Cobb’s county seat and largest city has about 61,000
residents. The beating heart of the city is Marietta Square,
home to 1.35-acre Glover Park. The park features a three-tier
fountain, gazebo and playground and regularly plays host to
city festivals and concerts.
Surrounding the Square are historic buildings, restaurants
and retailers that have grown more popular as the Square
was redeveloped in recent decades.
Also called “The Gem City,” Marietta’s nickname was
created as a tourist slogan in the late 19th century to
promote it as a resort town.
The first Mariettans lived in the area in the 1830s, with
local surveyor James Anderson creating the first town plat
in 1833 and the state legislature chartering the next year.
Though a few theories exist on the naming of Marietta, the
most popular is that it was named for Thomas Cobb’s wife,
Marietta experienced growth due to the construction of
the Western and Atlantic Railroad, which by 1850 ran from
Atlanta to Chattanooga. Marietta, a stop along the line, had
a high elevation and natural spring water, making it popular
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with wealthy visitors from coastal Georgia and South
Carolina in the summer.
Gen. William T. Sherman occupied Marietta in 1864 after
the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. Upon his departure,
Union troops destroyed about 20 residences, the Georgia
Military Institute, and burned many buildings.
The town recovered after the war as a prosperous elite built
fine homes throughout downtown, many of which still stand
and give the city its historic Southern charm. Mills sprouted
up. The Brumby Chair Company manufactured rocking
chairs and at the Glover Machine Works, narrow-gauge
locomotives were produced.
The most pivotal manufacturing plant in the city’s history,
however, would not come until World War II, when the Bell
Bomber plant transformed Marietta into an aviation hub.
Economic growth was spurred as nearly 30,000 people went
to build B-29 Superfortresses for the war effort.
The plant after the war became Lockheed Georgia, the
state’s largest employer in the 1950s and 1960s. The company
later became Lockheed Martin.
Marietta is governed by a mayor and seven-member
council. A city manager heads the city’s operations on a dayto
Glover Park Concert,
Marietta - photos by