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Adairsville • Cassville • Cartersville • Euharlee •
Kingston • Lake Allatoona • Summer Hill

101 Public Square | Adairsville, Georgia 30103

The 1847 Adairsville Depot History Museum houses artifacts from life in Adairsville from the mid-19th century through mid-20th century. The African American experience in Adairsville begins with photos and narratives on the 1890s neighborhood known as St. Elmo, located about a quarter-mile east of downtown Adairsville.

As that neighborhood developed, a successful African American business owner’s story was also unfolding. Arthur Butler arrived to the booming railroad town of Adairsville from Easley, South Carolina, to work on the W&A Railroad’s maintenance crew. One evening, Arthur slipped as he jumped off a rail car and his leg was crushed. Unable to continue working for the railroad, Arthur became a cobbler and set up shop in downtown Adairsville, thus becoming the town’s first African American business owner. The original building for Butler’s Cobbler Shop still stands at 107 Gilmer Street on the downtown public square and is visible from the Depot. Butler’s descendants still live in Adairsville and are active members in the community. His great- great-grandson, Ahmad Hall, became the first African American chair of the Adairsville Downtown Development Authority in 2015.

The Depot structure itself illustrates life after the 1896 Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson, which protected the existence of Jim Crow Laws. Two separate ticket windows and waiting rooms survive as a testament to life before desegregation. Other highlights within the depot displays include the first African American woman, Mary Carreathers, to be elected to the Adairsville City Council, which occurred in 1990.

History marches on as new displays will undoubtedly feature Adairsville’s first African American Mayor, Kenneth Carson, elected to term in 2014.

The Adairsville Depot History Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from 11am – 3pm with free admission. Shopping and quaint dining is available within walking distance.



African American

Heritage Trail

Bartow County, Ga

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