About two years ago, the city of Powder Springs took an important step toward preserving the area’s heritage. Not only did the city purchase the historic Bodiford House on Marietta Street for $175,000 from Superior Court Judge James Bodiford, but it also relocated the Seven Springs Museum, now known as Seven Springs Museum at Bodiford House, there. After a restoration project totaling almost $600,000, the entire house exhibits artifacts and photographs chronicling the area’s history and even has a room designated as a research library.
The museum is open on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays to visitors and researchers. Volunteers from the Seven Springs Historical Society operate the museum. The Bodiford House is a two-story Queen Anne style house with its layout and stylistic application reflecting the Queen Anne designs of the late 19th century. Features include two cross gables, a corner tower, and a wraparound porch. It was built by the Marchman family and later acquired by John L. Butner, who added a second story and additional rooms in 1900. Robert Bodiford, father of Cobb Superior Court Judge Jim Bodiford, purchased the house in 1954. After the city bought the property, an extensive rehabilitation was completed in time for the museum’s opening in October last year.
It seems as though the Big Chicken has been around forever. Standing like a beacon on the corner of Cobb Parkway and Roswell Road, the Big Chicken has helped many a weary traveler navigate through Cobb County. When you’re lost in Atlanta, locals may direct you to Peachtree Street (there are over 70 streets in Atlanta with “Peachtree” in their name). When you’re lost in Cobb, making a turn at the Big Chicken will always get you where you need to go. But how did the Big Chicken come to be? Who was responsible for creating this googley-eyed monument to chicken?
The story begins with an Atlanta restaurateur named Stanley Reginald Davis. Known by his friends and family as “Tubby,” he began his career in 1939 when he opened Davis Brothers Cafeteria in a vacant typewriter shop on Luckie Street. Tubby prided himself on providing quality food at competitive prices. His business quickly grew, and Tubby eventually launched several other successful restaurants, including one inside Atlanta’s Piedmont Hotel.
In 1956, Tubby came to Marietta and opened a restaurant called Johnny Reb’s Chick, Chuck and Shake. Wanting to capitalize on the north/south traffic on Highway 41, Tubby decided he needed to erect something to attract travelers. He hired Hubert Puckett, a Georgia Tech architecture student, to design a novelty chicken structure over his restaurant. Fabricated by Atlantic Steel, the 56-foot-high chicken was completed in 1963. “I wanted to build it as high as I could to attract customers,” said Tubby. “I had no idea it would become a landmark.”
Tubby continued to operate Johnny Reb’s until he sold the business to one of his brothers. The restaurant was taken over by Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in 1974. At the time, KFC executives (including Colonel Sanders himself) planned to remove the Big Chicken to make the restaurant match their own branding. Persuaded by the Davis family, KFC executives finally decided to keep it. The Big Chicken was safe, and everyone thought it would be preserved forever. But mother nature had other plans.
In January 1993, a winter storm blew into Cobb County. The gusts battered the old chicken, and entire sheets of metal were ripped from the structure. When the storm subsided, the chicken stood with gaping holes in her side. Within days engineers were on site to assess the damage. What they found was less than encouraging. The Big Chicken was badly damaged and needed to be completed rebuilt or torn down. KFC had a decision to make: tear down the Big Chicken or spend the $100,000 estimated to rebuild the structure. The answer came down to money, and demolition of the Big Chicken was announced on January 15th. The decision did not go over very well with the people of Marietta.
After receiving almost 10,000 phone calls and letters from concerned Mariettans, KFC determined that tearing down the structure was not really an option. On January 27, 1993, KFC Vice President Chuck Rawley announced that the company would “invest up to $200,000 in a new landmark so that the Big Chicken can fly again.” Work quickly began on a new structure, and the restaurant reopened in 1994.
Renovated in the spring of 2017, the Big Chicken is one of Marietta’s most popular attractions. The new restaurant features a gift shop and mini museum displaying the history of the Big Chicken and a collection of souvenirs and artwork inspired by the landmark.
The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Spring Ramble and Annual Meeting will be held in Marietta, Kennesaw and Acworth, April 22-24. A partnership with Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society, the event will offer visitors a rare opportunity to explore private historic homes, buildings and gardens that are not usually open to the public.
History enthusiasts will be charmed by exquisite houses and beloved downtown properties that grew up along the Great Kennesaw Route, a historic rail line that ran from Chattanooga to Atlanta. On Friday, ‘Ramblers’ will have the opportunity to explore historic properties in Marietta, a former winter resort town nicknamed “The Gem City of Georgia,” and Kennesaw, a railroad town steeped in Civil War history. Saturday’s Ramble continues in Marietta with stunning private homes and grand architectural gems. Sunday, Ramblers will take a drive out to Acworth, named after a railroad engineer’s hometown in New Hampshire, where brunch, historic bungalows and a charming Victorian-era downtown await.
The Ramble also includes special dining experiences held at magnificent historic sites throughout the weekend. On Friday night, ‘Ramblers’ will dine with the General, made famous during the Great Locomotive Chase of 1862, at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History. Saturday morning breakfast will take place at the historic 1935 Strand Theatre, a former major motion picture house and now an important cultural community landmark overlooking Marietta’s town square. Lunch will be in downtown Marietta, where ‘Ramblers’ can choose from a variety of local eateries. Saturday night’s dinner will be held at Rockford, a unique antebellum home that was once served as a field hospital for the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain and headquarters for a Confederate General. Before enjoying picturesque historic Acworth on Sunday, Ramblers will partake in a sumptuous brunch at the beautifully restored Old Mill, the oldest commercial building in town.
A wide variety of registration options is available. Whether you plan on touring for one day or spending the weekend, there’s something for everyone as we explore the beautiful cities of Marietta, Kennesaw and Acworth. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaTrust.org.
Rambles feature tours and social events in historic properties not usually open to the public. Tours of historic homes and buildings are self-guided, and guests provide their own transportation. These trips attract hundreds of participants per Ramble and are offered two weekends each year in the fall and spring. Recent Rambles have included the Golden Isles, Athens and Americus.
About the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation
Founded in 1973, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation is one of the country’s largest statewide, nonprofit preservation organizations. The Trust is committed to preserving and enhancing Georgia’s communities and their diverse historic resources for the education and enjoyment of all.
The Trust generates community revitalization by finding buyers for endangered properties acquired by its Revolving Fund and raises awareness of other endangered historic resources through an annual listing of Georgia’s “Places in Peril.” The Trust helps revitalize downtowns by providing design and technical assistance in Georgia Main Street cities; trains Georgia’s teachers in Georgia school systems to engage students in discovering state and national history through their local historic resources; and advocates for funding, tax incentives and other laws aiding preservation efforts. To learn more, visit www.georgiatrust.org.
About Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society, Inc.
For more than forty years, Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society has been preserving, protecting, and promoting Cobb County's historic structures and cultural heritage. Through advocacy and public education, we strive to ensure the historically significant sites in our region continue to enhance the county’s quality of life, economy, and tourism.
Each year, Cobb Landmarks provides engaging programs and activities that reach thousands of preservationists, tourists, teachers, college students, and school-age children. Many of these programs are centered on the organization’s two historic properties, the William Root House Museum and Garden and the Power Cabin. Currently, volunteer leaders are developing a strategic plan that will guide the organization in creating relevant programs, managing financial resources, and increasing awareness of local heritage. Learn more at: http://www.cobblandmarks.com
Trevor Beemon, the Executive Director of Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society, found his calling at an early age. When he was 12 years old, he got involved with the Root House as a volunteer. Before long, he was designing exhibitions for the site and became so actively involved that he was presented with the Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society Preservation Award in 2003. That same year, Trevor began pursuing a degree in history at Kennesaw State University (KSU). He graduated from KSU with a degree in American History and a public history certificate in 2008.
A skilled graphic designer, Trevor worked for the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, where he helped design exhibition panels and displays and assisted with visitor services. After four years at the Southern Museum, Trevor made the leap to the Atlanta History Center (AHC), where he continued to use his outstanding graphic design skills in support of the exhibition program and marketing efforts of the organization. He eventually was named Director of New Media, a position that allowed him to use his extensive skills to improve the AHC’s online presence. As a resident of Acworth, Trevor became involved in promoting the history of the city through his work on the Acworth Board of Travel and Tourism and as the marketing chair for Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society.
Since he was an eager young Boy Scout whose imagination was captured by the Root House, Trevor has devoted himself to interpreting and sharing the history of the area with the public, and it was with great pleasure that the KSU College of Humanities and Social Sciences presented to Trevor the Outstanding Alumnus Award.
By Dr. Jennifer Dickey
Coordinator, Public History Program, Kennesaw State University
Fall 2015 has been a time of exciting and entertaining events and preservation progress, but for Cobb Landmarks members and friends it has also been a time of sadness, as our organization lost three of its most valiant and stalwart supporters in September and October. Bill David, Martha Lee Brumby, and Joe Kirby were all friends of CLHS, promoters of our community, and giants of historic preservation whose collective presence looms large over our organization. Without each of them, we would not be the organization that we are, and it is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to them.
Bill David, husband of former CLHS Executive Director Marcelle David and a supporter of CLHS and the Root House in his own right, died September 5 after a long battle with cancer. Bill and Marcelle were instrumental in the rescue of the Root House and the successful establishment of the Root House Museum and Garden. Terri Cole, who worked with the Davids in the early days of the Root House project, penned this reflection after Bill’s funeral:
There are lots of things in this world that can be measured. Bill David certainly understood the word “measure.” He built hundreds of residential homes in the Marietta area during the past 40 years as a partner with Cotton States Builders. Some of you may even be fortunate enough to live in one of these beautiful homes. Lumber, trim, windows, doors, porches, roofing, and even driveways are measured to assure they fit the builder’s specifications. However, there is one thing that is difficult to measure: the value one person can add to another person’s life. The length and depth of time and talent given to another person or organization is immeasurable and often forgotten over time. In remembering our friend Bill, we will never be able to measure the time and talents he and Marcelle gave to make Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society what it is today. Perhaps their son Brad said it best in Bill’s eulogy: “Dad taught me many lessons in life, and I could not have had a better father, a better person to model my life after. One of the most valuable lessons dad taught me, he did not sit me down and talk me through, he simply showed me through his actions. His abiding love and devotion to my mother was the greatest gift that he gave me. Dad showed me what a committed and loving relationship should look like and loved my mother more than anything in his life.”
Bill shared and supported Marcelle’s passion for CLHS and The Root House Museum. His presence, kindness, generosity, and courage cannot be measured. He was a good man. We are thankful for what he did for all of us and for his actions that spoke louder than his words.
We at Cobb Landmarks extend our heartfelt condolences to Marcelle and Brad and their family.
Martha Lee Brumby, a pillar of the Marietta community and widow of Otis Brumby, Jr., the late publisher of the Marietta Daily Journal (MDJ), died October 29 after a six-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Mrs. Brumby was a longtime member of First United Methodist Church in Marietta, where she was active with the Altar Guild and the funeral committee. She was a generous hostess, always willing to extend her hospitality to individuals or civic groups, and she and her husband were supporters of Cobb Landmarks from the early days. The love of community and the support for historic preservation were passed on to their five children: Spain Gregory, Lee Garrett, Betsy Tarbutton, Anna Brumby, and Otis A. Brumby III. It was in large part through financial support provided by Otis and Martha Lee Brumby and their children, through the Brumby-Leonard Family Foundation and the Marietta Daily Journal Community Foundation, that Cobb Landmarks was able to publish Marietta, the Gem City of Georgia: A Celebration of Its Homes – A Portrait of Its People, by Douglas Frey, in 2010.
In a reflection in the MDJ penned by Ricky Leroux, Mrs. Brumby’s friend Connie Smith is quoted as saying that Martha Lee was someone who believed you couldn’t do enough to help people. “She was a beautiful, elegant lady inside and out…the kindest, most generous person to everyone.” These qualities of kindness and generosity are certainly her legacy to us, her friends at Cobb Landmarks. We extend our sincere sympathy to Spain, Lee, Betsy, Anna, and Otis and their families.
Joe Kirby, local author and historian and longtime editorial page editor of the Marietta Daily Journal, died October 30 after a short illness. Joe contracted a rare form of cancer, probably the result of radiation treatments in his youth, and died only a week after diagnosis. Joe’s contributions to the promotion of our community and the recording of its history are significant, and rare coming from a person who was not a Cobb County native. A native of Washington, D.C., Joe came to Marietta in 1987 to take up a post as a reporter for the MDJ, after stints at the Toccoa Chieftan and the Roswell Neighbor. Dr. Sam Matthews said at Joe’s memorial service, “Joe Kirby fooled me. I thought he was from around here.” He quoted Joe as saying that he came to Marietta “as soon as he could.” Joe clearly loved this community. In an obituary penned by Jon Gillooly for the MDJ, Marshall Ramsey, an ad designer for the paper in the early 1990s who was mentored by Joe Kirby, said of him and his legacy, “…here’s a guy who had the talent to go anywhere, but he stayed in a place where he could make a difference. And he loved the history of the place… He realized that he was where he needed to be to make sure that he could raise his children the right way, and his legacy will be in Miles and Lucy.”
Joe’s wife, Fran Froehlke Kirby, said that her husband’s passion was history. He wrote several books of local history, among them The Bell Bomber Plant, Marietta (Then and Now), and Marietta Revisited (Then and Now). These titles are all available at Mr. Root’s Store, and they are an important part of the body of printed scholarship about Marietta and Cobb County. His columns in the MDJ are another source of valuable local history and commentary. Joe was also an enthusiastic supporter of Cobb Landmarks, always willing to provide publicity for CLHS events in his popular “Around Town” column and elsewhere in the paper. He was a frequent speaker to community and civic groups on the subject of local history, always promoting Marietta and Cobb County and exhorting them to make it better. He was a frequent attendee at Cobb Landmarks events, usually present at the Pilgrimage Gala, the Annual Meeting, and many other events.
Attorney General Sam Olens was quoted in Jon Gillooly’s reflection in the MDJ as saying that Joe Kirby saw life through a positive lens. “There are few people you meet in life that you view as being ‘glass half full’ each and every day, and he was….He was always there to uplift, always there to discuss the greatness of the community….”
All of us at Cobb Landmarks extend our heartfelt sympathy to Fran, Lucy, and Miles Kirby.
- Dr. Root’s Miracle Elixir IPA Inspired by Marietta’s first Druggist, William Root -
MARIETTA, GA – The William Root House Museum and Garden introduces a new beer, Dr. Root’s Miracle Elixir IPA, crafted with hops harvested directly from the historic Root House Garden. Inspired by Marietta’s first apothecary, William Root, this new beer was created in partnership with Schoolhouse Beer and Brewing.
WHAT: Dr. Root’s Miracle Elixir Craft Beer
WHERE: William Root House Museum and Garden; 145 Denmead Street, Marietta, GA 30060
INFORMATION: 770-426-4982; http://roothousemuseum.com/
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The William Root House is an antebellum house located in downtown Marietta. It is one of the only wood frame structures in downtown Marietta to survive the Civil War. The home was constructed in the 1840s, and was owned by the Root family. William Root was Marietta’s first Apothecary (druggist), and he ran a fairly lucrative business on the Square for many years. His store was located in the building where Sugar Cakes Patisserie is now located.
The Root House Garden is designed to reflect the gardening practices of the mid-19th century, and all the plants growing in the garden have been researched for their availability in Georgia at the time the Root House was built. The Root’s garden in the 19th century would have contained plants that were either ornamental, medicinal, or edible. Today, we grow many medicinal herbs in the garden because it’s likely that William would have used them in his pharmacy. This includes hops. Hops, which is used to make beer, would have been used in the pharmacy as an herbal medicine to assist with sleeplessness and anxiety.
Dr. Root’s Miracle Elixir IPA will be available for a limited time at Schoolhouse Beer and Brewing, The Chicken and the Egg, Loco Willy’s, Marietta Pizza Company, and Stockyard Burgers beginning October 24, 2015.
ABOUT THE WILLIAM ROOT HOUSE MUSEUM AND GARDEN:
Owned and operated by Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society, the William Root House Museum and Garden offers an authentic look at life for a middle class Georgia family in 1850s. The simple frame house is more typical of its time and place than the grand plantations and columned mansions people typically imagine when they think of the Old South.
Visitors to the museum will learn the story of the house, the Root family, and life in antebellum and Civil War Georgia. Tours include opportunities for visitors to actually handle historic artifacts and to test their skills with various 19th century games. Using electronic tablets, visitors can analyze historic records, family photos, archaeological information, and more. These primary resources help explain how the Root family lived, and how the house has evolved over time.
For information about the Root House, hours of operation and admission call 770-426-4982 or visit http://www.roothousemuseum.com/.
Continuing long-standing efforts to preserve the historic Wallis House, Georgia lawmakers have again introduced federal legislation that would annex the house and its neighboring eight acres into Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.
U. S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk introduced HR-3371 into the House of Representatives on July 29. The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Earl Carter and Lynn Westmoreland. Sen. Johnny Isakson introduced S-1930 in the Senate on August 11, with Sen. David Perdue as a co-sponsor. These bills renew the efforts of Sen. Isakson and former Rep. Phil Gingrey to obtain Congressional authorization to add the land to the park. The property is owned by Cobb County, which has agreed to transfer it to the National Park Service at no acquisition cost if the legislation is passed and signed. Restoration costs, early estimates of which are $800,000, will be the principal costs associated with the project. It is possible that private funding will be sought for some of these costs.
The Wallis House, built c. 1853 by Josiah Wallis, has been a Preservation Priority for CLHS for several years. CLHS Chair Abbie Parks wrote to House and Senate Committee members in 2014 urging them to support earlier versions of the legislation, but the bills did not get passed by the full chambers in the last Congress. Executive Director Trevor Beemon wrote to the legislators earlier in 2015 encouraging them to reintroduce the bills.
The bills have been read and referred to their respective committees, which must pass them for the bills to reach the floor for full chamber votes. Bills to save individual landmarks are routinely passed in each session of Congress, and here’s hoping that the current session will be the one where the hopes and plans for the Wallis House are realized.
Written by Chris Brown
The Marietta Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is continuing its efforts to designate a Forest Hills local historic district, and it has recently received City Council approval to begin the study process for a Church-Cherokee-Freyer-Seminole district.
Each project requires extensive research about the neighborhoods, drafting and approval of design guidelines, several public hearings and City Council approvals, and a neighborhood property owner vote. A 60% affirmative vote is required to designate a district.
The Forest Hills study area principally includes Forest and North Forest Avenues and Vance Circle, and it also includes the historic Cole house that faces the 120 Loop. The study area currently includes about 50 houses, and the next step for the HPC is to delineate the boundaries of the area that will be included in the property owner vote.
The Church-Cherokee study area is larger, beginning with about 120 houses. On August 12 the City Council approved the HPC’s request to begin the project, following homeowner requests that were in part related to potential development of the Ivy Grove estate on Cherokee Street. The fact that, under present rules, the Ivy Grove mansion could be demolished without any reviews or approvals was an eye-opener for many neighbors.
A local historic district would require HPC and City Council approval before demolition of a historic house, and it would also require HPC review of architectural plans before new construction could begin.
HPC Chair David Freedman estimates the process will take at least six to eight months to complete. Educating homeowners about the protections afforded by a local historic district is scheduled to begin in early September. The homeowner vote, which will be run by the City staff, will likely be held early next year.
If approved by homeowners and the City Council, these historic districts would join the Kennesaw Avenue district in protecting the integrity of Marietta’s historic neighborhoods.
Written by Chris Brown
For those interested in pursuing the preservation of historic resources in their community, the first step is to have a good understanding of what buildings, sites, or structures are potentially historic. The best platform for gaining that understanding is a Historic Resources Survey. Historic Resources Surveys are a way to gather basic information about potential historic properties within a jurisdiction, whether city or county.
Historic Resources Surveys usually include an architectural description of the building or structure and photographs. Field work is involved in order to gather notes on the location, age and setting of the resource. A final survey report is usually produced to summarize the findings and give an overview of the community and the process. The Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has recommendations of how to produce a survey and how the survey can be used. Survey results are entered into a state-wide database called GNAHRGIS (Georgia’s Natural, Archaeological, and Historic Resources Geographic Information System). GNAHRGIS can be searched online.
Historic Resources Surveys are extremely useful tools for a variety of purposes. The survey supports historic preservation ordinances and the efforts of a historic preservation commission. It does this by highlighting resources that are worthy of preservation and those that could be eligible for local designation and the Georgia/National Register of Historic Places. It is an excellent tool for use in planning purposes, including reviewing zoning and variance applications, as well as site plans, to determine their impact on historic resources. The survey can be a source for researching historic buildings and for educating the public about historic places.
One of the first efforts towards a historic resource inventory in Cobb County was the Bicentennial Project sponsored by Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society. The project director was Dr. Phil Secrist, and it covered properties in Marietta and Cobb County. The survey, conducted from 1974 to 1975, produced an inventory of over 220 historic structures, ruins, and sites.
The next major survey for those areas outside city limits was Architecture, Archaeology, and Landscapes: Resources for Historic Preservation in Unincorporated Cobb County, Georgia by Darlene Roth, which was completed in 1988. Cobb County’s most recent Historic Resources Survey for unincorporated areas was completed in 2007. While the Roth book remains an excellent resource for developmental history and context for Cobb County, many changes had happened in the county over the following twenty years. The current survey can be viewed on the Cobb County website and can be searched on the GNAHRGIS online database. The survey demonstrates the wide variety of historic resources that are present in the unincorporated sections of Cobb County. Over 850 historic resources were surveyed during the 2007 update, with nearly 87% of them being used as residential. Historic outbuildings were included, as well as a sampling of the county’s ranch houses built beginning in the 1950s.
Cobb County has some additional Historic Resources Surveys for specific areas. These were usually done as part of an environmental review process for proposed infrastructure projects. These specific area surveys are conducted to determine if the proposed project would have any impact on historic resources within the project area.
Earlier this year, Cobb County worked towards creating a list of county-owned properties that have potential historic resources on them. This resource list was conducted as a result of a resolution passed by the Cobb County Board of Commissioners last fall. Staff reviewed information on all county-owned parcels to see if there was the potential for a historic building, structure, or even Civil War earthworks on the property. The final list was provided to relevant county departments for their reference. If changes are proposed to one of these properties, then the Cobb County Historic Preservation Commission is to be given an opportunity to comment.
Acworth, Kennesaw, and Marietta also have historic preservation ordinances and historic preservation commissions. They have Historic Resources Surveys in order to understand what historic resources are present in their communities. Marietta completed a Historic Resources Survey between 1993 and 1994. Additional surveys have been done in areas that are being considered for local designation by the city’s Historic Preservation Commission. Kennesaw has a historic resources book which identifies all registered historic structures. Survey information for these municipalities can be viewed on the GNAHRGIS database.
The Smyrna Historical & Genealogical Society (SH&GS) has, for many years, encouraged the City of Smyrna to adopt a historic preservation ordinance. The historical society brought in a staff member from Georgia’s Historic Preservation Division to make a presentation on historic preservation ordinances to members of the city council. The city council had questions about what was considered historic in Smyrna. So, the historical society hired an intern to complete a Historic Resources Survey for those properties within Smyrna.
Jennifer Dixon, Preservation Chair for Smyrna Historical & Genealogical Society (and Preservation Chair for CLHS), provided oversight and guidance to Jessica McCarron, the intern hired for the project. Jessica, a Masters of Heritage Preservation student at Georgia State University, surveyed historic properties within the city limits of Smyrna. Jennifer had the following to say about the project:
Jessica was able to survey virtually all historic resources up through the 1940s. This cutoff date was selected due to the fundamental shift in development from pre-war individual housing to post-war neighborhood and suburban development. The amazing results of this survey can be found on the SH&GS website.
The historical society is planning to return to the Smyrna City Council to present the results of the survey and hopefully to further discussions on a historic preservation ordinance and commission. The survey is a crucial step in moving forward with preservation efforts in Smyrna.
Historic Resources Surveys are a vital step in understanding the history of a local community. They provide the necessary information on working towards elevating the preservation of a community’s historic places. The best preservation occurs at the local level, and understanding what is worthy of preservation is critical to making that happen.
Written by Mandy Elliott, Cobb County Preservation Planner
Many types of plants are grown in the garden at the 1850s William Root House, however, there’s one plant in particular that fascinates visitors young and old. It’s a fairly unassuming vine that climbs the fence and has pretty small white blossoms. But as the summer progresses, the blossoms form into green “puffs” filled with humid air. So now that we have the “puff” part, where’s the love? Inside are small green seeds. As the puffs wither and turn brown, the seeds inside turn black. When the puffs are opened, each black seed has a white heart on it. ❤ Aww, there’s the love.
The Latin name for the plant is cardiospermum halicbabum. Be sure to stop by the museum sometime to check out this interesting plant. It’s prohibited from sale in Georgia, so you likely won’t see it growing many other places than a museum!