Welcome to Factbook COMMUNITY
By Hunter Riggall
Welcome to Factbook, your guide to all things Cobb
Georgia’s third largest county is diverse and growing,
currently estimated to contain 766,000 residents. The
county is known for its public schools, sports and
entertainment venues and low taxes.
Atlanta’s neighbor to the northwest is home to several
major employers, among them Wellstar Health System,
Lockheed Martin, The Weather Channel, the Georgia Tech
Development Campus, RaceTrac, Home Depot, Gas South,
Aaron’s Inc., and more.
Cobb includes booming, near-urban development
near Interstates 75 and 285, rolling Appalachian foothills
in north Cobb and the Chattahoochee River, metro
Atlanta’s water source and a popular recreation hub. Most
of the county is suburban or exurban, characterized by
subdivisions, shopping centers and parkways.
The county includes six cities — Acworth, Austell,
Kennesaw, Powder Springs, Smyrna and Marietta, the
county seat. North Fulton County’s Roswell was in Cobb
until 1932. Unincorporated communities include Mableton,
Vinings, Cumberland and east Cobb. Groups in some of
those areas have pursued incorporation in recent years. But,
until they gain city status — a big if — they will continue to
be governed by the county government.
What is now Cobb was originally populated by Cherokee
Native Americans, who built settlements around the
Chattahoochee River, now Cobb’s southeast border.
The county was formally created by the state of Georgia
in 1832 and is named for Thomas W. Cobb, a U.S. senator,
state legislator and Superior Court judge.
Cobb’s history includes major Civil War events. The Great
Locomative Chase occurred in 1862, when Union raiders
commandeered a train in Kennesaw and Confederates
pursued the train for 97 miles. Later, in 1864, the Battle
of Kennesaw Mountain failed to halt the Union advance,
paving the way for the Battle of Atlanta and Sherman’s
March to the Sea.
Now a well-known aviation hub, Cobb saw rapid
development after Bell Aircraft built a factory in Marietta in
1942. More than 28,000 workers were employed at the plant
by 1945 to contribute to World War II aviation production,
leading, in 1951, to the Lockheed Corporation putting
down roots in Cobb.
12 FACTBOOK | 2022
Dobbins Air Reserve Base was built in 1941 as
Rickenbacker Field and now employs more than 10,000
guardsmen and reservists from the U.S. Air Force, Army,
Navy and Marines.
As one of the largest suburban counties in metro Atlanta,
Cobb grew by leaps and bounds in the 20th century as a
result of urban sprawl. Its citizens are now, on average,
wealthier and better educated than most areas in the state.
There are two public school systems in the county —
Marietta City Schools is a small district serving the city of
Marietta. The rest of the county’s public school-attending
children are educated by the massive Cobb County School
District, the state’s second largest system.
One of Georgia’s largest universities, Kennesaw State,
was founded 57 years ago as Kennesaw Junior College. The
school was renamed several times and achieved university
status in 1996. Last school year it set a record enrollment of
about 40,900 students. Cobb also is home to Life University,
a school of chiropractic education; Chattahoochee
Technical College, which offers two-year associate degrees;
plus numerous private and charter schools.
The Atlanta Braves recently moved to Cobb and play in
the sparkling Truist Park, which, along with The Battery
Atlanta, the mixed-use development surrounding it, was
built for more than $1 billion.
The county is governed by a five-member Board of
Commissioners, consisting of a chairperson and four
district commissioners, while the cities are each governed
by a mayor-city council system.
Long a stronghold of Georgia Republicans, the county
commission and countywide offices turned blue in recent
years as the county has continued to grow and diversify and
as suburban voters have become more liberal.
“The Big Chicken.”