The first settler-built homes in 1824 but originally the land was Cherokee
Legally recognized Dec 19, 1834
Officially incorporated in 1852

Location, location, location!

The first homes were built near the Chattahoochee River but when the Western and Atlantic Railroad began construction in 19th century, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers choice Marietta as a base of operation and the city started to boom.

The planning and meet up for The Great Locomotive Chase started here in 1862. The raiders would fail on the first attempt but would return to Marietta a week later to make the run up to Big Shanty, steeling the train when passengers stopped to eat at the once standing Lacy Hotel in Kennesaw.

Dobbins Air Reserve Base began in 1943 due to its central location to the railroad and Candler Field (now Hartsfield-Jackson). The base is now “one of the busiest air reserve bases in the nation”(Diamond, Beryl 2017). It went through four different name changes until it would be renamed to its current name after a WW2 pilot Captain from Marietta in 1950.

It was chosen as the base for Bell Aircraft to make B-29s at the start of the US entrance into WW2. Lockhead took over the location to refurbish aircraft for the Korean War. Lockhead Martin has production on the site and base is still used as a reserve base for the US military.

The Big Chicken was built in 1963; designed by a Georgia Tech student of architecture, it was built for Johnny Reb’s Chick-Chuck-‘N’-Shake. After changing hands, to the original owner’s brother, it became Davis House and would get a license to sell Colonel Sander’s recipe for Kentucky fried chicken. In 1974, the location changed into a KFC. The location and chicken, after a few refurbishments, is still operating and used as a landmark!

Today Marietta is one of Atlanta’s largest suburbs. With live performances in Marietta Square, 2 theaters, an art and a history museum, and plenty of small galleries, delicious restaurants, and shops to choose from, there is always something to do in downtown Marietta!

Sources and Links! There is a lot of interesting information about Marietta and while writing, I kept finding new rabbit holes of stories I didn’t know about places I’ve been or regularly drive by. Although I didn’t copy those stories here, I encourage you to look deeper into the history of Marietta or even your own town; you’ll never know what connections you might find!
Dobbins Air Reserve Base

Diamond, Beryl. “Dobbins Air Reserve Base” New Georgia Encyclopedia, last modified Jan 21, 2017.

Scott, Thomas. “Bell Bomber.” New Georgia Encyclopedia, last modified Nov 3, 2020.×

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