Marietta, Georgia

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Marietta, Georgia

City of Marietta
Cobb County courthouse in Marietta
Cobb County Georgia Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Marietta Highlighted.svg
Location in Cobb County and the state of Georgia
Metro atlanta.jpg
Red pog.svg
Location of Marietta in Metro Atlanta
Coordinates: 33°57′12″N84°32′26″W / 33.95333°N 84.54056°W / 33.95333; -84.54056 Coordinates: 33°57′12″N84°32′26″W / 33.95333°N 84.54056°W / 33.95333; -84.54056
CountryUnited States
State Georgia
County Cobb
   Mayor R. Steve Tumlin Jr. (R)
   City Manager William F. Bruton Jr.
  Total 23.48 sq mi (60.81 km2)
  Land23.41 sq mi (60.62 km2)
  Water0.07 sq mi (0.19 km2)
1,129 ft (344 m)
(2018) [2]
  Density2,597.88/sq mi (1,003.05/km2)
 2018 estimate
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
30006-08, 30060-69, 30090
Area code(s) 770/678/470
FIPS code 13-49756 [3]
GNIS feature ID0317694 [4]
Ruins of the paper mill at Sope Creek Sope Creek pulp mill retaining wall ruin.jpg
Ruins of the paper mill at Sope Creek

Marietta is located in central Cobb County, Georgia, United States, [5] and is the county's seat and largest city.


As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 56,579. The 2018 estimate is 60,806, making it one of Atlanta's largest suburbs. Marietta is the fourth largest of the principal cities (by population) of the Atlanta metropolitan area. [6] [7]



The origin of the name is uncertain. It is believed that the city was named for Mary Cobb, the wife of U.S. Senator and Superior Court judge Thomas Willis Cobb. Judge Cobb is the namesake of the county. [8]

Early settlers

Homes were built by early settlers near the Cherokee town of Big Shanty (now Kennesaw) prior to 1824. [9] The first plot was laid out in 1833. Like most towns, Marietta had a square (see Marietta Square) in the center with a courthouse. The Georgia General Assembly legally recognized the community on December 19, 1834. [9]

Built-in 1838, Oakton House [10] is the oldest continuously occupied residence in Marietta. The original barn, milk house, smokehouse, and well house remain on the property. The spectacular gardens contain the boxwood parterre from the 1870s. Oakton served as Major General Loring's headquarters during the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain in 1864. [11]

Marietta was initially selected as the hub for the new Western and Atlantic Railroad, and business boomed. [9] By 1838, roadbed and trestles had been built north of the city. However, in 1840, political wrangling stopped construction for a time. In 1842, the railroad's new management decided to move the hub from Marietta to an area that would become Atlanta. Nonetheless, in 1850, when the railroad began operation, Marietta shared in the resulting prosperity. [9]

Businessman and politician John Glover arrived in 1848. A popular figure, Glover was elected mayor when the city incorporated in 1852. [9] Another early resident was Carey Cox, a physician, who promoted a "water cure", which developed into a spa that attracted patients to the area. The Cobb County Medical Society recognizes him as the county's first physician. [9]

The Georgia Military Institute was built in 1851, and the first bank opened in 1855. [9] During the 1850s, fire destroyed much of the city on three separate occasions. [9]

Civil War

By the time the Civil War began in 1861, Marietta had recovered from the fires. [9]

In April 1862, James Andrews, a civilian working with the Union Army, came to Marietta, along with a small party of Union soldiers dressed in civilian clothing. The group spent the night in the Fletcher House hotel (later known as the Kennesaw House and now the home of the Marietta Museum of History) located immediately in front of the Western and Atlantic Railroad. Andrews and his men, who later became known as the Andrews Raiders, planned to seize a train and proceed north toward the city of Chattanooga, destroying the railroad on their way. They hoped, in so doing, to isolate Chattanooga from Atlanta and bring about the downfall of the Confederate stronghold. The Raiders boarded a waiting train on the morning of April 12, 1862, along with other passengers. Shortly after that, the train made a scheduled stop in the town of Big Shanty, now known as Kennesaw. When the other passengers got off the train for breakfast, Andrews and the Raiders stole the engine and the car behind it, which carried the fuel. The engine, called The General , and Andrews' Raiders had begun the episode now known as the Great Locomotive Chase. [9] Andrews and the Raiders failed in their mission. Andrews and all of his men were caught within two weeks, including two men who had arrived late and missed the hijacking. All were tried as spies, convicted, and hanged. [12]

General William Tecumseh Sherman invaded the town during the Atlanta Campaign in the summer of 1864. In November 1864, General Hugh Kilpatrick set the town ablaze, the first strike in Sherman's March to the Sea. [9] Sherman's troops crossed the Chattahoochee River at a shallow section known as the Palisades, after burning the Marietta Paper Mills near the mouth of Sope Creek.

The Marietta Confederate Cemetery, with the graves of over 3,000 Confederate soldiers killed during the Battle of Atlanta, is located in the city. [13]

In 1892, the city established a public school system. It included a high school for white students and a separate high school for blacks. [14]

20th century

Mary Phagan as depicted in the Atlanta Journal Mary Phagan Atlanta Journal.jpg
Mary Phagan as depicted in the Atlanta Journal

Leo Frank was lynched at 1200 Roswell Road just east of Marietta on August 17, 1915. Frank, a Jewish-American superintendent of the National Pencil Company in Atlanta, had been convicted on August 25, 1913, for the murder of one of his factory workers, 13-year-old Mary Phagan. The murder and trial, sensationalized in the local press, portrayed Frank as sexually depraved and captured the public's attention. An eleventh-hour commutation by Governor John Slaton of Frank's death sentence to life imprisonment (because of problems with the case against him) created great local outrage. A mob threatened the governor to the extent that the Georgia National Guard had to be called to defend him, and he left the state immediately with his political career over. Another mob, systematically organized for the purpose, abducted Frank from prison, drove him to Marietta, and hanged him. The leaders of the abduction included past, current, and future elected local, county, and state officials. There were two state legislators, the mayor, a former governor, a clergyman, two former Superior Court justices, and an ex-sheriff. In reaction Jewish activists created the Anti-Defamation League, to work to educate Americans about Jewish life and culture, and to prevent anti-Semitism. [15]


Located near the center of Cobb County, between Kennesaw to the northwest and Smyrna to the southeast. U.S. Route 41 and State Route 3 run through the city northeast of downtown as Cobb Parkway, and Interstate 75 runs parallel to it through the eastern part of Marietta, with access from exits 261, 263, 265, and 267. Downtown Atlanta is 20 miles (32 km) to the southeast, and Cartersville is 24 miles (39 km) to the northwest.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Marietta has a total area of 23.2 square miles (60.0 km2), of which 23.1 square miles (59.8 km2) is land and 0.077 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.38%, is water. [6]


Marietta has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa).

Marietta falls under the USDA 7b Plant Hardiness zone. [16]

Climate data for Marietta, Georgia
Record high °F (°C)80
Average high °F (°C)52
Average low °F (°C)30
Record low °F (°C)−12
Average precipitation inches (mm)4.86
Source: [17]


Historical population
1870 1,888
1880 2,22718.0%
1890 3,38452.0%
1900 4,44631.4%
1910 5,94933.8%
1920 6,1904.1%
1930 7,63823.4%
1940 8,66713.5%
1950 20,687138.7%
1960 25,56523.6%
1970 27,2166.5%
1980 30,80513.2%
1990 44,12943.3%
2000 58,74833.1%
2010 56,579−3.7%
Est. 201860,806 [2] 7.5%
U.S. Decennial Census [18]

As of the census of 2010, there were 56,641 people, and 22,261 households. [3] The population density was 2,684.1 people per square mile (1,036.2/km²). There were 25,227 housing units at an average density of 1,152.6 per square mile (445.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.7% White, 31.5% African American, 0.1% Native American, 3.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 9.1% from other races, and 3.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 20.6% of the population.

There were 23,895 households out of which 27.8% had children under 18 living with them, 35.4% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.5% were non-families. 32.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39, and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city, the population was distributed by age with 22.4% under the age of 18, 14.1% from 18 to 24, 39.4% from 25 to 44, 15.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.3 males. For every 101 females age 18 and over, there were 100.3 males.


Incorporated as a village in 1834 and as a city in 1852, [19] the city of Marietta is organized under a form of government consisting of a Mayor, City Council, and City Manager. The City Council is made up of representatives elected from each of seven single-member districts within the city, and a Mayor elected at-large.

The City Council is the governing body of the city with authority to adopt and enforce municipal laws and regulations. The Mayor and City Council appoint members of the community to sit on the city's various boards and commissions, ensuring that a broad cross-section of the town is represented in the city government.

The City Council appoints the City Manager, the city's chief executive officer. The Council-Manager relationship is comparable to that of a Board of Directors and CEO in a private company or corporation. The City Manager appoints city department heads and is responsible to the City Council for all city operations. The City Council also appoints the city attorney who serves as the city's chief legal officer and the City Clerk who maintains all the city's records.

Terms of office are for four years and the number of terms a member may serve are unlimited. There are seven councilmen, each representing a separate ward. [20]


NameTerm of Office
John Hayward Glover1852
Joshua Welch1853
W. T. Winn1854
I. N. Heggie1855
N. B. Knight1856
J. W. Robertson1857
R. W. Joyner1858
I. N. Heggie1859
Samuel Lawrence1860–1861
J. A. Tolleson1862
W. T. Winn1863
H. M. Hammett1864 [lower-alpha 1]
C.C. Winn1865 [lower-alpha 2]
A. N. Simpson1866–1868
G. W. Cleland1869
William H. Tucker1870–1873
Humphrey Reid1874
William H. Tucker1875
Edward Denmead1876–1877
Humphrey Reid1878
Joel T. Haley1879
Edward Denmead1880–1883
Enoch Faw1884
W. M. Sessions1885
Edward Denmead1886–1887
Thomas W. Glover1888–1893
R. N. Holland1894–1895
D. W. Blair1896–1897 [lower-alpha 3]
W. M. Sessions1898–1899
T. M. Brumby Sr.1900–1901
Joe P. Legg1902–1903
John E. Mozley1904–1905
E. P. Dobbs1906–1909
Eugene Herbert Clay 1910–1911
J. J. Black1912–1913
E. P. Dobbs1914–1915
James R. Brumby Jr.1916–1922 [lower-alpha 4]
Gordon B. Gann1922–1925 [lower-alpha 5]
E. R. Hunt1926–1927
Gordon B. Gann1928–1929
T. M. Brumby Jr.1930–1938 [lower-alpha 6]
L. M. Blair1938–1947 [lower-alpha 7]
Sam J. Welsch 1948–1955
C. W. Bramlett1956–1959
Sam J. Welsch 1960–1963
L. H. Atherton Jr.1964–1969
James R. Hunter1970–1973
J. Dana Eastham1974–1981
Robert E. Flournoy Jr.1982–1985
Vicki Chastain1986–1989
Joe Mack Wilson1990–1993 [lower-alpha 8]
Ansley L. Meaders1993–2001 [lower-alpha 9]
William B. Dunaway2002–2009
Steve Tumblin2010–present
  1. Hammett acted as Mayor until about July 1, 1864, at which time the city was invaded by the Federal Army and was occupied by them until November 15, when it was evacuated. In the meantime, a large portion of the city had been reduced to ashes.
  2. On reestablishing order, Winn was elected Mayor for 1865. He served until October 1, when he resigned. A. N. Simpson was elected to fill the vacancy.
  3. T. M. Brumby Sr. was elected for the 1898–1899 term, but he resigned before taking the oath of office. A special election was held on January 8, 1898.
  4. Resigned February 9, 1922.
  5. Took office March 9, 1922.
  6. Died, August 20, 1938.
  7. Term began September 7, 1938.
  8. Died May 17, 1993.
  9. Term began July 1, 1993.


Personal income

The median income for a household in the city was $40,645, and the median income for a family was $47,340. Males had a median income of $31,186 versus $30,027 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,409. About 11.5% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line. 21.3% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those aged 65 or over.


Dobbins Air Reserve Base on the south side of town and a Lockheed Martin manufacturing plant are among the major industries in the city. The Lockheed Georgia Employees Credit Union is based in Marietta. [21]

Top employers

According to Marietta's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, [22] the top employers within the city were:

1 Cobb County School District 13,371
2 Lockheed Martin 6,000
3 WellStar Kennestone Hospital 4,700
4 YKK 2,500
5 Alere 1,766
6 Columbian Chemicals 1,410
7C. W. Matthews Contracting Co.1,400
8Tip Top Poultry1,300
9U.S. Security Associates950
10 Cobb County Government911



The city operates Marietta Power under the auspices of the Board of Lights & Water.


Interstate 75 and U.S. 41 run through the eastern part of the city. State routes 3, 5, and 120 also run through Marietta.

Transit systems

CobbLinc, Marietta/Cobb County's Transit System and Xpress GA Buses serve the City.


The CSX freight trains between Atlanta and Chattanooga (Western & Atlantic Subdivision) still run a block west of the town square, past the 1898-built former railroad depot (now the Visitor Center). [23]

Into the 1950s the Louisville and Nashville Railroad operated the Midwest-Florida trains, the Cincinnati-Florida Flamingo and the Chicago-Florida Southland, which made daily stops in Marietta Depot. Into the 1960s the L&N's Chicago & St. Louis-Florida trains, Dixie Flyer and Dixie Limited also made stops there. The final train was the L&N's St. Louis, MO - Evansville, IN - Atlanta Georgian which ended service on April 30, 1971. (Until 1968 the train also had a northern leg from Evansville to Chicago.) [24]


The Marietta Daily Journal is published in the city.


All of the public schools in Marietta proper are operated by the Marietta City Schools (MCS), while the remainder of the schools in Cobb County, but outside the city limits, is operated by the Cobb County School District, including all of the county's other cities. MCS has one high school, Marietta High School, grades 9-12; a middle school, Marietta Middle School, grades 7 and 8; Marietta Sixth Grade Academy; and several elementary schools: A.L. Burruss, Dunleith, Hickory Hills, Lockheed, Marietta Center for Advanced Academics, Park Street, Sawyer Road, and West Side. [25] Many residents of Marietta attend Cobb County public schools, such as Joseph Wheeler High School and Sprayberry High School. These schools are known to compete fiercely in athletics, especially basketball, as both Wheeler and Marietta High School frequently produce D-1 players. The town of Marietta is also home to the Walker School, a private pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade school. Walker competes in the Georgia High School Association Class A (Region 6) athletic division while Marietta and Wheeler compete in Class AAAAAA (Regions 4 and 5, respectively).

The school system employs 1,200 people. MCS is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School district. In 2008, MCS became only the second IB World School district in Georgia authorized to offer the IB Middle Years Program (MYP) for grades 6-10. MCS is one of only a few school systems nationwide able to provide the full IB (K-12) continuum. [26]

Kennesaw State University (Marietta Campus) formally Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU), and Life University are located in Marietta, serving more than 20,000 students in more than 90 programs of study.


Historic Downtown Square MariettaGeorgia.jpg
Historic Downtown Square

The city has six historic districts, some on the National Register of Historic Places (these include Northwest Marietta, Whitlock Avenue, Washington Avenue, and Church-Cherokee Streets). [27] The city's welcome center is located in the historic train depot.

Downtown is the town square and former location of the county courthouse. The square is the site of several cultural productions and public events, including a weekly farmers' market.

The Marietta Players perform semi-professional theater year-round. The historic Strand Theatre has been renovated back to its original design and features live theatre, concerts, classic films, and other events. [14] The Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art is in the old Post Office building.

The Marietta Museum of History exhibits the history of the city and county. The museum is home to thousands of artifacts including items from Marietta residents and businesses. The Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum, also called "Scarlett on the Square", houses a collection of memorabilia related to Gone with the Wind, both the book and the film. [14] The William Root House Museum and Garden is the oldest wood-frame house still standing in Marietta, built circa 1845. Once owned by William Root, one of Marietta's founding citizens and merchants whose drugstore was located in the Square. [28]

The Big Chicken is a landmark on U.S. 41.

Miramax Films and Disney filmed scenes of the 1995 movie Gordy here. The 2014 film Dumb and Dumber To filmed a scene in the Marietta Square. [29]

The city includes the Kennesaw House, one of only four buildings in Marietta not burned to the ground in Sherman's March to the Sea. The Kennesaw House is home to the Marietta Museum of History [30] which tells the history of Marietta and Cobb County.

Notable people

Sister cities

Marietta has two sister cities. [46]

Related Research Articles

Cobb County, Georgia County in Georgia, United States

Cobb County is a suburban county of Atlanta in the U.S. state of Georgia, located in the north central portion of the state. As of 2019, the population was 760,141, making it Georgia's third most-populous county. Its county seat and largest city is Marietta.

Acworth, Georgia City in Georgia, United States

Acworth is a city in Cobb County Georgia, United States. It is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. The 2018 estimate for Acworth's population is 22,642. As of the 2010 census, this city had a population of 20,425, up from 13,422 in 2000. Acworth is located in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains along the southeastern banks of Lake Acworth and Lake Allatoona on the Etowah River. Unincorporated areas known as Acworth extend into Bartow, Cherokee and Paulding counties respectively.

Kennesaw, Georgia City in Georgia, United States

Kennesaw is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, United States, located in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. Known from its original settlement in the 1830s until 1887 as Big Shanty, it became Kennesaw under its 1887 charter. It had a population of 29,783 according to the 2010 census. Kennesaw has an important place in railroad history. During the Civil War, Kennesaw was the staging ground for the Great Locomotive Chase on April 12, 1862. The city is perhaps best known nationally today for its mandatory gun-possession ordinance.

Smyrna, Georgia City in Georgia, United States

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Dallas, Georgia City in Georgia, United States

Dallas is a city in, and the county seat of, Paulding County, Georgia, United States. The estimated population, as of 2010, was 12,629. Dallas is a northwestern suburb of Atlanta, located approximately 38 miles from downtown. It was named for George M. Dallas, Vice President of the United States of America, under James K. Polk.

CobbLinc is the bus public transit system in Cobb County, Georgia, one of metro Atlanta's three most populous suburban counties.

The Georgia Northeastern Railroad is a short line freight railroad which runs from the town of Elizabeth, Georgia to the city of Blue Ridge, Georgia. Goods hauled are mostly timber, grain, poultry, and marble products. The GNRR's subsidiary, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, also operates on this line north of Blue Ridge. Despite the name, it actually operates between north-central and northwest Georgia, from north-northwest metro Atlanta, and is a few counties away from northeast Georgia.

Cobb County Public Library System public library system in Georgia, USA

The Cobb County Public Library System (CCPLS) is a system of 16 public libraries in Cobb County, Georgia, USA — excluding its second-largest city of Smyrna, which runs its own Smyrna Public Library. is the online database of all CCPLS holdings.

Western and Atlantic Railroad railway line

The Western & Atlantic Railroad of the State of Georgia (W&A) is a government-owned railroad and is currently leased by CSX, which CSX operates in the Southeastern United States from Atlanta, Georgia, to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Great Locomotive Chase Raid during the American Civil War

The Great Locomotive Chase or Andrews' Raid was a military raid that occurred April 12, 1862, in northern Georgia during the American Civil War. Volunteers from the Union Army, led by civilian scout James J. Andrews, commandeered a train, The General, and took it northward toward Chattanooga, Tennessee, doing as much damage as possible to the vital Western and Atlantic Railroad (W&A) line from Atlanta to Chattanooga as they went. They were pursued by Confederate forces at first on foot, and later on a succession of locomotives, including The Texas, for 87 miles (140 km).

Kennesaw Mountain mountain in United States of America

Kennesaw Mountain is a mountain ridge between Marietta and Kennesaw, Georgia in the United States with a summit elevation of 1,808 feet (551 m). It is the highest point in the core metro Atlanta area, and fifth after further-north exurban counties are considered. The local terrain averages roughly 1,000 feet AMSL.

Georgia State Route 360 highway in Georgia

State Route 360 (SR 360) is a 15.5-mile-long (24.9 km) state highway located in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Georgia. The highway connects Hiram with Marietta, and travels within portions of Paulding and Cobb counties.

Kennesaw House building in Georgia, United States

The Kennesaw House is a three story historic building in downtown Marietta, Georgia. It houses the Marietta Museum of History on its second and third floors. The building is west of the town square, adjacent to the CSX tracks.

Joseph Wheeler High School Public high school in Marietta, GA, United States

Wheeler High School is located in northeast Cobb County, Georgia. It is near the U.S. city of Marietta, about 15 miles (24 km) northwest of downtown Atlanta. The school has been in operation since 1965. It is a public high school, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is named for American Civil War general Joseph Wheeler.

Kennesaw State University Public university located in Georgia, US

Kennesaw State University (KSU) is a public university in the U.S. state of Georgia with two primary campuses, one in Kennesaw and the other in Marietta. The school was founded in 1963 by the Georgia Board of Regents using local bonds and a federal grant during a time of major Georgia economic expansion after World War II. KSU also holds classes at the Cobb Galleria Centre, Dalton State College, and in Paulding County (Dallas). Present enrollment is over 37,000 students, making it the third-largest university within Georgia and one of the top 50 largest universities in the United States.

Lees Crossing

Lee's Crossing, Marietta, Georgia, is a subdivision in suburban Atlanta. It is located in the western part the City of Marietta in Cobb County, off Manning Road.

The Marietta Daily Journal (MDJ) is a daily newspaper published in Marietta, Georgia. It has a daily paid circulation of approximately 17,000 copies, and covers local, national and international news. It is the primary local newspaper of Cobb County, Georgia, second only to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which covers all of metro Atlanta, and previously most of north Georgia.

Atlanta metropolitan area Metropolitan area in Georgia, United States

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East Cobb, Georgia Unincorporated community in Georgia, United States

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Cobb County School District School in Marietta, Georgia, United States

The Cobb County School District (CCSD) is the county government agency which operates public schools in Cobb County, Georgia, United States. The school district includes all of Cobb County except for the Marietta City Schools. It is the second-largest school system in Georgia and among the largest in the United States, with a 2014 enrollment of 111,751. It has 13,371 employees, 7,103 of whom are teachers. The district is the county's largest employer and one of the largest in the US. All Cobb County schools are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and the district is among the first to have earned district-wide accreditation.


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Further reading

At least two books have been produced chronicling the history of the city in pictures: