Railroads Come to Powder Springs 1882 and 1905, Part II

The Southern Railroad and the Seaboard Railroads came to Powder Springs in 1882 and 1905. In doing so, they put Powder Springs on the map and brought prosperity, opportunities and jobs for her residences. However, they also brought accidents and tragedy as well.

These articles are from various newspapers of the day. Researched (in 2018) and provided by Kaaren Tramonte.

March 2, 1885 – Marietta, GA – (Special) – Judge A. C. McIntosh Killed, News was brought here today by the mail carrier that Judge A. C. Mcintosh, of Powder Springs, was killed by the train on the East Tennessee (Southern) Railroad this morning. It is said that he attempted to flag down the train by standing on the track in front of it, remained too long, the train catching him and killing him instantly. Judge McIntosh, (b) Dec 1828 and (d) March 1885, is buried in the Methodist Cemetery.

January 8, 1904 – While blasting in a cut on the Seaboard Air Line (Railroad) at Powder Springs, GA, Tuesday, the blast went off before the men were ready. Mr. Frank Shuman, one of the contractors, whose home is in Charlotte, failed to make his escape in time. A heavy rock struck him in the side, killing him instantly. The body arrived in Charlotte late Wednesday night. Note: It seems as if the Seaboard was doomed from the start.

March 2, 1907 – SEABOARD LIMITED IS WRECKED ENGINEER IS CREMATED; FIVE COACHES BURNED. Train #38 from Birmingham to Atlanta near Powder Springs and entire train is burned. Special train sent to wreck. Note: One of the most complete wrecks ever witnessed back in the day, was that of Train #38. The passenger train was making good time barreling down the tracks at what witnesses said to be speeds averaging 50-60 mph. A businessman had just congratulated the rail crew on making it to the City on time when the accident occurred.

March 4, 1909 – Local Powder Springs man was killed today on the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia (Southern) Railroad approaching the town of Powder Springs. Jimmie (James or Jim as he was known) G. Landrum was a brakeman of this train that ran from Atlanta, Georgia, to Heflin Alabama. On the tracks approaching Powder Springs from Austell, the train was doing some switching and Jimmie was on top of the front car trying to turn the brakes because the rod had been cracked (or broke). Unfortunately, he fell under the car and was dragged 40 yards to his death.

Jimmie is buried in the Baptist Cemetery in Powder Springs, GA, in the Landrum family burial plot. The Railroad provided a large monument for his grave because he was killed while working for them which is located at his graveside. There are two trains carved into two of the four sides of the monument. Jimmie was 23 years old (1886-1909). Note: This was by far the most tragic accident that affected his family and the town.

September 11, 1928 – FARMER IS KILLED IN GRADE CROSSING AT POWDER SPRINGS. Powder Springs, GA, (Special) Glenn Walden, 35, prominent farmer of this community, was instantly killed this morning when his truck was struck by a train near the Powder Springs (Southern) Depot. his son, Bobbie, aged 9, was in the truck at the time of the accident and was dangerously injured. Note: local legend has it that if you go down to the crossing on Brownsville Road at 3:00 a.m. and park by the tracks, the spirit of a farmer will appear…flailing his arms as if to save you from receiving a similar fate. Mr. Walden (b) June 9, 1897 and (d) Sept 11, 1928, is buried in the Bullard Cemetery.

December 25, 1933 – Plot Seen in Wreck of Southern Train. Atlanta, GA, Charging that a deliberate plot was responsible for the wreck of the Royal Palm express of the Southern Railroad at Powder Springs near here Saturday, police and railroad authorities sought to fix responsibility. The wreck cost two lives and injuries to several when the long train plunged from the tracks.

On April 13, 1945 a slow moving train passed through Powder Springs. This special train was the Presidential Train with a flag-draped coffin carrying President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s body back to Washington. President Roosevelt had passed away in Warm Springs at “The Little White House” the day before. The passing of the train was witnessed by many people in Powder Springs who had gathered along the tracks paying their respects. This scene was repeated from Warm Springs to Washington.

January 22, 1973 – 5 Gas Tankers Explode – Powder Springs, Ga. – A Seaboard Coast Line (Railroad) freight train carrying five gas tankers derailed about 500 yards from a chemical plant late Sunday night. Two crewmen were reported injured. Cobb County police, fearing other explosions, quickly evacuated persons from homes near the scene and sealed off roads in the area, about 25 miles northwest of Atlanta. There was no immediate word on the kind of gas being hauled in the tankers. However, a Powder Springs policeman said a spokesman at the chemical Plant told him it was “deadly, toxic’. “It looked like an atomic bomb going off” said Sara Crews, who was riding in a car 11 miles away when the first Blast occurred about 11:30 p.m. EST. “It looked like the sun was fixing to Come up, the sky was so bright”. Note: The evacuation and cleanup lasted over several days.

POWDER SPRINGS TEAM WINS 20 OUT OF 24

Marietta Journal – August 4, 1921

The baseball team of Powder Springs is one of the strongest in this section of the state for amateurs and the city is more than proud of the sturdy youngsters. Something like 25 games have been played up todate and only 4 defeats have been registered against them. Such strong teams as Acworth, Austell, Tallapoosa, Dallas and several teams from Atlanta have been met and defeated. Only one team has managed to break even with them, this being the Douglasville team. So far, the contest between the two stands 2 & 2.A game is scheduled today, Thursday, with the strong Rockmart team, while an attempt is to be made Saturday to break the tie with Douglasville. The line-up of the Powder Springs team is as follows:

J. B. McTyre……………………catcher
Marvin Turner……………………pitcher
J. C. Vaughn……………………1st base
J. H. Baggett……………………2nd base
Jim Watson……………………3rd base
Charles Kuykendall……………………right field
Walter Jennings……………………center field
John Scott……………………left field

As you can see, Powder Springs has always had some kind of baseball Team through the years and enjoy a very good reputation.

HOME MADE FUN IN THE EARLY DAYS PART III

LATE 1800’S AND EARLY 1900’s Familiar scenes of everyday life:

Horses and the Brown brother’s tobacco chewing mule were hitched in the shade of the shed on the back of Hardage and McTyre’s General Merchandise Store. Near this quiet scene was a strategic checker game that was in progress. Uncle Ben Hilley, Jim Hammonds and Dr. F. P. Lindley were sitting on benches playing on upturned crates in front of Ben Hilley’s Hot Dog Stand on the main street. At night the traveling salesmen who came from their routes to Dallas and Douglasville, sat down to play set back or forty-two card games with local players at the Lindley House (the hotel 1910-1925). M. J. Miller recalls sitting very still for one to one and a half hours watching a man put up a new signboard. The sign nearly always advertised Camel Cigarettes and had a pretty girl. Then you could study the circus poster on the side of Bud Compton’s Grocery Store for hours.

On hot summer afternoons children made up their own games. Imitation of adult activities was most popular. One group was playing lodge in the loft of Dave Miller’s barn. Harry Miller was leading a blindfolded candidate around the area on a goat. Someone pushed the door to the loft open, the goat ran and jumped out with Henry Bookout still astride it. The goat landed with a loud “Omp” with Henry still mounted. Neither was hurt, just a bit winded.

There was always some activity planned such as seining for fish with a fish fry to follow. Picnics, horseback rides and camping trips to Factory Shoals were popular. It is said that the Methodist church was moved to its present site so a race track could be built where it stood next to the Methodist Cemetery on Old Austell Road. Later most of the land involved was used to expand the cemetery.

Summer programs and recitals were anticipated eagerly. Summer time was utilized for Mrs. Buchanan’s lessons in painting, elocution, piano and penmanship instructions. All who could, attended one of B. B. Beall’s singing schools.

Ladies in the family were kept busy quilting and feeding visiting relatives. They came bringing their trunks and stayed for a month. Miss Roberta Murray states that much time was spent getting ready for the numerous weddings. The bride’s family baked and cooked for the wedding day. It was the groom’s family who prepared the food for the second day, sometimes referred to as “The Infair”. The bride always had a special Second Day dress made to wear at the Infair given by the groom’s family.

The children swept the white sand covered yards with brush brooms for these special days.

Tom Camp built a swimming pool and dancing pavilion. It was very popular for the years 1920-1930. Saturday night dances were sponsored by various orchestras. People came from several counties around to enjoy the pool and pavilion as well as the fellowship with all who came.

One Sunday afternoon two young men, John Middlebrooks and Roy Tapp, went down the front street carrying gunny sacks on their backs. This was a bit unusual. If you had followed them, you would have stopped behind the Bull Durham sign in May Marchman’s pasture. Here they milked the Mayor’s cow. Then they took the ice cream freezer, ice, salt, sugar and eggs out of the gunny sacks and made some home-made ice cream.

Now wasn’t that some home-made fun?

HOME MADE FUN IN THE EARLY DAYS, Part II

LATE 1800’S AND EARLY 1900’S

Fireworks were a great sport in Powder Springs on holidays in those days for many years. Sparklers for the little ones, Roman candles and fire crackers of all sizes for the older ones.

One never to be forgotten scene was the community Christmas Tree at the Church. It was always a big tree with a present for every child. Santa Clause was always there.

Young and old enjoyed tennis, horse shoes and baseball. These games were popular as home and at the spring down town at the park area where around the Pavilion.

Mr. Charlie Scott’s was a great gathering place not only for ball games, but for syrup candy pulling, singings, and social activities of all kinds.

There were big parties in the homes. There were dances or balls called play parties. Dances were held in the hotel and in the pavilion at the spring. Miss Roberta Murray had kept her mother’s invitation to a ball and a supper to be given at the hotel Tuesday night, February 13, 1883.

Gentlemen paid one dollar each and ladies were admitted free. One Baptist preacher threatened to withdraw church fellowship to the young dancers but it didn’t materialize when the Sunday School Superintendent, Mr. J. B. Oglesby, admitted that he too enjoyed the dances.

Target practice was popular with young men. Hunting, in season, was a great sport and many of the men and boys kept fine dogs for this sport.

Fathers made play equipment for the children. Yard swings were made with a board seat suspended from a tree limb on chains or heavy ropes. Later, some were automobile tires suspended in the same way. Seesaws and flying jennies were made. Little railroads with cars running down an inclined track was also made.

Nearly every home with children had a sand pile where the little ones played for hours with small buckets and spades, or built frog houses and castles in the sand.

There was always entertainment for summer visitors. Many people who had moved away from Powder Springs would return in the summer. On special days there were races, relays, horseshoe pitching contest, catching a greased pig, etc. at the spring along with tubs of lemonade and baskets of fried chicken.

The Tri County Singing (Cobb, Paulding and Douglas Counties) with dinner on the ground was always held at the First Baptist Church the third Saturday in July. This event was enjoyed form 1919 until July 23, 1939. At this time one of the song leaders, Young Ragsdale, entered the church with a drawn knife and making threats. A case was made against Mr. Torrance for fighting with Young Ragsdale in the Baptist Church. Ragsdale was fined fifteen dollars for raising a disturbance, by the City Council. The singing was moved to the school building where it soon went dead. A Sacred Harp sing was held the third Saturday in August at the Primitive Baptist Church.

The Southern Railroad agent, S. E. Smith, had the first radio in town about 1918 or 1920. It was a large cabinet model. The only stations he could get were WSB in Atlanta and one from Havanna, Cuba. An out wire like a clothes line served as an antenna. There was also a ground wire. Dry cell telephone batteries were used. Two sets of ear phones could be used. Dr. J.D. Middlebrooks had an early set. Most radio sets at that time were crystal sets which were built from materials bought at F. W. Woolworth’s in Atlanta. Only one set of earphones could be used with a crystal set.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FUN AT THE SPRINGS

 

 

The springs was always a center of social activity. The popularity of

outings to and entertainment at the springs changed over time but never

completely died out.

 

The 1850’s began the era of being a health resort because of the springs.

From 1880 to the early 1900’s the springs became a popular destination

again. There were many people who came from Atlanta and from all the

surrounding areas.

 

Through the years the springs and pavilion have continued to be used

for ball games, political rallies, holiday celebrations, the first real

swimming pool, various other family activities, reunions and celebrations.

The original location of the Seven Springs Historical Society and the Seven

Springs Museum (1984-2015) was in the park near the springs.

 

 

Powder Springs Enterprise, 1983 Sesquicentennial Edition

– Sara Frances Miller

 

After World War I, the springs were again a center of social activities

for many people in the Atlanta area (and not just for the people of Powder Springs). A large swimming pool and dance hall drew many visitors

who traveled to Powder Springs via a daily train called, appropriately,

“The Accomodation.” As Jewel Hendricks remembers it, Saturday

afternoon would mean a trip to the swimming pool and perhaps, if

Daddy didn’t forbid it, and sometimes even when he did, a lively dance

at the pavilion. There was always a baseball game with spirited competition between the Powder Springs team and surrounding teams.

Picnic’s were spread on the grass near the pavilion and everyone

enjoyed the springs and their environment.

 

The Springs have been an integral part of the life of the individuals who

have made Powder Springs a living community, from the days when the

town was a resort and health retreat to the later prosperity and loss

of King Cotton.

 

An early ad for a train excursion to Powder Springs:

 

The Georgia Pacific R. R. Co.

And

Cincinnati & Georgia R. R. Co.

 

FIRST EXCURSION

Thursday, June 1st, 1882

 

ATLANTA TO

POWDER SPRINGS

AND RETURN

 

 

Push Rods Auto Club

PUSH RODS AUTO CLUB

1956 – 1965

The club was organized in the summer of 1956 after a meeting of about eight local teenagers at the Hunter Tire Company in Austell, Georgia. Charles Furr was the first president of the club.  It was active until about 1965.

The club had their shop in a garage located in the middle of downtown Powder Springs in a building on main (Marietta) street between the old  telephone exchange (now a courtyard) and Lovinggood’s Grocery Store.  Here the club met and worked on their own cars, each other’s  cars and built race cars for drag racing.  These cars were very active on the drag racing scene during those years, winning many trophies.

Members during this time included; Earl Abernathy, Aubrey Brady, Ray Caldwell, Guy Camp, George Eubanks, Gary Eubanks, Tom Ellerbee, Charles Furr, Jim Gunnell, Raymond Gunnell, Sammy Hardy, A.C. Hunter, Donald Hunter, Ed Hunter, Russell Hunter, Jack Lane, Jimmy Lindley, Virgil (V.A.) Lovinggodd, Jr., Bennie Meadows, James Meadows, Jimmy Meadows, Butch Mize, James Moss, Raymond Moss,  Virgil Purvis, Grady Roberts, Wayne Roberts, Charles Scott and Johnny Turner.

On October 3, 2000, Push Rods held their Second Annual Union and Car Show at the Threadmill Mall in Austell in which they honored the founding members, recognizing the ones who were still living.  These men were presented with a plaque commemorating the occasion and honoring their part in starting and making Push Rods what it is today.  Founding Member, James Moss has donated his plaque and original jacket to the Seven Springs Historical Society and is on display at the Seven Springs Museum.

                       1967 – PRESENT

The club was re-organized in 1967 and continues to meet monthly on the first Tuesday evening of each month.

According to an article in the Marietta Daily Journal dated in October of  1967, the young teenage boys of Powder Springs did not have a home or place to meet to enjoy their love of cars, but were a loosely knit band of high-speed drivers. They however, did call themselves “Push Rods ‘67”.  with the help of the Powder Springs Police Department and Fire Department, local ministers and businessmen, this group of teenagers began a new Push Rods Club.  With this help and guidance, the Push Rods Club was able to find a place to gather and work on their cars.

The business community helped them secure and remodel an old garage with high ceilings on main (Marietta) Street in downtown Powder Springs. They now spent as much time in this old garage street, working on their cars, talking about them and how much they love and enjoyed driving them.

The original Push Rods of 1957 gave them the old Push Rods sign and a  ‘rail job’ with an engine which would be the club’s new Hot Rod and racing  entry.  This garage, which they now rented, was available to them 24 hours a day.  The club then became a non-profit corporation.

The club planned fund raising events to buy jackets and front bumper tags with the Push Rod emblem for their members.

Some of the early members were:  James McTyre, Tony Dudley (VP), Larry Croker, Greg Wehunt, Richard Mellichamp, Wendell Brumbelow, Ricky Shiflett, Roger Puckett, Tim Crawly, Gary Huggins and Terry Cochran.  Early advisors for the club were: David Hilton, Powder Springs Fire Chief and Captain Larry Barkwell of the Powder Springs Police Department along with a minister and an attorney.

The club has won several racing trophies over the years.

In 1978, the Push Rod’s Garage was used as part of a movie staring Tim Conway, “They Went Thataway and Thataway”  The front of the building was destroyed as part of the scene where they ran/crashed a car into the building.  Afterwards, they repaired the building.  Powder Springs Push Rods continues to be totally non-profit today.

Proceeds are used to provide assistance to those in OUR community and Calvary Children’s Home, Bullock and Caring Hands. The club holds various events and car shows throughout the year that help fund these charities.

The Push Rod Members still enjoy working on their cars, talking about them, showing them off and talking to anyone else who enjoys automobiles as well as they do.  Even though the members of the club may have changed over the years, here in 2018, they are still an active part of our community.