Category Archives: Cartersville GA

Bartow County Courthouse, 1902, Cartersville

This courthouse replaced an 1869 courthouse [still standing] and was designed by Georgia’s most prolific courthouse architect, J. W. Golucke.

National Register of Historic Places

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World’s First Coca-Cola Mural , 1894, Cartersville

In the early 20th century, Coca-Cola wall paintings, or murals, were ubiquitous in small towns all over America. But through research and authentication by the Coca-Cola Company, it has been determined that the very first such advertisement was created here in Cartersville, on the side of Young Brothers Pharmacy, in 1894. It was painted by syrup salesman James Couden.The Coca-Cola Company regularly refreshed the sign with new paint until the late 1970s, and in the 1980s, Dean Cox, who had purchased the pharmacy from one of the Young brothers’ daughters in 1970, became curious about the historical sign. In 1989, he hired Alison Free and Aggie Ferguson to restore it to its original condition. 25 layers of paint were removed to reveal the mural visible today. Coca-Cola fans and collectors from all over the world have been making pilgrimages to Cartersville to see it ever since.

Cartersville Downtown Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Western and Atlantic Railroad Depot, 1854, Cartersville

One of just a handful of surviving Western and Atlantic Railroad depots, the Cartersville depot now serves as the town’s Welcome Center. That it has survived at all is a bit of a miracle, considering it was in the direct path of Sherman’s forces as they headed into Atlanta. On 20 May 1864, Confederate forces occupied the depot in an effort to protect it, knocking out sections of the wall for use as gun ports. Due to other concerns, Sherman, let the depot stand, but there were light skirmishes between the Confederate and Union forces at the site. About six months later, when Sherman returned to Cartersville, a Union soldier cut the telegraph line from the depot, isolating Cartersville from the outside world, and the March to the Sea was underway.

Cartersville Downtown Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Grand Theatre, 1924, Cartersville

Cartersville Downtown Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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4 Way Lunch, 1931, Cartersville

Fred Garrison began selling made-to-order hamburgers on the corner of Main Street and Gilmer Street in downtown Cartersville in 1931. The business was so successful, in large part due to the boost in traffic from tourists passing through on the Dixie Highway, that Garrison built the no-frills lunch counter you see today. Fred’s son Ernest took over in 1972 and operated it for the rest of his life. It survived a fire in 1993 and remains as popular now as it was in 1931.

You can visit Monday-Saturday from 6AM-3PM, but you have to bring cash, and don’t try calling ahead to place an order. The 4 Way prides itself on the fact that they’ve never had a telephone.

Cartersville Downtown Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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