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Bartow County
Bartow County
The Bartow County Courthouse, built in 1902.
The Bartow County Courthouse, built in 1902.
Map of Georgia highlighting Bartow County
Location within the U.S. state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Georgia
Founded December 3, 1832; 190 years ago (1832)
Named for Francis S. Bartow
Seat Cartersville
Largest city Cartersville
Area
 • Total 470 sq mi (1,200 km2)
 • Land 460 sq mi (1,200 km2)
 • Water 11 sq mi (30 km2)  2.2%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2019)
107,738
 • Density 218/sq mi (84/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 11th

Bartow County is located in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 100,157. The county seat is Cartersville.

Traditionally considered part of northwest Georgia, Bartow County is now included in the Atlanta metropolitan area, mainly in the southeastern part near Cartersville, which has become an exurb more than 40 miles (64 km) from downtown Atlanta on I-75. It has a sole commissioner government, and is the largest county by population of the few remaining in Georgia with a sole commissioner.

History

Bartow County was created from the Cherokee lands of the Cherokee County territory on December 3, 1832, and named Cass County, after General Lewis Cass (1782–1866) Secretary of War under President Andrew Jackson, Minister to France and Secretary of State under President James Buchanan, who was instrumental in the removal of Native Americans from the area. However, the county was renamed on December 6, 1861 in honor of Francis S. Bartow because of Cass's support of the Union, even though Bartow never visited in the county, living 200 miles away near Savannah all of his life. Cass had supported the doctrine of popular sovereignty, the right of each state to determine its own laws independently of the Federal government, ironcially the platform of conservative Southerners who removed his name. The first county seat was at Cassville, but after the burning of the county courthouse and the Sherman Occupation, the seat moved to Cartersville, where it remains.

The county was profoundly affected by the Civil War, setting it back economically for many decades. May 18 and 19, 1864, General George Henry Thomas led the Army of the Cumberland after General William J. Hardee's Corps of the Army of Tennessee, and General James B. McPherson led his Federal Army of the Tennessee flanking Hardee's army to the west. This huge army was disruptive and sought food. Elements were out of control and sacked homes depleting meager supplies.

Property destruction and the deaths of one-third of the county's soldiers during the war caused financial and social calamity for many.

Slaves gained their freedom, and for over a decade exercised the political franchise through the Republican Party. In 1870, about 1 black family in 12 owned real estate. More of the blacks lived in white-headed households, working as domestic servants and laborers. The great majority of freedpeople were day laborers or farm laborers, while a sizable minority occupied skilled positions such as blacksmiths, wheelwrights, and iron workers.

By the late 1870s, hardship was experienced by everyone. Blacks had been relegated to second-class citizenship by Jim Crow laws.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 470 square miles (1,217 km2), of which 460 square miles (1,191 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) or 2.2% is water.

The bulk of Bartow County is located in the Etowah River sub-basin of the ACT River Basin (Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin). The northeastern portion of the county around Rydal is located in the Coosawattee River sub-basin of the same ACT River Basin, while an even smaller northwestern section around Adairsville is located in the Oostanaula River sub-basin of the larger ACT River Basin.

The Etowah is mostly part of Lake Allatoona in southeast Bartow and southwest Cherokee counties, with the Allatoona Dam near Cartersville also impounding Allatoona Creek into northwest Cobb county. The peninsula between the two major arms of the lake is home to Red Top Mountain State Park, east-southeast of Cartersville and just southeast of the dam.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 9,390
1850 13,300 41.6%
1860 15,724 18.2%
1870 16,566 5.4%
1880 18,690 12.8%
1890 20,616 10.3%
1900 20,823 1.0%
1910 25,388 21.9%
1920 24,527 −3.4%
1930 25,364 3.4%
1940 25,283 −0.3%
1950 27,370 8.3%
1960 28,267 3.3%
1970 32,663 15.6%
1980 40,760 24.8%
1990 55,911 37.2%
2000 76,019 36.0%
2010 100,157 31.8%
Est. 2019 107,738 7.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2019

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 100,157 people, 35,782 households, and 26,529 families living in the county. The population density was 217.9 inhabitants per square mile (84.1/km2). There were 39,823 housing units at an average density of 86.7 per square mile (33.5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 82.7% white, 10.2% black or African American, 0.7% Asian, 0.4% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 3.8% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 7.7% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 13.9% were American, 10.0% were Irish, 9.3% were English, and 7.8% were German.

Of the 35,782 households, 39.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 25.9% were non-families, and 21.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.20. The median age was 36.2 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $49,216 and the median income for a family was $56,281. Males had a median income of $42,835 versus $31,225 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,241. About 10.8% of families and 14.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.9% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.

2020 census

Bartow County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 80,159 73.61%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 11,309 10.38%
Native American 254 0.23%
Asian 1,169 1.07%
Pacific Islander 40 0.04%
Other/Mixed 5,219 4.79%
Hispanic or Latino 10,751 9.87%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 108,901 people, 39,742 households, and 28,529 families residing in the county.

Transportation

Major highways

  • I-75.svg Interstate 75
  • US 41.svg U.S. Route 41
  • US 411.svg U.S. Route 411
  • Georgia 3.svg State Route 3
  • Georgia 20.svg State Route 20
  • Georgia 20 Spur.svg State Route 20 Spur
  • Georgia 61.svg State Route 61
  • Georgia 113.svg State Route 113
  • Georgia 140.svg State Route 140
  • Georgia 293.svg State Route 293
  • Georgia 293 Connector.svg State Route 293 Connector
  • Georgia 401.svg State Route 401 (unsigned designation for I-75)

Secondary highways

  • Euharlee Road
  • Old S.R. 293. Portion south of Emerson and east of U.S. 41 into Cobb County.
  • Old Alabama Road. Future route of S.R. 113.
  • Burnt Hickory Road
  • Taylorsville-Macedonia Road
  • Macedonia Road
  • Halls Station Road
  • Spring Place Road
  • Cassville-White Road
  • Glade Road
  • Red Top Mountain Rd
  • Peeples Valley Rd
  • Cassville Rd (Old U.S. 41)

Museums

  • Bartow History Museum opened in 1987 and is located in the historic 1869 Courthouse in downtown Cartersville. Artifacts, photographs, documents and a variety of permanent exhibits focus on the settlement and development of Bartow County, Georgia, beginning with the early nineteenth century when the Cherokee inhabited the area. Early European settler life, the iron ore and bauxite industries, Civil War strife, post-war recovery, the Great Depression era, early textile industries and notable figures are depicted through interactive exhibits in the permanent gallery space. The museum offers a wide variety of education programs, and lectures.
  • Booth Western Art Museum, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is a 120,000-square-foot (11,000 m2) museum located in Cartersville. Guests are invited to See America’s Story through contemporary Western artwork, Presidential portraits and letters, Civil War art, more than 200 Native American artifacts, and Sagebrush Ranch children’s gallery. Open since August 2003, Booth Museum is the second largest art museum in the state of Georgia, and houses the largest permanent exhibition space for Western art in the country.
  • Tellus Science Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is a world-class 120,000-square-foot (11,000 m2) museum is located in Cartersville, just off I-75 at exit 293. The museum features four main galleries: The Weinman Mineral Gallery, The Fossil Gallery, Science in Motion and The Collins Family My Big Backyard. There is also a 120-seat digital planetarium and an observatory with a state-of-the-art 20-inch telescope located at Tellus.
  • Euharlee History Museum, is located adjacent to the Euharlee Covered Bridge in Euharlee, Georgia, about 9 miles west of downtown Cartersville. The museum opened in 1997 and is a cooperation between the Euharlee Historical Society and the City of Euharlee.
  • Adairsville Rail Depot Age of Steam Museum, is located in a restored 1847 railroad depot on the Historic Public Square, in Adairsville along with a locally operated Welcome Center. The Museum displays artifacts and pictures covering almost 150 years of life in the area, including the Civil War, the chenille boom, railroad history, early farming implements, and weapons.

Recreation

  • Bartow County Georgia Hiking Trails
  • Etowah Indian Mounds

Communities

Cities

Unincorporated communities

Historical Communities

Allatoona Aylmer ATCO Aubrey Bartow
Best's Birmingham Bochee Bolivar Cass Line
Cass Station Cassville (Manassas) Cave Cement Center
Clifford Connaseena Corbin Dewey Etowah
Etowah Valley (see Rowland Springs) Eves Ferrobutte (see Rogers Station) Five Forks Flexatile (see Funkhouser)
Folsom Ford Grassdale Gum Springs Halls Station (see Linwood)
Iron Hill Ironville Junta Ladds Ligon
Linwood (see Hall's Station) Little Prairie Malbone McCallie McGinnis
Mountain House Murchisons Nalinza Pine Log (see Rydal) Rogers Station (aka Rogersville)
Rowland Springs (see Etowah Valley) Ruby Rydal (see Pine Log) Sanfordsville Sophia
Stamp Creek Stilesboro Sugar Hill Woolley's Wyvern

Education

Public education in Bartow County is administered by Bartow County School District and Cartersville City Schools.

Excel Christian Academy and The Trinity School are private institutions.

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