The Cedartown Depot and Welcome Center. The Depot serves as one of the trailheads for the Silver Comet Trail
|• Type||City Commission|
|• Total||6.8 sq mi (17.8 km2)|
|• Land||6.8 sq mi (17.7 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0.1 km2)|
|Elevation||840 ft (260 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,400/sq mi (550/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0312503|
Cedartown is a city in Polk County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 9,750. 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.
The Cedartown Commercial Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Cedartown Waterworks-Woman's Building-Big Spring Park Historic District is also listed along with the Northwest Cedartown Historic District and South Philpot Street Historic District.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Cedartown has a total area of 6.9 square miles (18 km2), of which 6.8 square miles (18 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.44%) is water.
Cherokee and Creek Native Americans first inhabited the area known as Cedar Valley. The Cherokee people had established a village there in the 1830s after the Native Americans were forced out on the Trail of Tears. The settlement was named for the red cedar timber near the site.
The most famous of these settlers was Asa Prior. 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. "Big Strickland" became "Cedar Town" when Prior deeded ten acres of adjacent land to the newly chartered city in 1852. Big Strickland was the original county seat and Cedar Town became the county seat later.
During the 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 Judson Kilpatrick 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 its largely cotton-based economy, with Goodyear and other 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. Route 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. Route 278, which connects Cedartown with Atlanta.
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 Goodyear Village.
In recent times, the Georgia Rails to Trails project has converted much of the former Seaboard Air Line into the Silver Comet Trail, a federal and state funded park that connects many cities in northwest Georgia.
Cedartown's Main Street is listed in the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its 1890s architecture. During the 1970s, many structures were demolished, including train stations, churches, and a high school, and a theater on Main Street.
On December 30, 2016 a 12 year old named Katelyn Nicole Davis known online by the username ITZ Dolly, hanged herself from a tree in her back yard while live streaming the event to Live.me after she claimed being neglected by her biological father alongside being physically and sexually abused by her stepfather, the video caused widespread outrage.
In January 2017, the Polk County Comprehensive Plan outlined investments to be made in the repair and construction of new sidewalks, street parks, and paving in Cedartown over the next decade.
Arts and culture
- Cedartown Performing Arts Center
Sites on the National Register of Historic Places:
- Cedartown Commercial Historic District
- Cedartown Waterworks-Women's Building-Big Spring Park Historic District
- Hawkes Children's Library
- Northwest Cedartown Historic District
|U.S. Decennial Census|
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 per square mile (205.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 63.06% 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.
Polk County School District
The Polk County School District holds pre-school to grade twelve, and 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
With the shift away from rural living patterns and 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 local mill operations. For its employment, Cedartown mainly relies on the prospect of large corporate operation centers such as Cingular Wireless, manufacturing operations like that of The HON Company, and the retail operations of Wal-Mart.
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. Rome Plow has since been purchased and re-opened. The new facility recently underwent an expansion.
Access to nearby major cities such as Atlanta, Birmingham, and Chattanooga is easier with 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. The city built a replica of the historic depot which now serves as the Welcome Center and the trailhead to the Silver Comet Trail.
The nearest major airport is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, 70 miles southeast; several local shuttle services are available.
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'.
- Jayne Mansfield's Car (2012) is a drama movie featuring locations in Cedartown as a fictional city in Alabama. The historic downtown is visible.
- Pamela Slaughter Weeks founded U-R Special, a philanthropic foundation to promote positive self-esteem, drug-free and anti-violence messages to school children. Her Pam and Buffy “Cool is Me - I’m Drug Free” program is targeted for kindergarten and elementary school students. Pamela, vocalist, recording artist, producer, writer and professional entertainer has appeared on stage, radio and television internationally. 188 shows are available at The Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries.
- Ray Beck, All-American football player at Georgia Tech and professional football player
- Edgar Chandler, two-time All-American football player at the University of Georgia and professional player for the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots
- Nick Chubb, NFL player for the Cleveland Browns.
- Betty Reynolds Cobb, author and activist, native of Cedartown and the first woman in Georgia admitted to the state bar
- Phil Douglas, Major League Baseball player
- Korbin Forrister, NASCAR driver
- Agnes Ellen Harris, educator
- Seale Harris, physician and researcher, best known for his 1924 hypothesis of hyperinsulinism as a cause of spontaneous hypoglycemia
- Sterling Holloway, stage and screen actor with over 100 movies and television shows to his credit. He was known for his tenor voice, and is best remembered as the voice of Walt Disney's Winnie the Pooh. He was born and raised in Cedartown.
- Sam Hunt, American singer and songwriter.
- Doug Sanders, winner of twenty tournaments on the PGA Tour
- Katelyn Nicole Davis, 12-year-old who livestreamed her suicide
The Silver Comet Trail is located 13 miles northwest of Atlanta, Georgia. Use is free of charge, and it travels west through Cobb, Paulding and Polk counties. The non-motorized, paved trail is intended for walkers, hikers, bicyclists, rollerbladers, horses nd dog walkers, and is wheelchair accessible. It is 61.5 miles long, and starts at the Mavell Road Trailhead in Smyrna, Georgia. It ends at the Georgia/Alabama state line, near Cedartown and The Esom Hill Trailhead.
At the Georgia/Alabama state line, the Silver Comet connects to the 33-mile long Chief Ladiga Trail. Plans are underway to extend the Chief Ladiga an additional 7 miles. Both the Silver Comet Trail and Chief Ladiga are fully paved rail-trails built on abandoned railroad lines. The combined Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga trail length is estimated to be 94.5 paved miles from Smyrna, Georgia to Anniston, Alabama.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Polk County". Calhoun Times. 1 September 2004. p. 98. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
- Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 37. ISBN 0-915430-00-2.
- Schladebeck, Jessica. "Georgia police investigating sexual abuse claims made during preteen girl's online suicide - NY Daily News". Retrieved 3 July 2018.
- "Polk County Joint Comprehensive Plan" (PDF). Northwest Georgia Regional Commission. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- Georgia Board of Education[permanent dead link], Retrieved June 25, 2010.
- School Stats, Retrieved June 25, 2010.
- "Silver Comet Trail, Cedartown Depot Trailhead Facts - Cedartown, GA". www.silvercometga.com. Retrieved 3 July 2018.