Acworth is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, USA. It is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. The 2016 estimate of Acworth’s population is 28,502. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 20,425, up from 13,422 in 2000. Acworth is located in the foothills of the northern Georgia mountains along the southeastern shores of Lake Acworth and Lake Allatoona on the Etowah River. Unincorporated areas known as Acworth extend into Bartow, Cherokee and Paulding counties respectively.
Acworth’s nickname is “Lake City”. Acworth Beach is located on nearby Lake Allatoona and Lake Acworth.
Like the rest of Cobb County, the area that now contains Acworth was carved out of the former Cherokee Nation in 1831, after the expulsion of the natives.
The Western and Atlantic Railroad was completed through the city in 1840. An irrigation station for locomotives was established there.
The city received its present name in 1843 from Western and Atlantic Railroad engineer Joseph L. Gregg, who named his hometown Acworth, New Hampshire, which was named for the former Royal Navy Surveyor Sir Jacob Acworth.
Telegraph lines arrived in the city in 1851.
A private school opened for white students in 1852. A new private school operated from 1899 until 1935, when it was integrated with the Cobb County School District. Until 1935, Acworth high school students paid tuition to attend. Out-of-town students have been subsidized by the Cobb County School Board. Black students were educated separately in an elementary school. The closest Black high school was in Atlanta. Later, students were transported around the county to a segregated school in Marietta .
Acworth was incorporated on December 1, 1986.
Volunteers to fight in the Civil War enlisted in what became Company A (“Acworth Infantry”) in the 18th Georgia Volunteer Infantry and Company C (“Invincible”) in the 41st Georgia Volunteer Infantry.
The city was captured by the Union on June 6, 1864. The city was called “Little Shanty” by the Union troops, to contrast it with the next city to the south, “Big Shanty”, later called Kennesaw. The city was under martial law during the six months of occupation. On November 13, 1864, the city was burned by the army of General WT Sherman , savers of twelve houses and a church; its citizens were left in misery.
The city had recovered almost by the 1880s. Cotton farming peaked in the area from the 1890s until the 1920s. Low prices during the Great Depression led to a cessation of cotton cultivation in the area and throughout Cobb County.
During segregation, the railroad tracks served as a racial divide, with African Americans living in the northeast tracks and whites in the southwest. There were some common public events. When a movie theater was erected in the 1930s, blacks were allowed access to the terrace from a separate entrance. Whites sat on the main floor.
Volunteers formed a fire department in 1907.
There were eventually a total of three textile factories in the city from 1905 to 1980. About 800 workers were employed at their peak.
By 1926, the main street was paved. When the entire Dixie Highway (formerly Route 41 and part of the Cherokee Peachtree Trail) was paved in 1929, over 800 tourist vehicles entered the city every day.
When the Etowah River was dammed, forming Lake Allatoona, citizens feared that the land near the city would become a swamp. They successfully applied for a second dam, resulting in Lake Acworth in the 1950s. This became a tourist attraction.
The city made a major improvement to its water and sewer lines in the late 1940s.
The city elected its first mayor, Maria McCall, in 1956 and 1961-6.
African American students were educated separately from white children until 1967.
In 2011, filming of several scenes of the new version Footloose took place in downtown Acworth. The Acworth Presbyterian Church was used as the main church, and the home of Mayor Tommy Allegood was used as Julianne Hough’s character home.
In 2017, the city was the site of the WWA Wakeboard National Championship.