Marietta, Georgia existed before there was an Atlanta or a Chattanooga. As early as 1824, a small cluster of homes near the Cherokee town of Kennesaw was reported. An early road in Cobb County crossed the Chattahoochee River’s “Shallow Ford” and ran just south of these settlers.
What had been Cherokee land was divided into ten counties by the state of Georgia in 1832. Cobb County was named after Thomas Willis Cobb, a United States congressman, senator, and Supreme Court justice. The city of Marietta was named after Cobb’s wife, according to the Georgia Gazetteer in 1837. On December 19, 1834, the Georgia legislature officially recognized the town, but it already had a sizable population. James Anderson, who had worked extensively in north Georgia, laid out the city’s first plat, which has since been destroyed. Marietta, like most towns, had a central square with a modest courthouse.
Three years later, the state legislature passed legislation to establish the Western and Atlantic Railroad. Colonel Stephen Long of the United States Army Corps of Engineers was chosen to lead the project, and he chose Marietta as his base of operations. The impact of being close to Marietta Square was enormous. The business started to take off. To accompany the early stores of Thomas Johnston and George Winters, John Lemon, Watson W Simpson, and James Waller, three taverns sprang up around the center of town. There was a tanyard nearby.
North of the city, a roadbed and trestles had been constructed by 1838. Construction continued until 1840, when Long resigned after politicians chastised him for being too slow. He thought the criticism was unjustified, and he was probably right. Work was halted for two years while another engineer was sought. On February 7, 1842, Charles Fenton Mercer Garnett assumed command, based in what would become Atlanta.
As crews cleared and graded the land north of town, a new pastime arose. The roadbed was ideal for horse racing, and the sport grew in popularity, with races held near the current Marietta Welcome Center and Visitors Bureau. In 1845, the Western and Atlantic Railroad began service from Atlanta to Adairsville, and in 1850, it was extended to Chattanooga. Tanyards grew to be a thriving industry that, when combined with railroad-related revenue, accounted for a significant portion of the city’s revenue.
Things To Do in Marietta Georgia
The best thing about Marietta has to be the food. There are so many restaurants, and they all offer an eclectic variety of cuisines. The other great part is that it’s really easy to get from one place to another within the small town, making just about everything easily accessible by foot or car and bike!
A few hours wandering around downtown can take you through parks, museums, gardens- even a labyrinth in one of these green spaces. If you want something with more than nature as its focus though make sure not to miss out on two different historic districts: Rome Street Historic District (which includes Big Chicken) and Whitlock Avenue Historic District which has been nominated for National Register status. You’ll find plenty of facts and figures about the city’s rich history.
Best Restaurants in Marietta Georgia
There are so many restaurants to choose from- but here are a few of our favorites. For lunch or an afternoon snack, you can’t go wrong with South City Kitchen & Supply Co. for their gourmet sandwiches and coffees/espresso drinks. They also do live music on Wednesday nights which is a lot of fun! If you’re looking for dinner one night though then we recommend going to Jumbo Seafood Company where they serve fresh seafood in true Southern style (with fried chicken). And if you want something REALLY good that’s not too pricey? Then head over to Little Marietta Barbeque Company where they have the best BBQ this side of Atlanta, including some great sites like coleslaw and baked beans.
Marietta, Georgia is blessed with some of Georgia’s most picturesque landmarks. Here’s our list of the best of the best you shouldn’t miss:
- Strand Theatre
- The Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art
- The Marietta Museum of History
- The Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum
- The William Root House Museum and Garden
- The Big Chicken
- Marietta Square
- Brumby Hall and Gardens
- Marietta National Cemetery
These amazing schools are located just down the street from our location at 2909 Austell Road SW, Suite 112. Stop by for a visit anytime!