Winners of the Cherokee lands lottery settled Marietta in 1834, and the location soon attracted a seasonal population of lowland planters. The town's leisurely serenity was shattered by the Civil War. During Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's push toward nearby Atlanta, Union and Confederate forces fought a bloody battle just beyond Marietta's boundaries at what is now Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.
Although Marietta was spared, two of the city's cemeteries bear witness to the bitterness of the war. In 1866 Henry Cole, a local businessman, donated land for the Marietta National Cemetery as a gesture of peace so that the dead from each side could lie in the same ground. This was not to be as the Confederate Cemetery had already been established to bury soldiers killed in a nearby train wreck.
Downtown's Glover Park, complete with an ornate Victorian gazebo, recalls the late 19th century, of which few traces remain in this growing city northwest of Atlanta. Quiet walks among courtly old houses and picnics at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park are two of the area's recreational possibilities.
Held in historic Marietta, the Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas Home Tour in early December features festively decorated private homes and historic public buildings as well as a Saturday evening candlelight tour.
Marietta Visitors Bureau 4 Depot St. N.E. MARIETTA, GA 30060. Phone:(770)429-1115
The Marietta Visitors Bureau, just off the square in the old train depot at 4 Depot St., provides brochures outlining a walking/driving tour of the historic district, which includes Sherman's former headquarters at Kennesaw House. Phone (770) 429-1115.