This U. S. Highway 29 marker explains the origin of Palmetto’s name: Palmetto was named by a member of the Palmetto Guards, a Regiment from South Carolina en route to the Mexican War. This was in appreciation of the hospitality shown them by the community while encamped here in January 1847.
Palmetto was originally part of old Campbell County, which was annexed by Fulton County in 1931.
The marker placed by the Georgia Historical Commission in 1956 notes: The Army of Tennessee [Confederate] abandoned Atlanta Sept. 2, 1864, moved to Lovejoy, then to Palmetto, Sept. 19. Most of the Army entrenched 3 miles N. Gen. John B. Hood had headquarters here from Sept. 19 to 29, 1864. Pres. Jefferson Davis visited here Sept. 25th and on the 26th made a speech to the troops 3 miles N. where he was serenaded by the 20th Louisiana Ban. That same night Gen. Howell Cobb and Gov. Isham Harris of Tenn. spoke. On the 27th Pres. Davis left for Montgomery. Gen. Hardee was relieved of his command here, Sept. 28, and on the 29th Gen. Hood moved from here to start the disastrous Tennessee Campaign.
The obelisk was placed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1906 to honor Company C, 19th Georgia Infantry and Company I, 2nd Regiment, Georgia Volunteers, Wheeler’s Cavalry.
This depot served Palmetto until the mid-1960s when it was transferred to the city for municipal use. It went through a long state of decline before a full restoration was completed in 2012. It now houses a museum and event spaces.
There are a couple more of these masonry underpasses in Palmetto and at least one in Fairburn. The Palmetto examples are contemporary to the Atlanta & West Point Railroad depot and may have been built by the railroad. They’re really amazing examples of engineering, considering they’ve been in use for 99 years and have carried millions of tons of freight over the past century.
Walking around the commercial area of Palmetto, you quickly forget you’re in the most populous county in Georgia.
The historic structures are concentrated on Toombs Street (first two images) and Main Street (below).
This congregation dates to 1851.