The first Bartow County Courthouse (4 East Church Street, Cartersville, Ga.) is now the Bartow History Museum. They were having a fundraiser today so we dropped by.
The same people behind the History Museum are also behind the nearby Booth Western Art Museum (and the Tellus Science Museum, and the Teachers’ Resource Center, where I have taught for Reinhardt). The Booth is a large, state-of-the-art building, featuring art devoted to the American West. Some would say that it is out of place in Georgia, but I always enjoy visiting, and have learned a lot from its extensive collections. They were kind to host a recent Reinhardt Gathering of Friends.
The second Bartow County Courthouse (1902), the one with the gold dome that one sees on the county flag and county seal, is up the street.
As I’ve mentioned before, one of the catalysts for abandoning the first courthouse and building the second one is that the first courthouse was too close to the train tracks, and the noise of the trains kept interrupting the trials. The tracks are still in use; here is a train going by the fundraising event (which included an exhibition by the Gordon County Antique Engine and Tractor Club).
Slightly down the street is the historic train station (now welcome center; the tracks are strictly for freight nowadays).
And if you follow the tracks just a bit you come to the allegedly oldest Coca-Cola billboard in existence (although it is continually spruced up, of course).
Yay, Cartersville! As far as small towns go in this great republic, you can do a lot worse.