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Posted by Craig Summers on February 19, 2007
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Cedartown is a city in Polk County, Georgia, United States. The population was 9,470 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Polk County. Cedartown is the principal city of and is included in the Cedartown, Georgia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, Georgia-Alabama (part) Combined Statistical Area. Geography Cedartown is located at show location on an interactive map34°0?55?N 85°15?14?W / 34.01528°N 85.25389°W According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.9 square miles (17.8 km²), of which, 6.8 square miles (17.7 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.44%) is water. History Cherokee and Creek Native Americans first inhabited the area known as Cedar Valley. White settlers moved Cherokee and Creek Native Americans first inhabited the area known as Cedar Valley. White settlers moved in and established a trading post along Cedar Creek in the 1830s. The most famous of these settlers was Asa Prior, considered by many to be the father of Cedartown. According to local legend, the water rights to Big Spring were won for the white settlers by a local white boy in a footrace with a Cherokee youth. Some versions of the legend differ, saying that the rights to the spring were won by the Cherokee people from the Creek people in a ball game. Regardless, by the 1830s the Cherokee people had established a village they called “Beaver Dam” on the site of present day Cedartown. In 1838, under the direction of United States President Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act, a fortification was built at the white settlement (then called Big Springs) for the purpose of forced internment of the Cherokee people, who were then forcibly migrated down the Trail of Tears to Indian reservations in Oklahoma. These fortifications did much for the prosperity of the fledgling town of Big Springs, which became Cedar Town when Asa Prior deeded Big Spring and 10 acres (40,000 m²) of adjacent land to the newly chartered city in 1852. Soon afterward, Cedar Town became the county seat of the newly created Polk County. Cedartown’s historic Big Spring provides water to 10,000 people. In the American Civil War, Cedar Town was abandoned by most of its citizens when Union troops encroached. The city was burnt to the ground by the Union forces of General Hugh Kirkpatrick in 1865, leaving only one mill standing on the outskirts of town. In 1867, the town was re-chartered by the state of Georgia as Cedartown. An influx of industrial business bolstered the largely cotton-based economy of Cedartown, with fabric mills and iron works appearing in or near what is now the Cedartown Industrial Park on the west side of town. Industrial and passenger railroad service was added to Cedartown in the early 20th century. Main St. became a part of U.S. Highway 27, a major north-south automobile route that connects Cedartown to larger cities like Chattanooga, Tennessee and Columbus, Georgia. U.S. 27 also intersects in town with U.S. Highway 278, which connects Cedartown with Atlanta, Georgia. The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company built a large textile mill operation in Cedartown, and also built a large residential section of town for mill workers, now known as the Mill Village. In recent times, the Georgia Rails Into Trails project has converted much of the former Seaboard Air Line, later Seaboard Coast Line, Seaboard System and was abandoned by now owner CSXT,into the Silver Comet Trail, a federal and state funded park that connects many cities in Northwest Georgia. Cedartown’s Main St. is listed in the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its 1890s architecture. Demographics As of the census of 2000, there were 9,470 people, 3,370 households, and 2,237 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,384.0 people per square mile (534.6/km²). There were 3,642 housing units at an average density of 532.2/sq mi (205.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 63.37% White, 20.20% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 14.13% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.62% of the population. There were 3,370 households out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 17.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.18. In the city the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 13.2% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 102.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.9 males. The median income for a household in the city was $24,562, and the median income for a family was $28,119. Males had a median income of $25,295 versus $20,711 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,251. About 20.3% of families and 24.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.7% of those under age 18 and 15.3% of those age 65 or over. Education Polk County School District The Polk County School District holds grades pre-school to grade twelve, that consists of six elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. The district has 449 full-time teachers and over 7,017 students. Transportation and Economy Though the Cedartown Bus Station sign still hangs in downtown, the station was closed years ago. With the shift away from rural living patterns toward Interstate Highway satellite suburban living patterns, combined with the general U.S. shift away from agricultural and industrial economies, Cedartown is left in an awkward position. The city suffered a major economic blow when the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company closed its Cedartown mill operations. For its employment, Cedartown mainly relies on the prospect of large corporate operation centers like that of Cingular Wireless, small manufacturing operations like that of The HON Company, and the retail operations of Wal-Mart. Access to nearby major cities like Atlanta, Georgia, Birmingham, Alabama, and Chattanooga, Tennessee is easier than ever due to the expansion of U.S. Highway 27 which is four lanes from I-20 into Cedartown. The four lane expansion will soon have U.S. 27 fourlaned all the way north to the Tennessee state line. Passenger rail service to Cedartown was abandoned in the 1970s, leading to the destruction of the historic Cedartown Depot train station. However, the city has reconstructed a replica of the historic depot which now serves as the Welcome Center and the trailhead to the Silver Comet Trail. The city does offer bus service and has frequent routes to neighboring Rockmart. The nearest stop on the Greyhound bus service is a full service station in Rome, Georgia, just 20 miles to the north. The nearest major airport is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, 70 miles southeast and several local shuttle services are available. The Hon Company is Cedartown’s largest for-profit employer with over 800 employees. With a recently announced expansion, this number will grow in the near future. Cedartown is also home to an AT&T (formerly Cingular) technical support facility for the company’s wireless customers. The Rome Plow Company, formerly located in Rome, Georgia, is headquartered in Cedartown. It manufactured the Rome plows used as jungle-clearing vehicles during the Vietnam War and produced agricultural vehicles until it shut down in late 2009. Popular culture Country music artist Waylon Jennings had a minor hit single with the murder ballad “Cedartown, Georgia” from the 1971 album of the same name. The slow, meditative song about betrayal and murder was a portent of the outlaw country genre’s predilection for themes that stood outside of what was acceptable in the Nashville music establishment: Tonight I’ll put her on a train for Georgia. Gonna be a lot of kin folks squallin’ and a-grievin’, ‘Cause that Cedartown gal ain’t breathin’. Famous people Sterling Holloway, a legend of stage and screen with over 100 movies and television shows to his credit, is best remembered as the voice of Walt Disney’s, Winnie the Pooh. Holloway was born and raised in Cedartown. His father, Sterling Price Holloway Sr., served as mayor in 1912. Betty Reynolds Cobb, an author and activist, was a native of Cedartown, Georgia. She was the first woman in Georgia to be admitted to the state bar. Recreation Silver Comet Trail See also Polk County, Georgia From Wikipedia