Talk by Ken Wheeler

As part of Georgia History Month, history professor Kenneth Wheeler will be giving a talk at the Funk Heritage Center on Tuesday, February 3, at 2:00 p.m., on north Georgia’s iron industry in the nineteenth century.

From the Cherokee Tribune:

The first [event] on Feb. 3 is a lecture by noted Reinhardt history professor Dr. Ken Wheeler and is about the Etowah Valley iron industry….

Wheeler’s program on the Etowah Valley iron industry is on Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. and correlates the story of the industrialization of the Etowah Valley with that of the rise and fall of the Confederate War effort.Wheeler has published a book on regional identity, and his articles have appeared in journals such as Civil War History and the Georgia Historical Quarterly. He is now researching the history of the Etowah Valley during the 19th century.

“It is wonderful that the Funk Heritage Center has put together this series of talks to help us understand our state, and particularly this area, better,” Wheeler said. “Whether we are life-long residents or transplants from somewhere else, it enriches our lives when we know more about the paths that have brought us to the present.”

Wheeler said that in the 1840s and 1850s, the Etowah Valley was a key industrial center of the Deep South. German-American iron makers settled on the Etowah River, near the border of Cherokee and Bartow counties, and built several iron furnaces and a rolling mill.

“When the Civil War began in 1861 the Confederacy needed iron. My talk is about the growth of that iron industry, what happened to it during the Civil War, and some of the legacy of that industrial period,” Wheeler said.