Rockmart, Georgia

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The City of Rockmart
City
Motto: "Where Past & Present Stroll Side by Side"[1]
Location in Polk County and the state of Georgia
Location in Polk County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 34°0′14″N 85°2′57″W / 34.00389°N 85.04917°W / 34.00389; -85.04917Coordinates: 34°0′14″N 85°2′57″W / 34.00389°N 85.04917°W / 34.00389; -85.04917
Country  United States of America
State Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia
County Polk
Government
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Mayor Steve Miller
 • City Manager Jeff L. Ellis
 • City Clerk Pam Herring
Area
 • Total 4.3 sq mi (11.3 km2)
 • Land 4.3 sq mi (11.2 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 781 ft (238 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 4,199
 • Density 900/sq mi (342.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 30153
Area code(s) 770/678/470
FIPS code 13-66276[2]
GNIS feature ID 0356502[3]
Website City of Rockmart, Georgia Official Website
Rockmart was named for its economic position as a major quarry and rock market.

Rockmart is a city in Polk County, Georgia. The population was 4,199 according to a 2010 census. Rockmart developed as a railroad depot town when the Southern Railway built a station in the area.[4] The community was incorporated in 1872, and was named for nearby slate deposits.[5] The Rockmart Downtown Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Geography[edit]

Rockmart is located at 34°00′14″N 85°02′57″W / 34.003952°N 85.049202°W / 34.003952; -85.049202.[6] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11 km2), of which 4.3 square miles (11 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.69%) is water. The majority of the city of Rockmart is located in Polk County, GA; however, parts of Rockmart stretch into Paulding County, Georgia as well.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 3,870 people, 1,541 households, and 1,027 families residing in the city. The population density was 892.0 people per square mile (344.3/km²). There were 1,681 housing units at an average density of 387.5 per square mile (149.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.82% White, 18.48% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.39% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.50% of the population.

There were 1,541 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.6% were married couples living together, 16.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 29.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 84.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,171, and the median income for a family was $36,906. Males had a median income of $31,714 versus $22,381 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,272. About 12.8% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.3% of those under age 18 and 14.4% of those age 65 or over.

Economy[edit]

Beginning in the mid-1990s, Rockmart experienced a period of economic expansion. Growth in the form of new restaurants and casual dining, as well as retail shopping, came about as residential building increased. A Walmart Supercenter store was opened in the city in 2007.

Culture[edit]

Arts and Theater[edit]

The Drama Department at Rockmart High School is known for its involvement with the community and every spring the advanced acting class performs at a GHSA One-act play competition. When the new Rockmart High School was constructed, performance space was not included. Instead, the Rockmart Thespians use the historic Rockmart Art Center Theatre for their productions. The department has produced many theatrical feats such as "Seussical," "Grease (musical)," and most recently "Hairspray (musical)." In October 2008, the Rockmart High School Thespians placed first at the Region AA One Act Competition with their performance of Godspell. The RHS Thespians then took the show to the State AA One Act Competition and placed 3rd out of four schools.[7] In 2013, Rockmart Thespians placed first in the State AAA One Act Competition with a riveting production of the thriller When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?.

Music[edit]

Another important addition to the performing arts in Rockmart is the Rockmart High Marching Yellow Jackets. The band won a best in show at the 2006 and 2008 Golden River Marching Festival. In those competitions, both band and auxiliary sections (such as the drumline, tubas, colorguard and danceline) were regarded as being among the best in Northwest Georgia.

Parks and Recreation[edit]

Parks and recreation areas in Rockmart include the Nathan Dean Complex, the Silver Comet Trail & Riverwalk Park,[8] as well as Rockmart City Parks.[9]

Government[edit]

Downtown Rockmart.

Rockmart operates under a council-manager form of government. The city is divided into five council wards, each electing one member to the council. The city's mayor serves as chairman of the council, and is its sixth member. The mayor and council, together, appoint the city manager. Other appointed positions include the city clerk, city attorney, city auditor, and city court judge.

Election 2011[edit]

The mayoral election of 2011 resulted in a change of leadership in Rockmart. Mayor Curtis Lewis, who had served in that position for many years, was unseated by former city councilman Steve Miller by a 20 vote margin, in a run-off election.

That close result was the culmination of a process that began with a four candidate general election contest.

That four-way contest, in the November 8th general election, produced the following results: Lewis: 190 (35.71%), Miller: 193 (36.28%), Mike Bradley: 124 (23.31%), and Brenda C. Palmer: 25 (4.7%). City election rules require a majority, rather than a plurality. Since no candidate received over 50% of the vote, Miller and Lewis were cast into a run-off election on December 6.

In the December 6 run-off election, tabulated at the Polk County elections office in Cedartown, Miller won with 220 votes, to Lewis’ 200. Miller was sworn in January 2012. The mayoral term is four years. His first term will expire in January 2015.

Rockmart also had a contested city council race on November 8. Miller’s vacant council seat was open due to his decision to resign and run for mayor. Earl Joe Henderson easily defeated challenger Jimmy McDowell. Henderson tallied 109 votes, for 59.24 percent of the total, to McDowell’s 75 votes (40.76 percent).

Rockmart voters also decided two alcohol referendums, both of which passed.

The first referendum provided for Sunday sales of alcohol by the drink in restaurants. The referendum passed, with 271 “yes” votes (51.62 percent) to 254 “no” votes (48.38 percent).

The second referendum was approved by a larger margin. Voters approved package sales of beer and wine at stores between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on Sundays. The referendum passed with 283 “yes” votes (53.5 percent) to 246 “no” votes (46.5 percent).

Downtown Rockmart.

Education[edit]

The city of Rockmart is a part of the Polk County School District.[10] It has one high school, Rockmart High School; one middle school, Rockmart Middle School; and two elementary schools, Eastside Elementary and Van Wert Elementary. Rockmart High School is the only high school in the city of Rockmart and not only serves the population of Rockmart, but also the Aragon, Georgia community. As of the 2011/12 school year, the school had an enrollment of 837 students and 50.10 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 16.71.

In 1912, the Georgia Legislature created the public school system in the state of Georgia. That year, the city of Rockmart began the Rockmart School System in the building vacated by the Piedmont Institution (established in 1889 by the Methodist North Georgia Annual Conference). It had closed after a 23-year existence in 1912 after it was purchased by the Rockmart School Board of trustees. Rockmart High School was in the building for 3 years until the building burned down in 1915. The building was later rebuilt until the building burned down again in 1940. The current lot is now the Rockmart Governmental Complex. Prior to the Polk County School System of Georgia, RHS had its own city school system and rival school Cedartown High School also had its own city school system in Cedartown, Georgia.

The Polk County campus of Georgia Northwestern Technical College is also located in Rockmart.

Racial Integration[edit]

Prior to the racial integration of the Polk County School System, two high schools existed in Rockmart—Rockmart High School and Elm Street High School—which served the African American community of Rockmart. The integration of the school system began in the year 1964 when some African American students began attending Rockmart High School until total integration was achieved in 1965 with the closing of Elm Street High School.

Notable people[edit]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "City of Rockmart, Georgia Official Website". City of Rockmart, Georgia Official Website. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "City of Rockmart, Georgia Official Website". City of Rockmart, Georgia Official Website. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Profile for Rockmart, Georgia, GA". ePodunk. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ "Congratulations to the 2008-2009 GHSA One-Act Play Champions!". Retrieved 7 September 2010. 
  8. ^ Silver Comet Trail, Rockmart Trailhead Facts - Rockmart, GA
  9. ^ Rockmart, GA - Official Website - Facilities
  10. ^ "Polk School District". Polk School District. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  11. ^ Votesmart.org-Nathan Dean

External links[edit]