Kennesaw, Georgia is a small community located in Cobb County. Founded in 1887, Kennesaw is tied to some historical railroad events of the past. During the Civil War, this town was the staging site for the Great Locomotive Chase that took place on April 12, 1862. Today, you can relive a part of the past with the historical exhibits in this quiet town.
Kennesaw's history is intertwined with the railroad. During the 1830s, the Western and Atlantic Railroad housed workers near the local springs. Many of these campsites become known as shanties. Kennesaw had a large population of railroad workers on the outskirts of town. Today, Kennesaw is home to the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History. It contains an extensive collection of relics from the Civil War. This museum also houses many artifacts from the major railroads that traveled across the state. The centerpiece of the museum is called the "General." This steam locomotive was used during the Great Locomotive Chase in 1862. The museum has a large collection of engineering drawings, photographs, blueprints, and company records from various railroad industries during the Civil War. In addition to the railroad artifacts, the museum also houses a collection of Civil War diaries, documents, and letters as well. You can see how the railroads played an essential role in the battle between the states.
From 1861 to 1863, the town was used as a training camp during the Civil War. In fact, the area saw major fighting at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. You can visit the historic battlefield at the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. This historic area is located southeast of the downtown area. There are three different battlegrounds on the property, including sites near Burnt Hickory Road, at Cheatham Hill, and in front of the Visitor's Center. At the southern edge of the site, you will find Peter Valentine Kolb's home. The area in front of the house was the site of a minor battle. Today, you can see the restored version of the building. In the Visitor's Center, guests can look at the artifacts or watch a movie about the battle. You can also walk on the 17.3 miles of interpretative hiking trails. Along the trails, you can see cannon encampments, interpretive signs, and historic earthworks. Three monuments represent the soldiers of Georgia, Texas, and Illinois. You can pay your respects to the 5,350 soldiers that lost their lives at this site.
If you are looking for a relaxing day, you should consider visiting the Smith-Gilbert Gardens. This botanical garden has over 16 acres for you to explore. The Hiram Butler House is the main building on the property, and it is surrounded by over 3,000 plant species, two koi ponds, and thirty sculptures. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Homes. For those wanting to spend a whole day, you can pack a lunch and enjoy it at the shaded picnic area. Near the Tea House, there is a waterfall for those wanting to relax on the grass. You will see many people enjoying the day in this quiet space. While at this location, you should check out the bonsai collection, rose garden, and vegetable gardens. The historic area even hosts a few gardening programs for adults and children throughout the year.
Finally, Swift-Cantrell Park is one of the central gathering places in the town. With over 42 acres, the park has playgrounds for children, three picnic pavilions, and open spaces for everyone to enjoy. Two trails surround the park. You can choose to travel on the inner trail around the park. For a longer route, you can walk along the perimeter trail. Your furry friend can even play at the Frank Boone Dog Park. This 1.4-acre off-leash park is located on the western part of the property. The fence is 6 feet high and provides separate runs for small and big dogs. A watering station and wash area are available for your pooch. Of course, there are plenty of plastic waste bags and receptacle stations too.
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