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

3900 Bartow Carver Road | Acworth, Georgia 30101

During WWII, many African Americans found themselves at war on two fronts: overseas, where famous all-black military divisions fought valiantly beside their white counterparts, and in America, where the “Double V for Victory” campaign was being waged for equal rights on the home front. It was in this environment that John Loyd Atkinson, a former Tuskegee Airman, sought to establish a place for regional black recreation, with a beach.

Newly created Lake Allatoona near Cartersville, which opened to the public in 1950, offered a likely spot, but no one would give Atkinson a lease. However, Governor Talmadge had recently secured a lease for the state to create Red Top Mountain State Park, a segregated park for whites only. Talmadge recognized that returning black veterans were demanding more services for people of color, and addressed the request from Atkinson by leasing him adjacent property to form blacks-only George Washington Carver State Park for Negroes, a “sister park” to Red Top.

Carver Park became fondly known in the Atlanta Metro region simply as “The Beach.” Famous black recording artists of the era such as Ray Charles and Little Richard performed live at the park; it also served as the summer home of the St. John’s Ski Bees, the only black water ski team in Georgia. Carver was where a young Coretta Scott King spent weekends at church outings, and where Reverend Andrew Young and his family learned to water ski.

Due to state budget cuts, George Washington Carver Park was removed from the state park system and its operation turned over to Bartow County in 1975, becoming known as Bartow Carver Park. In 2017, the park returned to its original name and was renovated under new management by the Cartersville- Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau. The park is open for day use and is available for reservation making it an ideal site for reunions, corporate picnics, and other large gatherings.




African American

Heritage Trail

Bartow County, Ga

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