Adairsville is a quaint and charming town in Bartow County. Adairsville is 18 miles northeast of Rome and 61 miles north of Atlanta. The town has two blocks of stores that form a “T”. The depot is one of the nicest I have seen, with the painting of the Great Locomotive Chase. Pick up a “Tour of Homes” at the visitor center.
Adairsville used to be a small Cherokee village named after Walter (John) S. Adair, a Scottish settler who married a Cherokee Indian woman. One of the developers was William Watts who had a lot of railroad business interest in this town. He had brought the Western and Atlantic from Atlanta. He deeded land to the railroad and surveyed business lots including hotels, mills, and blacksmith shops around the town. Watts’ plan was successful and brought the town the nickname “Granary of the State”; it was incorporated in 1854. After the removal of the Cherokees, the village became part of Georgia, and the residents built the town keeping the name Adairsville.
Nestled in the Oothcalooga Valley, Adairsville was the first Georgia town to be listed in its entirety on the National Register of Historic Places.
Adairsville Depot – The depot was built around 1891, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The visitor center is housed in the depot.
The Great Locomotive Chase – the raid, led by James Andrews, began on April 12, 1862, when the northbound passenger train with the locomotive General stopped at Big Shanty, Georgia (now Kennesaw), The Raiders planned to cross through the Federal siege lines on the outskirts of Chattanooga and rejoin Mitchell’s army. The train’s conductor William Fuller and two other men, chased the stolen train, first on foot, then by handcar. The chase continued for 89 miles, when Andrews ran out of steam and he and his men fled, they were eventually captured. The General is in the Southern museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Marietta.
“Rail travel at high speeds is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia”. — Dionysius Lardner (1842 – 1914) US journalist, short-story writer
Stop at the Visitor Center for the “Tour of Homes” map and description of homes and businesses. Below is listed just a few:
Pretty Boy Floyd – Built around 1905, this was the childhood home of the most wanted gangster in America Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd. He was also known as the Robin Hood of the depression when he robbed banks he tore up mortgage papers. 102 S. Railroad, #1 on the tour.
Watts/Bowdoin/Barton House – Originally a two-room Indian cabin, it was the home of the town founder, John Watts. The Queen Anne façade was built around the cabin by Joe and August Pavlovsky, brothers from Poland, in the late 1800s. Later resident, Dr. Joseph Bowdoin, was instrumental in getting the water works system in town and establishing the Bank of Adairsville. 115 South Main, #29 on the tour. (picture below)
Pavlovsky House – Built around 1890 by the Pavlovsky brothers. John was a cabinet maker, August and Joe were blacksmiths and wood workers. Their craftsmanship is evident in many of the homes they built around town in the late 1800s. 103 North Main, #30 on the tour. (picture below)
Old Courthouse (picture below) with two stone memorials
Adairsville to Shannon is 10 1/2 miles south off Hwy 140. The small town has a pharmacy and the Galey & Lord factory. The factory workers homes is on the backside and down one side of the factory. The homes are well maintained, they are small but cute.
Galey & Lord started producing premium fabrics in 1886. In 1931 the Company became famous for Cramerton Army Cloth (the first khaki), the military started using the cloth for uniforms. Burlington acquired the company in 1946. In June 2004, Galey & Lord announced the closing of the Shannon, Ga. weaving plant, thereby eliminating 450 jobs.
Pharmacy established 1950 (picture below)