Juneteenth marks the end of slavery in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had declared “all persons held as slaves” would be “forever free” on January 1, 1863, it wasn’t until U.S. Major General Gordon Granger read General Order #3 at Ashton Villa in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, that the last enslaved people in America were finally set free. Juneteenth, a combination of “June” and “nineteenth,” commemorates that day.
In 1860 Marietta had 297 households and a population of approximately 2,600. Of the 297 households, 137 (46%) held slaves. The same census shows that there were four enslaved people at the William Root House property: two men and two women, ages 35 to 73. Recently discovered Root family papers and new research into public documents are helping to tell the story of the lives of these individuals. At the Root House Museum, an 1830s log cabin is used to help tell the stories of the enslaved individuals who labored at the Root House property and would have lived in a similar cabin. A garden sculpture erected next to the cabin is dedicated to the 1,200+ enslaved individuals living in Marietta prior to 1860 whose names were not recorded and are now lost to time.
The William Root House Museum invites the community to learn about Juneteenth during a special event on June 10, 2023. The day will include guided museum tours, living history demonstrations, crafts, storytelling, and more. The museum is pleased to offer free admission during the event.
WHEN: June 10, 2023 10:00am-4:00pm
WHERE: William Root House | 80 N Marietta Parkway, NW | Marietta, GA 30060
ABOUT THE WILLIAM ROOT HOUSE: The Root House Museum is the first house museum in the U.S. to offer a fully self-guided touchscreen tour. One of the oldest homes in the Atlanta area, the Root House is more typical of its time and place than the columned mansions popularized by Gone With the Wind. While the home and grounds have been meticulously restored to their 1860 appearance, interactive electronic displays have been added to tell the story of the Root family and their enslaved house servants.
The c. 1830 Power-Jackson Cabin has been abandoned for several decades. The cabin pre-dates the Cherokee Land Lottery and is likely the oldest existing house in all of Cobb County. The cabin and remaining property are threatened by development. Cobb Landmarks is working with the current owner to have an archaeological survey completed at the site. Cobb Landmarks is also exploring different options for the long-term preservation of the cabin, including the possibility of relocating it to a nearby park for public display. Today was our first time visiting the cabin to assess its condition and inspect the interior. We were encouraged by what we saw and are hopeful the cabin can still be saved.
To support Cobb Landmarks and our efforts, visit CobbLandmarks.com/give.
J.C. Bankston Rock House
Dobbins Air Reserve Base/US Department of the Air Force
The Bankston Rock House was built by J.C. Bankston and his sons during the late 1930s. The house is constructed of hollow-core brick tile veneered with uncut fieldstone. The house is one of the only structures surviving from the time period before the land was acquired by the United States Army during World War II. Cobb Landmarks recognizes Dobbins Air Reserve Base and the US Department of the Air Force for their continued stewardship of this exceptional example of stone masonry construction.
Acworth Rosenwald School
City of Acworth
Acworth’s Rosenwald School was constructed during the 1920s when local schools were still segregated by race. At the time, Julius Rosenwald, part-owner of Sears, Roebuck & Company, offered grants to build schools for Black students throughout the South. He required the community to match the funds. Thirty years after it was constructed, the school was threatened by demolition. The community came together to disassemble the building and rebuild it where it currently stands for use as a community center. In the early 2000s Cobb Landmarks was awarded a grant through the Lowe's Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to make much-needed repairs to the aging structure. Recently, the City of Acworth completed a top-to-bottom renovation of the school building. Cobb Landmarks would like to recognize the City of Acworth for faithfully maintaining and renovating of this important landmark.
Lemon Street Grammar School
Marietta City Schools
In 2019 Cobb Landmarks met with Marietta City Schools to discuss the uncertain future of the c. 1950 Lemon Street Grammar School. The district needed more space, and the old Grammar School building was mostly abandoned and in need of substantial upgrades and repairs. After an extensive rehabilitation, Lemon Street Grammar School was returned to its original use: educating Marietta's students. Marietta City Schools worked to preserve the building's exterior and key architectural features while rehabilitating the interior, making it conducive to a modern learning environment. The school reopened in 2021. Inside, exhibit panels tell the story of the once-segregated school system, while outdoor interpretive panels focus on the history of the surrounding community. Cobb Landmarks would like to recognize Marietta City Schools for investing in the rehabilitation of the Lemon Street Grammar School and for working to share the history of the school and community with the people of Marietta.
First Baptist Church Marietta
Completed in 1897, the First Baptist Church Chapel is constructed of Georgia granite and marble. Designed in the Victorian-Gothic style, the historic structure retains many original features, including wood trim, curved oak pews, chandeliers, and stained glass windows. During the 1960s the original bell tower was removed because of structural concerns. First Baptist Church Marietta began a multi-million-dollar renovation of the campus in 2019. The project included structural repairs, waterproofing, abatement, stained glass window restoration, and reconstruction of the previously removed bell tower. Cobb Landmarks would like to recognize First Baptist Church Marietta for preserving their historic structures and would like to thank members of the Grateful First Campaign who worked to make the project possible.
Volunteer of the Year
Each year Cobb Landmarks recognizes an individual for exceptional commitment of time and energy to the organization. This year we are happy to honor Katie Steiber for her continued support of the Marietta Pilgrimage, our largest annual fundraising event. Katie has been a member of the Marietta Pilgrimage Committee for several years, but in the days leading up to the 2022 tour she went above and beyond to ensure its success. Each day that week, after completing her work day, she checked in with homeowners and helped them prepare their homes for the tour. Tasks she voluntarily took on included getting pine straw, hanging shower curtains, wrapping fake gift boxes, and climbing ladders to touch up exterior paint. All of this was completed outside her regular responsibilities as a committee member. Cobb Landmarks is so thankful for Katie’s commitment to the Marietta Pilgrimage and offers this award to her as a token of our gratitude.
We are committed to empowering our community with an understanding of the events, people, and places that formed our past, so that we may all strive for a brighter future. Won't you join us?