Type:Welcome Center, Railroad Depot
One of the few original Western and Atlantic Railroad depots still in existence, the Cartersville Depot is now home to the Downtown Development Authority and the Cartersville-Bartow County CVB.
Although the roadbed to Cartersville had been graded before 1840, the railroad remained uncompleted for another 6 years. The town of Cartersville almost did not get a station, with Etowah Station (where the rail line crossed the Etowah River) and the city of Cassville so close. The railroad fueled some growth in Cartersville, but the other nearby towns saw more of the positive effects of the rail line before the War Between the States.
During the Atlanta Campaign, Cartersville Depot was the site of a pitched battle. With William Tecumseh Sherman occupying Kingston Joseph E. Johnston had little choice but to retreat from Cassville towards the Allatoona Mountains and entrench for an attack by his adversary. Rear guards stationed in the Cartersville area began to see increased skirmishing on the morning of May 20, 1864. Sherman had chosen to test the strength of the Confederate Army in the area, even though he had let the army retreat unopposed the day before. Rebels barricaded themselves in the depot, one of the few buildings in the area not made out of wood. The depot, the Confederates thought, was important because Sherman had been marching down the Western and Atlantic Railroad. Although they prepared the building for battle by knocking out gun ports, Sherman was intent on other matters and essentially left the building alone after a brief, bitter struggle.
Almost 6 months later General Sherman returned to Cartersville and ate lunch at a hotel across the street from the depot while Union soldiers sent messages to Washington, D. C. and Nashville. After the messages were completed a soldier climbed the building and cut the telegraph wire. The March to the Sea had begun and it would be six weeks before Sherman again communicated with the North.
One benefactor of the depot's presence was Sam Jones, a minister whose fame was spread far and wide by railroad patrons who would layover in Cartersville just to hear him speak. The famous Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, long-time home to the Grand Old Opry, was built for Rev. Jones.
Other Attractions in Cartersville
Allatoona Pass Battlefield
Red Top Mountain State Park
Etowah Indian Mounds State Park
Allatoona Lake Visitor's Center
Welcome Center Listing
Railroad Depot Listing
Dalton W&A Depot