Main Streets 2016: Georgia
Near the end of the Civil War, Cedartown, Georgia was burned to the ground, with just one mill left standing. It was repopulated after the war, and fabric mills and iron works developed in addition to the local cotton industry. Around the turn of the 20th century, Main Street emerged and in 1913, it became illuminated, lined with state-of-the-art electric lampposts that cost 50 cents per night to operate. Still today, late 19th and early 20th century displays of fine masonry and architectural details remain strikingly well-preserved in downtown Cedartown, whose Main Street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Main Street anchors a downtown area where you can find great places to eat and unique shops, as well as two parks with wooden swings and benches. The Cedartown Welcome Center on South Main is located near the Silver Comet Trail, a 61-mile recreation path frequented by walkers, hikers, bicyclists, rollerbladers, horses, and dog walkers that can take you all the way from here to Atlanta.
Just off South Main on College Street, you can find a historic marker that pays tribute to the birth site of Sterling Holloway, the actor who was the voice of Winnie the Pooh. A left turn off North Main at Thornton Avenue will take you to Peek Forest Park, which features tennis courts, picnic areas, and a state-of-the-art playground, all funded and constructed by private individuals and volunteers. In the summer, a dancing fountain provides a cool place for local children and families. In spring, Peek Park is home to the annual Cedar Valley Arts Festival, and it’s a main gathering point for the widely known Cedartown 5K Wheelchair Race.
In the summer, the Fourth Friday Concert Series brings live music, great food and classic cars downtown. For the Fall Festival, local vendors representing churches, businesses, individuals, and civic clubs line Main Street to sell baked goods and handmade crafts.
Close by Main Street on Wissahickon Avenue is the Big Spring, the South’s second largest limestone spring, which produces some four million gallons of fresh water every day for people in this region of northwest Georgia. A ceremonial dance ground of the Cherokee until the early 1800s, the Big Spring today is a park, and has been designated an American Water Landmark.
Photo courtesy of WGAA