to see if it has already received the TRD overboard review. If you are looking for a get away weekend in Georgia, check out the Forum. Since we are only on Wonder #158, that means we have done 42 mostly history post about the area of the wonder. Hell I did 13 tangents on Athens and Savannah. We ain't even got to Atlanta yet and we are 200 post in. You scoff there is nothing Natural Wonder about Atlanta but let's not tangent there on this 200th TRD GNW post.

TRD enjoys this view of the Unnatural Wonder of Atlanta everyday.

Still in Bartow County, and we move west of I-75 to a man made wonder as this weeks Georgia Natural Wonder. We have long since mixed our state's Natural Wonders with hand of man creations. Providence Canyon was a result of human caused erosion. Warm Springs is more famous for it's Institute and Pool. Radium Springs had the casino. The Augusta Canal, Calloway Gardens, Ocmulgee Indian Mounds, and Allatoona Pass are all separate Georgia Natural Wonders in our forum, even though they aren't truly natural. This week we feature as our Georgia Natural Wonder, the Etowah Indian Mounds. This gives us an excuse to include other Indian Sites in the future.

The Etowah Indian Mounds rising on the shores of the Etowah. They date back at least 500 years and possibly 1,000 years. There were 6 mounds with the largest being 6 stories tall. The nearby Leake Mounds were believed to date back 2300 years. Always remember Indians were here way before us.

They were built and occupied in three phases, from 1000–1550 AD. The second tallest Indian mound in America is here on the Etowah River just southwest of Cartersville. There are six mounds, a plaza area, and defensive ditches around the 54 acre site from one riverside to the other. There is also two large “Borrow Pits” where dirt was removed to build the mound. Cherokee Indian decedents in Oklahoma still have oral history of “Etalwa” being the center of Indian culture at the time of its heyday. Several sites reference this area being Hightower, but we know the actual Hightower Village for the Chickamauga Cherokee Indians was at present day Myrtle Hill Cemetery in downtown Rome. GNW #54.

Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site is a designated National Historic Landmark, managed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. It is the most intact Mississippian culture site in the Southeastern United States.


In the 19th century, European-American settlers mistakenly believed that the mounds had been built by the historic Cherokee, who occupied the region at the time. But researchers now know that the Iroquoian-speaking tribe did not reach this part of Georgia until the late 18th century and could not have built the mounds.

Late 20th-century studies showed the mounds were built and occupied by prehistoric indigenous peoples of the South Appalachian Mississippian culture (Mississippian culture) of eastern North America. They were ancestors of the historic Muskogean language-speaking Muscogee Creek people who later emerged in this area. Etowah is a Muskogee word derived from italwa meaning "town". The federally recognized Muscogee (Creek) Nation and Poarch Band of Creek Indians consider Etalwa to be their most important ancestral town. A new, large-scale model of Etalwa is on permanent display in the rotunda of the Muskogee (Creek) Capitol in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. From 1000–1550 AD, Etowah was occupied by a series of cycling chiefdoms (Coosa confederacy) over the course of five and a half centuries.

They cut all the trees off.

Changes in ceramic styles across multiple sites in the Etowah River Valley have been used to determine timelines for the region. The town was occupied in three distinct archaeological phases: ca. 1000–1200 AD, ca. 1250–1375 AD, and ca. 1375–1550 AD. It was at its peak roughly from 1325–1375 AD.

Older pottery found on the site downstream suggest that there was an earlier village (ca. 200 BC–600 AD) associated with the Swift Creek culture.

This earlier Middle Woodland period occupation at Etowah may have been related to the major Swift Creek center of Leake Mounds, approximately two miles downstream (west) of Etowah.


The artifacts discovered in burials within the Etowah site indicate that its residents developed an artistically and technically advanced culture.

Numerous copper tools, weapons and ornamental copper plates accompanied the burials of members of Etowah's elite class. Where proximity to copper protected the fibers from degeneration, archaeologists also found brightly colored cloth with ornate patterns. These were the remnants of the clothing of social elites.

Numerous clay figurines and ten Mississippian stone statues have been found through the years in the vicinity of Etowah. Many are paired statues, which portray a man sitting cross-legged and a woman kneeling.

The female figures wear wrap-around skirts and males are usually portrayed without visible clothing, although both usually have elaborate hairstyles. The pair are thought to represent lineage ancestors. Individual statues of young women also show them kneeling, but with additional characteristics such as visible sex organs, which are not visible on the paired statues. This female figure is thought to represent a fertility or Earth Mother goddess.

The birdman, hand in eye, solar cross, and other symbols associated with the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex appear in many artifacts found at Etowah.


Trade and tribute brought whelk shells from the Gulf of Mexico; copper, mica and flint from the Cumberland Plateau; and "galena, graphite, and an array of ochers to provide pigment for painting buildings, bodies, and works of art; greenstone and marble to furnish raw material for tools, weapons and ritual objects" from the Piedmont.

The loamy riverbed soil could be easily tilled with digging sticks and stone and shell hoes. Its fertility was annually renewed by the river's floods. Free of frost most of the year, the land yielded rich harvests of corn, beans, and squash.


Chestnut, walnut, hickory, and persimmon trees that grew in upland forests provided nuts and fruit for both the people of Etowah and the white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and smaller game they hunted. Other plants that were gathered include stinging nettle, paper mulberry, and a native holly whose leaves and stems were brewed into the Black drink imbibed in ritual purification ceremonies. River cane grew in dense thickets and was made into arrow shafts, thatching for roofs, splits for baskets, benches, and mats for walls and floors.

River shoals abounded in freshwater mussels and turtles. The Mississippians built v-shaped rock weirs to pen and channel catfish, drum and gar, which they caught in rivercane baskets. Researchers have found remains of more than 100 rock weirs along the Etowah River. One has been restored within the grounds of the historic site. When the water is low you can see the V shaped fish traps made of stones in the river. You can see this same system on many river floats. I always blame my getting stuck on the rocks during a float on Indian Fish Traps.

Fish Basket trap.


War was commonplace; many archaeologists believe the people of Etowah battled for hegemony over the Alabama river basin with those of Moundville, a Mississippian site in present-day Alabama. The town was protected by a sophisticated semicircular fortification system. An outer band formed by nut tree orchards prevented enemy armies from shooting masses of flaming arrows into the town. A 9 feet to 10 feet deep moat blocked direct contact by the enemy with the palisade walls. It also functioned as a drainage system during major floods, common for centuries, from this period and into the 20th century.

Workers formed the palisade by setting upright 12 feet high logs into a ditch approximately 12 inches on center and then back-filling around the timbers to form a levee.

Guard towers for archers were spaced approximately 80 feet apart.

The Etowah site may be the same as a village of a similar name visited by Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto in 1540. The chroniclers of the de Soto Expedition made no mention of any large mounds in their record of visiting a town named Itaba. Itaba means "boundary" or trail crossing in the Alabama language.

Site description

As you enter the visitor center, take the time to see the museum.

In 2005-2008 ground mapping with magnetometers revealed new information and data, showing that the site was much more complex than had previously been believed. The study team has identified a total of 140 buildings on the site. Magnetometers enabled archaeologists to determine the location of temples of log and thatch, which were originally built on top of the mounds. Adjacent to the mounds is a raised ceremonial plaza, which was used for ceremonies, stickball and chunkey games, and as a bazaar for trade goods.

Imagine all the plain in front of you filled with huts and activity.

Crossing the bridge.

There use to be trees on the big mound.

There is a sample hut to the right as you cross the bridge over the defensive pit.

There is this model of what the city looked like.

Etowah has three main platform mounds and three lesser mounds. The Temple Mound, Mound A, is 63 feet high, taller than a six-story building, and covers 3 acres at its base.

Only a mound near St. Louis, MO is higher. The great temple of the chief was atop this mound.

Wife has tightened her legs climbing stairs.

Mound A was found to have had four major structures and a courtyard during the height of the community's power.

The temple mound was probed with ground penetrating radar but nothing worth investigating was found and thus this Indian mound has never been fully excavated. Archaeologists did find evidence of at least one large structure on top of the Great Temple Mound. A log wall or fence surrounded the summit. Curiously, the summit is pentagonal in form.

Lot of stairs.

In addition, Mound B is 25 feet high. Mound B was a temple platform for a lesser chief. The Lesser Temple Mound, or Mound B, is a more circular or oval Indian mound. It is possible this temple mound was originally square and later plowing by farmers in the 1800’s and 1900’s softened the edges to create the current rounded form. It also appears to have had a large structure on top. This Indian mound is approximately 30 feet tall.

Mound B.

Mound C, which rises 10 feet, is the only one to have been excavated and then only partially. They found 350 burials. The bodies were buried from the middle out, so you can see how the bodies increased the size of the mound during the 500 to 1000 years this city existed.

Mound C is also known as the Funeral Mound, and it has been excavated and some of North America’s most important Native American and Mississippian artifacts have been discovered there. Among these were ceremonial copper axes, copper-covered earspools, necklaces and pendants of shell and engraved shell gorgets. These shell gorgets were circular medallions worn around the neck made from large seashells and inscribed or carved with various designs.

Many of these shell gorget designs belong to a complex known as the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex, once referred to as the Southern Cult or Southern Death Cult. It has been repeatedly noted that many of these Southeastern Ceremonial Complex designs have strong Mesoamerican influences such as the Long Etowah Mounds Bird Man copper plate Nosed God and the Bird Man or Eagle Warrior.

It should be remembered that if the Creek Indian Migration Legend is correct, the Muskogee Indian tribe did have its origin in west Mexico. Yet by the time of the major construction period at Etowah Mounds these people had not lived in Mexico for over 300 years. The original Mesoamerican ideas would have evolved in that amount of time and would have been influenced by the people they had come into contact with in the eastern woodlands. Thus ideas such as the Feathered Serpent remained but evolved into their own unique expression. Likewise for the Long Nosed God and the Bird Man/Eagle Warrior.

These symbols were also portrayed on copper breastplates worn by high status individuals. One such copper breastplate was found buried with an individual in Mound C, the burial mound. It shows a Bird Man or Eagle Warrior dancing. Amazingly, dancers at modern powwows can be seen performing dances that look remarkably similar to the dances portrayed in these copper designs.

The most important artifacts discovered at the Etowah Mounds site are undoubtedly the two carved marble statues of a man and woman. They are each about two feet tall and are in sitting positions. Early Spanish explorers noted that similar statues were part of an ancestor worship cult and were housed in Funerary Temples where offerings were made to them. These particular statues were discovered buried in their own grave at the base of Mound C. It appears that they were hastily buried without a lot of care since they were broken into pieces when discovered.

This hasty burial corresponds with another piece of archaeological evidence: the palisade wall appears to have burned down. Often times Native Americans would bury important objects when they came under attack in order to keep the items out of the hands of their enemies. It is probable that an attack serious enough to burn down the major defensive work of the massive Etowah Mounds site would have been the inspiration for such a hasty burial of these important objects. It is also possible that the attackers smashed the statues, thereby ritually killing them, and buried them to prevent them from ever being used again.

The small mounds D, E, F are off to the left. The large Borrow Pit is to your right as you cross the bridge coming onto the site. Guests can view the "borrow pits" (which archaeologists at one time thought were moats) which were dug out to create the three large mounds in the center of the park.

The area was owned by the Tumlin family from before the Civil War until the state purchased it in 1953. A decedent, Henry Tumlin was the superintendent for almost 30 years. Please do not climb on the mounds other than on the steps. It is not open on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday. It is only open Wednesday – Saturday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Call 770-387-3747.

Directions: Take GA Hwy. 113 west from I-75 through downtown Cartersville and Etowah Drive forks off left. Just follow the prominent signs to the Indian Mounds.

Leake Mounds (9BR2) is an important archaeological site in Bartow County, Georgia built and used by peoples of the Swift Creek Culture. The site is 2 miles west of Etowah Mounds on the Etowah River, although it predates that site by hundreds of years. Excavation of nearly 50,000 square feet on the site showed that Leake Mounds was one of the most important Middle Woodland period site in this area from around 300 BC to 650 AD, a center with ties throughout the Southeast and Midwest. It was abandoned about 650 AD and not occupied again until by different peoples near the end of the Mississippian culture period, about 1500.

The site includes at least three major mounds and a large semi-circular moat/ditch.

While much of the mounds were razed to be used as road fill for the expansion of the Georgia State Route 113 and Georgia State Route 61 in the 1940s, significant portions of the site remain.

Several sites on nearby Ladds Mountain were integrally associated with Leake.

Including Shaw Mound, a stone burial mound; Indian Fort, a stone wall enclosure; and Ladds Cave, a large cave.

Examples of a type of pottery decoration consisting of a diamond-shaped checks found at Leake Mounds are also known from Hopewell sites in Ohio (such as Seip, Rockhold, Harness, and Turner), the Mann Site in southern Indiana, as well as other sites in the South such as the Miner's Creek site, 9HY98, and Mandeville Site in Georgia, and the Yearwood site in southern Tennessee.

Tangent on Cartersville Area

Cartersville is more a suburb of Atlanta than a North Georgia Mountain town, as the population has almost doubled in the 2000’s. Traditionally considered part of northwest Georgia, Bartow County is now included in the Atlanta metropolitan area, mainly in the southeastern part near Cartersville, which has become an exurb more than 40 miles from downtown Atlanta on I-75. It has a sole commissioner government, and is the largest county by population of the few remaining in Georgia with a sole commissioner.

Under The Bridge District

We are 7 post in on Bartow County We talked about how the Cherokee Indian land was taken in 1832 and named Cass County, after General Lewis Cass, in our post #153 (Part 2). The county was renamed on December 6, 1861 in honor of Francis Stebbins Bartow because of Cass's support of the Union, even though Bartow never visited in the county, living 200 miles away near Savannah all of his life.

Tangent Francis S. Bartow

He was the first high-ranking Georgian to be killed in the Civil War. He served two terms in the Georgia House of Representatives, followed by one term in the state senate during the early 1850s.


He led the Oglethorpe Light Infantry in capturing Fort Pulaski at the mouth of the Savannah River. Bartow was elected a delegate to the state secession convention in Milledgeville, where as a member of the so-called immediate secessionist faction he used his great oratorical skills to influence the convention to pass an ordinance of secession. Late in June 1861, Bartow received orders to move his troops to the outskirts of Manassas to support General P. G. T. Beauregard. The regiment was transported to Manassas by train.

Bartow commanded the 7th, 8th, & 9th Georgia Regiment. He addressed his troops, "... but remember, boys, that battle and fighting mean death, and probably before sunrise, some of us will be dead." Early the next morning, Bartow had the 7th and 8th Georgia march to the left flank of the army. After the fighting had started, the two regiments reached Henry House Hill. He deployed his brigade on the hill alongside Brigadier-General Barnard Bee's brigade. Bee then decided to go forward to support Evan's brigade on Matthew Hill. Bartow deployed the 7th and 8th Georgia into line of battle to support the right flank of Bee's Brigade. Bee is the one who gave Stonewall Jackson his name.

As the hours went on, Bartow's soldiers were gradually worn down by the enemy. At times, they found themselves completely encircled, the target of a spate of bullets. One of the survivors later wrote, "Practically half of the Eighth's 1,000 Georgians fell dead or wounded, or were captured or lost ... Bartow led his men to an exposed eminence which was too hot to hold."

The monument to Confederate Brigadier General Francis S. Bartow. The monument to “Stonewall” Jackson is in the distance.

Bartow (now with less than 400 men) was forced to retreat about noontime back to his original deployment site. There, he asked General Beauregard, "What shall now be done? Tell me, and if human efforts can avail, I will do it." Waving at the enemy position on the Stone Bridge, Beauregard replied, "That battery should be silenced." Bartow gathered the remainder of the 7th Regiment and launched another attack. Around Henry House Hill, Bartow's horse was shot out from under him and a bullet wounded him slightly. Nonetheless, he grabbed another horse and continued the attack.

At one point, he harangued his troops to follow him toward the enemy by cheering "Boys, follow me!" and waving his cap frantically over his head. Just then, another projectile perforated his chest, fatally lodging in his heart. Some of his soldiers gathered around him, witnessing his last words: "Boys, they have killed me, but never give up the field." Lying on the ground and wrapped in Col. Lucius Gartrell's arms, Francis Bartow died. He was the first brigade commander to be killed in action during the Civil War. Amos Rucker and his brother Moses Bentley, two body servants from the 7th Regiment, carried Bartow off the battlefield. The renowned surgeon H. V. M. Miller attended him, but without success.

The rest of Bartow's 7th Georgia continued to obey his last command to attack. The Union forces were beginning to show fatigue, due to their having been weakened during Bartow's morning attack. The Confederates sustained their attack until finally destroying the enemy battery at Stone Bridge. General Beauregard declared, "You Georgians saved me," though the Georgia Rome Weekly Courier newspaper commented, "Col. Bartow's fine Regiment of Georgians were nearly annihilated".

When his bust was dedicated in Chippewa Square in Savannah, there was an elaborate parade in which various Confederate Veterans organizations, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, civic groups, and Savannah’s military groups participated. The monument/bust to Bartow was unveiled by Francis Bartow Hight, a granddaughter of one of Francis Bartow’s sisters.

Busts of Confederate figures Francis Stebbins Bartow and Lafayette McLaws were moved from Chippewa Square to Forsyth Park to make room for the Oglethorpe monument in 1910.

The bust today.

The honor of this county name will probably be challenged one day.

The first county seat was at Cassville, but after the burning of the county courthouse and the Sherman Occupation, the seat moved to Cartersville, where it remains. Cartersville was first known as Birmingham to its original English settlers. The town was incorporated as Cartersville in 1854. The present name is for Colonel Farish Carter of Milledgeville, the owner of a large plantation. He has been cited as the richest landowner and businessman in Antebellum Georgia and played an important role in the growth of Georgia's pre-war economy. Farish Carter began his business career as a merchant in Sandersville, Georgia. During the War of 1812 he profited quite well selling arms and military supplies to the Georgia Militia as United States Army Contractor for Georgia. With the resulting profits, he bought a plantation at Scottsboro, Georgia south of Milledgeville, and another he called Bonavista on the Oconee River. By 1845, he would own over 30,000 acres in Baldwin County, Georgia.

Carter. Hey the Seinfeld puffy shirt.

His appetite for wealth caused him to further speculate in land acquisitions and investments such as banking, gold mining and railroads. Carter purchased 15,000 acres on the Coosawattee River in the Cherokee Nation. All his plantations were both self supportive and profitable producing a broad array of goods such as tobacco, wool, livestock, grains, timber and cotton. He made frequent stage coach trips between his plantations in both north and south Georgia, passing frequently through the little hamlet of Birmingham, on the Etowah River, just south of present day Cartersville, Georgia. Birmingham already had a name but there was a town growing up a half mile north. A small community of settlers that at the time was preparing for a station in anticipation of the railroad coming through following passage of a bill in 1836 creating the Western & Atlantic Railroad. The town would become Cartersville and over time the community of Birmingham ceased to exist.

Cartersville was incorporated as a city in 1872.

Western And Atlantic Depot

The  main Civil War site in Cartersville is the Western and Atlantic Depot. This is another place “The General” passed through after being stolen at Big Shanty by Andrew's Raiders.

This depot was built in 1854. It survived the Civil War and remains one of the few depots to survive. Sherman left it intact and even came back six months afterwards to dine across the street while Union soldiers boarded trains back home. The depot was a major factor in moving the Bartow County Seat there from Cassville.

A loading platform was added in 1902 and ran the whole city block.

Most of the structure was razed in the 1970’s, this portion remains. Almost 50 trains run through Cartersville every day.

Post Civil War War Bartow County

The county was profoundly affected by the Civil War, setting it back economically for many decades. Sherman's huge army was disruptive and sought food. Elements were out of control and sacked homes depleting meager supplies.

Cotton Gin.

Property destruction and the deaths of one-third of the county's soldiers during the war caused financial and social calamity for many. By the late 1870s, hardship was experienced by everyone. Blacks had been relegated to second-class citizenship by Jim Crow laws. Bartow County is still one of the least Democratic counties in Georgia.

TRD image today.

The Bartow History Museum is located in the Old Cartersville Courthouse, built in 1869, in the heart of downtown Cartersville, conveniently located near restaurants and shops. It proved to be unsatisfactory because court proceedings had to be halted while trains passed by on the nearby railroad. Artifacts, photographs, documents, and a variety of interactive permanent exhibits tell the story of settlement, Cherokee life and removal, Civil War strife, and lifestyles of years past.

The Bartow County Courthouse, built in 1902, is an historic redbrick Classical Revival style county courthouse located on Courthouse Square.

Designed by the Louisville, Kentucky architectural firm of Kenneth McDonald & Co. together with self-taught Georgia architect J. W. Golucke, who is said to have designed 27 courthouses in Georgia and four in Alabama, it is Bartow County's third courthouse and the second one built in Cartersville.

In 1992 a courthouse annex known as the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center was completed.

While the 1902 building is still used for some court purposes, most of the proceedings are held in the 1992 building.

Olde Town

While driving around in Cartersville, we noticed several Victorian neighborhoods. Cartersville has five historic districts: Olde Town, West End, Cherokee-Cassville, Granger Hill and the Downtown Business District.

The districts have almost 500 private residences and almost 200 businesses.

The homes near Roselawn were particularly gorgeous.

Grand Oak stands out.

Take the time to see these homes. Cartersville has a lot to offer.

Olde Town Cartersville.

Oak Hill Cemetery

Traveling out Erwin Street from downtown, or out Cassville Road next to Roselawn, you come upon the Oak Hill Cemetery. Since 1838, Oak Hill Cemetery has been serving the needs of the people of Cartersville. The Cemetery was acquired in 1850 from the former Ebeneezer Methodist Church (now Sam Jones Memorial United Methodist Church) and is now owned and operated by the City of Cartersville as a perpetual care cemetery. There were several significant grave sites when TRD visited. Sam Jones,

Jones was a big deal.

Mark Cooper of Cooper Furnace fame.

Whole Cooper Family in here.

Don't forget about his Friendship monument downtown.

and Rebecca Latimer Felton.

Sam and Rebecca will be discussed latter in this post.

Bill Arp was a newspaper columnist. The Lewis Grizzard of his day.

Charles Henry Smith (June 15, 1826 – August 24, 1903) was an American writer and politician from the state of Georgia. He used the nom de plume Bill Arp for nearly 40 years. He had a national reputation as a homespun humorist during his lifetime, and at least four communities are named for him (Arp, Georgia; Bill Arp, Georgia; Arp, Texas; and Arp, Tennessee).

Charles Henry Smith was born on June 15, 1826, in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia, and married Mary Octavia Hutchins, the daughter of a wealthy lawyer and plantation owner. Their family grew to include 10 children who survived to adulthood. Smith studied law with his father-in-law, was admitted to the bar, and became an attorney in Rome, Georgia, where he lived at Oak Hill before selling it to Andrew M. Sloan. (Sloan later sold the estate to prominent Rome resident Thomas Berry in 1871.)

Oak Hill in Rome.

At the beginning of the American Civil War, Smith wrote his first humorous letter under the Bill Arp pseudonym. Others were published by Southern newspapers intermittently throughout the war. They pleaded the case for the Southern cause while joking about the hardships of white Southerners in wartime. Meanwhile, Smith served as a major in the 8th Georgia Infantry Regiment and on the staffs of several Confederate generals, including Francis Bartow. After the war, Smith returned to Rome, but later moved to the nearby city of Cartersville, Georgia, living there after 1877. Active in politics, he served as alderman, mayor, and a member of the Georgia State Senate.

Smith's literary career thrived after the war, and letters that he wrote as "Bill Arp" to the editor of the Atlanta Constitution earned him a position as a columnist for the newspaper. He typically wrote in "Cracker dialect" about politics, government, current events, race relations, farming, and other topics. He edited newspapers in Rome and Cartersville, Georgia and Atlanta and published five books: Bill Arp's Letters (1870), Bill Arp's Scrap Book (1884), The Farm and Fireside (1891), A School History of Georgia (1893), Bill Arp: From the Uncivil War to Date (1903). He also wrote a monthly column for the Southern Cultivator.

As his fame grew, Smith became a successful lecturer and speechmaker.

Like many prominent white Southerners during the Reconstruction era, Smith was nostalgic for the Old South and hostile to black equality. He criticized African-American education in the South and in some columns endorsed lynching of blacks to enforce white supremacy. He supported the disenfranchisement movement of the late 1890s, arguing that Southern blacks were not capable of casting an intelligent vote. But some of his "Bill Arp" writings continued to focus on humor and rural life.

Confederate General P.M.B. Young was the youngest major general and a congressman after the war.

The Tumlin family markers are here, the caretakers of the Indian Mounds for generations. We found the Tumlin family plot.

John Akin, president of the Georgia Senate, has a Masonic marker.

The first mayor of Cartersville.

We continue our Victorian Era exploration of Cartersville .....

World's First Coca Cola sign.

The First Coca Cola Sign was painted on the walls of Young Brothers Pharmacy so notice that while in downtown Cartersville. Coca Cola an Atlanta based company had its very first outdoor painted-wall advertisement on the wall of the Young Brothers Pharmacy.  Recently restored, you can visit the old pharmacy, now a museum and gift shop, for the full story of this famous advertisement's restoration.

In 1894 the first outdoor painted-wall advertisement for Coca Cola was created on the wall of the Young Brothers Pharmacy. Other signs were painted over the original but it was restored and inside the pharmacy the story of the restoration is told.

It is right downtown in Cartersville next to Friendship Plaza. Call (770) 382-4010 for more information.

Rose Lawn

Rose Lawn is the former home of noted evangelist Samuel Porter Jones, for whom the Union Gospel Tabernacle (Ryman Auditorium) in Nashville was built, later to become the Grand Ole Opry. With his “Hellfire and Damnation” sermons, he was the Billy Graham of his day in terms of getting the masses to the church. His famous quote was “Quit your meanness

My new girlfriend, Mary Pat, models a panoramic shot of the front of Rose Lawn from a recent visit. Yes you heard that right TRD is a courting.

He was the grandson of a Methodist Minister. His family moved to the house when he was 10 years old in 1857. When the Union forces took control of Cartersville he was sent with the family livestock away to save them from the pillage. He ended up in Kentucky where he met his future wife, Laura. He tried to be a lawyer but a drinking problem destroyed his career. He ended up doing manual labor and even the death of his infant daughter couldn’t sober him up for long. He and Laura had seven children. A promise to stop drinking made at his father’s deathbed lead to his pledge to Christianity and the fame as one of the most influential American evangelists that ever lived.

Jones and crowd at Ryman.

He started as a circuit rider in the Methodist Church and his legend grew as he was invited to more and more churches other than his own. He soon was appointed to headmaster of the North Georgia Orphanage in Decatur in 1880 and his revivals raised money for it. He preached with a southern story telling way with wit and against hypocrisy and sin. He was a primary influence in the prohibition of alcohol. He did not go much for religious doctrine; he spoke instead of simply living the good life free of sin. “Not theology and botany, but religion and flowers”. His reputation as an orator spread but he came to national fame during a large 3 week revival meeting in Nashville in 1885. The national press discovered him and his sermons touched the hearts of the masses.

Tom Ryman was a riverboat captain who came with his buddies to heckle the preacher at first. He owned an empire of Riverboats on the Cumberland River, along with several casinos and dance halls. But he was converted to Christianity, and how. The mother church of country music was originally built so Tom and the followers of Sam Jones could meet to hear his sermons when he came back to Nashville. There is a panoramic photo of him on the wall upstairs in Rose Lawn. He is in the middle of the Ryman Auditorium instead of up on the stage. He was out among the crowd preaching his message.

Even in Cincinnati, (The graveyard of evangelist, according to D.L. Moody) he drew 10,000 to a music hall with 40,000 more out in the streets. The year following the Nashville revival, he preached to 3 million people from tents and theaters across America. Churches were too small.

He slowed down some after that, but for the next 20 years he spent more time on the road than he did at his home. Only Dwight Moody can be said to be his equal in terms of fame among ministers of the time. Will Rodgers credits Sam as one of his primary influences.

He was friends of many presidents including Teddy Roosevelt and the vases Grover Cleveland gave him are still on prominent display in the dining room. He had the ear of many politicians and the ire of many in society as he preached against dancing, cards, and even baseball.

The original house was lifted in 1895 to add the magnificent ground floor. Here we find the main hall and dining room.

TRD recent panoramic image of dining room.

The intricate wood detail.

There are parlors on both sides of the main hall.


The back room where traveling preachers and guest would stay. His office where he worked when at home.

The lead lace window panels at the front door, the intricate woodwork along with the original ceiling fresco's, transform  the whole house into a Victorian Mansion and the crown jewel of the Cartersville historic district.

These charcoal portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Jones hang downstairs as this is the only level you can photograph inside.

He died one day shy of his 59th birthday in 1906 on a train in Arkansas coming back from a revival tour of many states where he saw 250,000 people in only 3 weeks. He was laid in state at the state capital rotunda where thousands came to see him. His and Laura’s grave are side by side at Oak Hill Cemetery. The Methodist Church in town is named after him. One of Georgia's favorite sons though he was born in Alabama.

On the grounds of Rose Lawn you will find the one room school house where all the children were educated. There is a stable.

The estate was in disrepair back when the hippies took it over back in the 1960’s. The Bartow County government now runs and maintains the grounds. It is open for tours from Tuesday through Friday from 10AM to Noon and from 1PM to 5PM. It is not open on the weekend. It cost $7 and can also be rented as a special event home for wedding receptions primarily. It is best to call before just stopping by at 770-387-5162.

No longer a hippie commune. They have heavy equipment maintaining the place.

Directions: The address is 224 West Cherokee Avenue in Cartersville, Ga. 30120. From the downtown square go west to the Indian Mounds and look for the signs.

Rebecca Latimer Felton

The Rose Lawn House also acts as a museum to Rebecca Latimer Felton. It contains her writings.

Few images of a younger Felton.

Mrs. Felton lived from 1835 to 1930 and was the first female US Senator on record. She was the valedictorian of her class at Madison Female College in Madison Georgia, and she married the recently widowed commencement speaker at her graduation, William Felton. He was a planter and state legislator from Bartow County. She gave birth to five children, one daughter and four sons. Only one, Howard Erwin Felton, survived childhood. In the aftermath of the Civil War, their plantation was destroyed. Because they were now unable to rely on slave labor as a means of producing income, Dr. Felton returned to farming as a way to earn income until there was enough money to open a school. Felton and her husband opened Felton Academy in Cartersville, where she and her husband both taught.

He became a U.S. congressman after the Civil War and served again in the state legislature all the way up to 1890. She was more than just a wife, she was his campaign manager, speech editor, and biggest supporter. Having Mr. Felton in office was like having two representatives in one, counting his wife too.

Her personal fame and brush with politics took off after her husband retired. Her speeches and writings lead to prohibition in Georgia and the end of the leased convict system being used in Georgia prisons. The state was lending prisoners to private companies in inhumane working conditions. In the 1900’s she became involved in the woman’s suffrage movement for which she is most famous. She wrote a column for the Atlanta Journal Constitution called “The Country Home” It was like the Dear Abby of its time.

We can’t discuss her without mentioning her racial views which seem horrible by today’s standard. She felt education for black men led to more rapes of white women, and opposed it. She was quoted that she supported lynching 1000 black men a week to save the dearest possessions of one white woman. Her late life writings did admit to the evils of slavery though.

Her main claim to fame happened when Senator Thomas Watson died in office in September 1922. Governor Thomas Hardwick had to appoint someone until the election in November. Seeking an appointee who would not be a competitor in the coming special election to fill the vacant seat and a way to secure the vote of the new women voters alienated by his opposition to the 19th Amendment, Hardwick chose Felton, on October 3, to serve as senator. Congress was not expected to reconvene until after the election, so the chances were slim that Felton would be sworn in. However, Walter F. George won the special election despite Hardwick's ploy. Rather than take his seat immediately when the Senate reconvened on November 21, George allowed Felton to be sworn in.

She gave a speech in the Senate Chamber hoping that women would follow her as senators one day, and many have, but she was the first. Her term holds many records. It was the shortest term on record, she was the oldest Senator sworn in, she was the last former slave owner sworn in. She was the only woman to have served as a U.S. Senator from Georgia until the 2020 appointment of Kelly Loeffler.

Rebecca Latimer Felton (seated)

After dedicating over five decades to white women's suffrage, Felton returned to Cartersville and continued to write and lecture until her final days, finishing her book The Romantic Story of Georgia's Women only shortly before her death. Mrs. Felton has her writings and other artifacts at the Rose Lawn house and the museum is dedicated to her and Sam Jones. One of the interesting possessions was the famous black dress. First you could see how tiny she was and second, this dress was made from the drapes in her home for a special event that required an elegant dress. She was good friends with Margaret Mitchell late in her life and it is said that Ms. Mitchell fashioned Scarlett after Mrs. Felton in many ways, at least in the dress from the drapes scene.

Photo at Rose Lawn.

She is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery. Although not without some detractors, she was a remarkable woman and a pioneer among all southern women everywhere. She was a true jewel of Cartersville and Georgia.

Lottie Moon

The Baptist Church still stands across the street from the Rose Lawn house and is where Lottie Moon started her rise to fame as a prominent missionary to China.

Charlotte Digges "Lottie" Moon was a Southern Baptist missionary to China with the Foreign Mission Board who spent nearly 40 years living and working in China. As a teacher and evangelist she laid a foundation for traditionally solid support for missions among Southern Baptists, especially through its Woman's Missionary Union.

She underwent a spiritual awakening after a series of revival meetings on the college campus. John Broadus, one of the founders of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, led the revival meeting in 1858 where Moon experienced this awakening. In Cartersville, Georgia, Moon and her friend, Anna Safford, opened Cartersville Female High School in 1871. Moon also joined the First Baptist Church and ministered to the impoverished families of Bartow County, Georgia.

Historical image of First Baptist Church.

The Baptist Church has been converted to a residence and office now.

Back side of old Baptist Church.

To the family's surprise, Lottie's younger sister Edmonia accepted a call to go to North China as the first single woman Baptist missionary in 1872. By this time the Southern Baptist Convention had relaxed its policy against sending single women into the mission field, and Lottie soon felt called to follow her sister to China. On July 7, 1873, the Foreign Mission Board officially appointed 32-year-old Lottie as a missionary to China. Lottie joined her sister at the North China Mission Station in the treaty port of Dengzhou, in Shandong, and began her ministry by teaching in a boys school. Edmonia had to return home a short time later for health reasons.

While accompanying some of the seasoned missionary wives on "country visits" to outlying villages, Lottie discovered her passion: direct evangelism. Most mission work at that time was done by married men, but only women could reach Chinese women. Her foreign mission work fit in well with the Protestant expectation that women ought to be the most pious members of society, influencing men to lead moral lives. Lottie soon became frustrated, convinced that her talent was being wasted and could be better put to use in evangelism and church planting. She had come to China to "go out among the millions" as an evangelist, only to find herself relegated to teaching a school of forty "unstudious" children. Lottie waged a slow but relentless campaign to give women missionaries the freedom to minister and have an equal voice in mission proceedings. However Moon was impatient with the usual restraints, and deliberately moved her China mission out of reach of male authority.

In 1885, at the age of 45, Moon gave up teaching and moved into the interior to evangelize full-time in the areas of P'ingtu and Hwangshien. Her converts numbered in the hundreds. Continuing a prolific writing campaign, Moon's letters and articles poignantly described the life of a missionary and pleaded the "desperate need" for more missionaries.

Throughout her missionary career, Moon faced plague, famine, revolution, and war. The First Sino-Japanese War (1894), the Boxer Rebellion (1900) and the Chinese Nationalist uprising (which overthrew the Qing Dynasty in 1911) all profoundly affected mission work. Famine and disease took their toll, as well. She was deeply struck by the suffering of the people who were literally starving to death all around her.

Unknown to her fellow missionaries, Moon shared her personal finances and food with anyone in need around her, severely affecting both her physical and mental health. In 1912, she only weighed 50 pounds. Alarmed, fellow missionaries arranged for her to be sent back home to the United States with a missionary companion. However, Moon died en route at the age of 72, on December 24, 1912, in the harbor of Kobe, Japan. The official cause of her death was listed as dementia.

My goodness, not many post cover 2200 years of human history in Georgia. It took me 2 weeks and almost 140 images for this post and we are not even to WWI yet. We have another not quite natural but still scenic and historic place to explore for our next Georgia Natural Wonder in Bartow County. Then we can finish our Cartersville history tangent. Today's GNW Gals represent the Indian Mounds and the beauty and spirit of our native American Ancestors.

Edited 18 time(s). Last edit at 09/26/2020 07:00AM by Top Row Dawg.

Georgia Natural Wonder #158 - Etowah Indian Mounds - Cartersville (Part 1)

Top Row Dawg232September 12, 2020 11:36PM

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