Powder Springs and Cobb County, GA History Powder Springs, GA 30127
Photos and information from "The History of Powder Springs" for more information contact the Powder Springs Museum. More photos will be added to this webpage - KEEP COMING BACK.
Springville to Powder Springs
by Sara Francis Miller
Our town was first incorporated as Springville on December 29, 1838. The first post office was incorporated at this time. The Masonic Lodge still bears the name Springville Lodge No. 153 of Free and Accepted Masons.
For some reason the name Springville was not too popular with the residents who continued to call it the Springs. In 1850 the charter of Springville was repealed leaving the village unincorporated.
The town of Powder Springs was not incorporated as such until December 19, 1859. Under this charter the corporate limits of the town extended for 1/2 (one-half) mile in every direction from the residence of Dr. Aristides Reynolds whose residence stood on the site of the home of Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Lawler on Marietta Street. It is said that when Dr. Reynolds’ house was razed some of the lumber from it was used in the house that now stands on that site.
In the 1850’s Powder Springs was a resort town where people from the southern coastal region came for the summer. Doctors prescribed water from the springs for kidney patients. The hotels would be crowded and some residents would take summer boarders. It was necessary for patients to be in Powder Springs for the water cure because powder water did not have the keeping qualities to be shipped.
The spring was the center of activities in Powder Springs. It has been the site of picnics, fish frys, dances, reunions and baseball games. Excursion trains were run on the East Tennessee Virginia and Georgia Railroad now known as the Southern Railroad. Many Atlanta Sunday Schools would have their Sunday School picnic at “The Springs.” In addition to wading in the creek, many filled their picnic baskets with blackberries and other wild fruits.
According to Miss Roberta Murray, “In the early days of Springville the pavilion was at the site of the brick pump house in the city park. Powder Creek would overflow after rains and it interfered with the so-cial life, so the early settlers and their slaves cut a canal and changed the course of Powder Creek and built the present pavilion before the Civil War.
The 1850 Census lists William H. Tucker as a tavern keeper. Where was it located? Look at your old deeds.
By 1883 Powder Springs was mentioned in the Georgia State Gazetter Vol. III as a summer resort having some valuable mineral springs. Many people were keeping boarders. J. C. Cox was the proprietor of the hotel. In 1886 I. W. Thomas was operating the hotel.
The home where Mr. and Mrs. L. CL. Lawler lived was used as a hotel during 1883. By 1888 I. D. Up-shaw was keeping the hotel. Later the hotel was run by Dr. and Mrs. R. R. Murray. Not far away the four hundred room Sweetwater Hotel was attracting many visitors to Lithia Springs. They had well - planned programs called Chautauquas. A horse and buggy could carry you to the fine programs.
Parks T. Lindley, his wife Georgia, daughter, Agnes, and son, Escar, kept the Lindley House Hotel at the end of Broad Street.
By 1910 the son was repairing the three story-hotel. He and his wife made it famous for good food, social life and service. Mrs. Lindley kept it open until her death in 1950. Drummers stayed there while they visited stores in the surrounding towns. Many games of set back were enjoyed in the evenings.
Sarah Jane Camp Stovall had the hotel on Marietta Street rebuilt about 1902. It was rebuilt for their son, Tom Camp and his wife, Bright Cox Camp. He operated the swimming pool and dance hall in the 1920’s.
In the 1930’s Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Norris and Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Lawler bought the beautiful house on Marietta Street.
In 1994 the house has a new owner, Mrs. Lois Holbrook. How will the house be used now?
Information for this article came from the writing of Miss Roberta Murray and Miss Virginia Tapp.
The First Area Churches
by Sara Frances Miller
In his History of the Concord Association the Rev. Harry Meek said there was a Baptist Church in Powder Springs in 1835. This church was located by the Baptist Cemetery.
Around 1840 there was a disagreement within the church over the issues of predestination, the use of musical in-struments, foot washing, and foreign missions. It was decided that the group believing in the above would separate from the church believing in foreign missions etc., and form a church of their own. This group organized the Primitive Baptist Church on Jackson Way. In 1851, they leased land from Jonathan Lindley, upon which to build a church. Mr. Lindley made no charge for the use of the land. Later this land was deeded to the church in 1860, thirty one members were listed on the roll. Primitive Baptist pastors are called elders. They frequently serve one church for many years. W. T. Walden served the Primitive Baptist Church in Powder Springs from 1903 - 1931.
The Missionary Baptist Church was constituted November 29, 1841, as the Springville Baptist Church of Christ. The six charter members were Elijah Ragsdale, Mary Ragsdale, Jacob Gimble, Mary Gimble, Sarah Gimble and Toliver Hicks. The Rev. Parker Rice became the first pastor of the church, and with the exception of two years served until his death in 1853.
As has been stated, this church building stood on the side of the Baptist Cemetery on the hill just off the lost Moun-tain Road. Mr. D. R. Turner made a deed of gift for two acres, more or less, upon which the building stood. This church first belonged to the Tallapoosa Association and later to the Concord Association. In the fall of 1864, Union soldiers were in Powder Springs. They tore down the Springville Baptist Church and hauled off the lumber to make winter quarters for themselves. The members of this church were invited to worship with the Primitive Baptists and the Presbyterians until they could erect a new building. When they finally erected a new building it was on the site where the First Baptist now stands on Marietta Street. The first Methodist members in Springville were Thomas Lindley, Elisha Lindley and Jonathan Ual. These men came to Springville in 1843. They first worshipped at Bethel Church in Paulding County. In 1844 they, together with other settlers, organized the Springville Methodist Church and erected a meeting house in the fall of that year. This church building stood on the edge of the Methodist Cemetery on Austell Road, The land was owned by the Lindley’s. It is said that Thomas Lindley, a devout and extremely strong young pioneer cut the logs that went into the building. This long building was replaced by a frame structure on the same location about ten years later. This building too, was torn down by the Federal soldiers and the lumber hauled away to be used for their winter quarters. The Methodists were invited to use the Presbyterian building until they could build one of their own. When the third Methodist Church was on the old site, but was erected where the present Methodist Church stands on Marietta Street. One source says this church building was erected in 1869 and another says 1872. The land on Marietta Street was given to the church by Elisha Lindley. The Masonic Lodge No. 153 F. and A. M. was the owner of the second story of the build-ing. The lodge later sold its holdings to the church. The building was painted white with green blinds, and a wide veranda ran across the front. There was a bell tower in those days whenever a citizen of the town died, the bell was tolled as many times as the years the person had lived. Of course, it was also rung for church services.
The first Presbyterian Church building in Powder Springs stood on the corner of Marietta Street and New Macland Road where the First Union Bank now stands. The Federal soldiers gave its rough treatment but did not destroy it. Old timers said that the Union Army first used it for a hospital and then stabled their horses within the building. After the war both the Methodists and the Baptists were invited to worship with the Presbyterians until they could rebuild the churches.
In 1898, the Presbyterians petitioned the Cherokee Presbytery for the organization of a church. The petition was granted, and a commission, consisting of the following members was appointed Rev. M. D. Smith, Rev. G. I. Brown, Rev. W. S. Wallace and Elder David Arr. Dr. Mack was to act in cooperation with the commission.
In 1915 the powder Springs Presbyterian Church petitioned the Presbytery to dissolve the church. A commission was appointed for this purpose and after due deliberation, the Powder Springs Presbyterian Church was dissolved and its members transferred to Midway Presbyterian Church. The building was sold to Mrs. Lois J. Scott (Mrs. I. N.) to whom the lot reverted by terms of the deed. This was a second building and was located on the corner of Marietta Street and North Avenue. Rev. J. H. Patton and E. L. Faw were ordered to dispose of the organ.
Information of Miss Roberta Murray and Miss Virginia Tapp was used in this article by Sarah Frances Miller.
“Southern Pottery” Collectors Cupboard - By Helen Norman
Imagine driving in a wagon on muddy dirt roads for as much as 80 miles only to find that the potter was sold out. This occurred in the South as late as the early 1900’s according to one southern potter. In the late summer and early fall farmers needed to can and preserve the bounty from their gardens and fruit trees. Most of us would not have known or realized how un-populated parts of the South were at the turn of the century compared to some other parts of the country. A potter was generally out in the wooded area mainly by choice but also because of the need for wood to fuel his kiln and the clay to use in the making of his pottery. They usually worked alone or with other family members. They had sheds from which they pro-duced the wonders of art so very sought after now. They came and went in and out of business much as many other trades. Many were not trained in running a business and quite often worked for other potters. Thus, the difficulty in recognizing many pieces of pottery. The clay which was used, the glazes, the firing processes and the individual styles of each potter and the fact that no real records were kept, make it almost impossible to date or identify many pieces of popery.
Today we think of pottery as an art form but until just recent years here in the South it was used as we now use plastic bags, plastic containers and glass jars. It is difficult to imagine not having the local stores where we can purchase any number of storage items and even harder to think of growing, drying or canning everything we eat. Many of us can remember our mothers churning but children of today will unfortunately never see anyone using a churn. The churn was one of the most common containers made by potters. Most house holds had a milk cow and chickens for eggs, etc.
I have come to the conclusion that most Southern Potteries and individual potters made utilitarian wares as this was most in demand. It is sad and unfortunate that not much information was recorded about South-ern pottery because from this collectors point of view it has much more character and appeal than most oth-ers.
Recommended Reading - “Brothers in Clay” Cobb County Library. Happy Collecting!