Historic Baptist Cemetery, Powder Springs, 1840

The Baptist Cemetery was established in 1840 and is the oldest cemetery in Powder Springs. It is located downtown on the corner of Jackson Way and Pineview Drive.

The earliest marked burial is dated 1840 and is that of the infant daughter of W. Jaud Kiser, one month and 26 days. Her mother was Nancy Kiser.

According to “The History of the First Baptist Church of Powder Springs, GA” by Virginia Tapp, the Springville Baptist Church building “stood on the edge of the Baptist Cemetery on a hill just off the Old Lost Mountain Road. The lot was donated by Mr. D. R. Turner”. The First Baptist Church was originally named the Springville Baptist Church which was originally part of the Primitive Baptist Church in Powder Springs.

In the Baptist Cemetery are buried a number of the pioneer families of Powder Springs. There are Butner’s, Baggett’s, Compton’s, Goodwin’s, Hardy’s, Kiser’s, Landrum’s, Lindley’s, Ragsdale’s, Rice’s and more. Some were merchants of various trades, others were farmers, pastors, doctors and just regular town folks.

Elijah Ragsdale (1798-1858) was one of six charter members of the Springville Baptist Church. Reverend Parker M. Rice (1801-1853) was the first pastor of the Springville Baptist Church. Della Boswell Kuykendall (1875-1963) was the first telephone exchange night operator in Powder Springs for nine years.

There are several Veterans from various wars buried here, also. War of 1812 – Elijah Ragsdale (1778-1858) and James F. Blackstock, Jr. (1789-1852). War Between the States (American Civil War) – Joseph K. Moon, CSA, (1820-1870). Spanish American War – David B. Lindholm (1872-1914).World War II – Florence W. Neese (1917-1989) and Arthur Parks (1918-1953). Vietnam – Kenneth Lamar Newton (1945-2016).

The last burial was in 1979 until 2002, 2015, 2016 with one each.

There is a large open area in the Cemetery that does not have any markers that would identify graves in the area. However, the indentions in the earth appeared to indicate that there were burials here. In 2017 The Seven Springs Historical Society took on a project to have this area studied to help determine if there were actually unmarked graves in this area of the Baptist Cemetery.

The Historical Society contracted with Omega Mapping Services in December of 2017 to have this area surveyed by using ground penetrating radar. In January 2018, Len Strozier of Omega Mapping Services came out and did this survey. Several members of the Historical Society met Len at the Cemetery.

In the process he identified 135 unmarked graves, marking them with orange flags. Some of the graves were buried deeper than usual indicating much earlier burials than 1840 and could possibly be Indian Burials. Powder Springs has a history of Cherokee and Creek tribes living in the area. Numerous artifacts have also be found verifying their presence.

Len has provided the Historical Society and the Seven Springs Museum with maps and a CD with his findings. These maps mark the spots where burials are located. Once the Historical Society received these maps, Holland Supply was then contacted about ordering these markers.

The Historical Society then purchased 135 lot markers from Holland Supply. These markers are 3½ inch stainless steel discs and 10 inch zinc coated carriage bolts or pins.

In late March of 2018, several members of the Historical Society met at the Cemetery and installed these markers. The markers lie flat on the ground and will not interfere with the normal maintenance off the Cemetery. They can later be located by metal detectors.

The Seven Springs Historical Society plan to place a marker recognizing that these 135 burial sites are now identified and marked for future generations. The Society also plans to erect a sign identifying the Cemetery as the Baptist Cemetery.

Photos by Stan Kaady

The History of the Mimosa Garden Club

Powder Springs, Georgia
1940 – 2013

On April 17, 1940 all the ladies in the community were invited to organize and join a garden club. The meeting was held in the home of Mrs. Faye Lindley with twenty two ladies present.

The club was named the Co-Operative Garden Club. The first President was Mrs. B. L. Barton. The other officers elected were: Mrs. Cecil Barr, Vice President, Mrs. M. J. Miller, Secretary, and Mrs. Parks Lindley, Treasurer.

Other Charter Members were: Mrs. J. K. Brown, Mrs. W.L. Jennings, Mrs. Verna Lawler, Miss Hazel Lindley, Mrs. F. E. Norris, Mrs. K. E. Norris, Mrs. W. R. Tapp, Sr. and Mrs. J. C. Vaughn.

This may not be complete due to the original list being lost at some point.

Their pledge as gardeners was to do all in their power to take care of our trees, flowers and birds, and to watch for opportunities to make and keep our community clean and beautiful. The Club would met in the homes of the members once a month. Dues were set at ten cents a month. The members had certain requirements. Each one was to plant three mimosa trees. At every meeting, each member was to bring an arrangement of flowers. These could be a miniature not over eight inches tall, a single specimen or a tall arrangement to be judged.

In April of 1941, the Club changed its name the Mimosa Garden Club and was federated. In November of the same year, the Club was affiliated with the Garden Club of Georgia, and later the National Council of Garden Clubs, and the Marietta Educational Garden Center.

The members have kept their pledge through community and individual projects. They sponsored side walk plantings of watermelon red crepe myrtles in 1942. These grew so large that they obscured the vision of the motorist and had to be cut down later. At this time the total membership was limited to twenty five ladies. During the war years (1941 – 1945), programs and exhibits were changed to Victory Vegetable Gardens and canned food exhibits. The members donated cooking fats which they had saved. The Club received a small amount of money and red food stamps. The food stamps were given to the school cafeteria.

In 1944 Mrs. Thomas (Louise) Clonts sponsored a Junior Garden Club named the Dirt Daubers. It was not active after 1945.

After the war, the Mimosa Garden Club returned to keeping their pledge as gardeners to take care and keep the community clean and beautiful. They continued to study horticulture, flower arranging and how to help maintain the trees, flowers, herbs, birds and butterflies in the community. Many outstanding arrangements have been made by the members over the years.

In the 1950’s they sponsored a Georgia Power Cooking School. They sponsored more than eight flower shows and sent arrangements made by various members to the Cobb County Fair where they won several blue ribbons. They also sent flowers and arrangements to Rich’s Garden Center.

In 1978 Mrs. Faye Lindley inspired the Garden Club to set up a Meditation Garden at the Powder Springs City Cemetery. The ladies have continued to maintain this garden over the years.

The Club decided to landscape the Powder Springs Park. Hastings Seed Company offered their assistance in making a plan. Roses, Iris, and Magnolia Trees were planted there.

In the 1980’s they bought barrels for the downtown area of Powder Springs which they planted and maintained. They planted bulbs at the new Powder Springs Civic Center (The Ron Anderson Memorial Center).

In 1984, the Club helped with organizing the Powder Springs Beautification Committee. On December 13, 1984, there was an event commemorating the Certification of the Committee. Harold Norris was The Team Leader in this project. He was one of the charter Members of the Seven Springs Historical Society. In later years, the Powder Springs Beautification Committee changed its name to Keep Powder Springs Beautiful Association, and are currently still active.

In 1988, Mrs. Willie Mae Godfrey led the Club to establish a Memorial for the members at the Seven Springs Historical Society Museum in Powder Springs Park. Trees were planted in honor and memory of several of the members who had passed away.

In 1989, with the help of Imogene Abernathy and Bonnie Yeager the club planted an herb garden at the Seven Springs Museum.

The Garden Club also asked the Mayor to call a public meeting to establish a Powder Springs Cemetery Association to provided perpetual care. (City Cemetery located on Old Austell Road on the right). This project has been successful and supported by the community.

Through the years many ladies, individually, have made flower Gardens, Rock Gardens, Herb Gardens, day lily gardens, and a colorful cottage garden. Mrs. Martha Brown landscaped her own yard to reflect the beauty of Calloway Gardens. Imogene Abernathy planted a unique herb garden at her home. Several of the members especially worked with horticulture.

Mrs. Martha Brown and Mrs. Dot Burkett faithfully provided special flower arrangements for the Baptist and Methodist Churches for many years. Others have worked on yearbooks and scrapbooks for the Garden Club, winning many awards. During the 1990’s there were many projects undertaken by the Garden Club.

They planted flowers, trees, landscaping on the Grounds of the newly organized Powder Springs Senior Center at the Old Powder Springs Elementary School.

A Butterfly Garden was planted with flowers that would attract the Butterflies, at the Seven Springs Historical Society Museum. Stepping Stones were installed using old grind stones from the Murray Landrum grist mill that had operated in Powder Springs in the early 1900’s. These stones were donated to the Museum by Marsha Doughtery.

A golden path of flowers was planted in honor of the 1996 Olympics. These flowers were planted in 1995 so that they would be in bloom during the Olympics. Snapdragons, marigolds, dahlias, daises, roses, lilies among others that are beautiful.

The Club built Butterfly and Blue Bird House. Some were hung around town and others were sold as fundraisers.

Mrs. Patti Briel and Mrs. Betty DuPre won a state award in 1995 with the Club’s scrapbook.

As the twenty first century came, things were changing which offered new challenges for the Mimosa Garden Club. The years 2000 through 2013 were not as well documented as the earlier ones. However, they left a lot of their scrapbooks, Minutes of meetings, collection of books and various other documents to the Seven Springs Historical Society and are housed at the Museum where we welcome anyone who wishes may come and enjoy their handiwork.

The Mimosa Garden Club continued to work to carry out their Pledge to take care of our trees, flowers and birds and to watch watch for opportunities to make and keep our community clean and beautiful.

The Club continued maintaining the flower and herb gardens and trees they had planted around the Seven Springs Museum. When we experienced the flood in 2009, they helped to revitalize and care for the flowers, herbs and trees around the Museum and other areas in the community.

The Garden Club actually contributed and supported the Garden Clubs and organizations they were members of all through the many years they existed. They worked with these organizations on various projects around the Community, County and State, supporting them monetarily or by volunteering in any way that was needed.

The Garden Club also supported many charities over the years with donations, making crafts for their residences, fund raising and volunteering. Some of these included: the restoration of the Garden Center in Marietta; Open Gate Home for the abused and homeless children; Cobb County Beautiful Roadways with wild flowers on the medians; the American Cancer Society; and Milledgeville Garden Therapy Program at the State Mental Hospital.

The Club continued to increase their knowledge, enjoyment by Members going on field trips to see the many gardens and Horticulture Centers around the state and visiting the Biltmore Estates Gardens in North Carolina.

Even though the Mimosa Garden Club was disbanded in 2013, they will always be known for their many kinds of contributions and their enjoyment for the preservation of all of Nature’s Beauty. The Club, in it’s seventy three years of service, has left its Legacy in many of the trees, gardens and flowers that they had planted throughout the Community

As a member of the Garden Club of Georgia, the Mimosa Garden Club was presented with a large circular sign depicting the Garden Club of Georgia’s logo. The sign was originally erected at the parking area of the old Seven Springs Museum in the trees and flower gardens they had planted.

When the Seven Springs Museum moved to the Bodiford House, the sign was moved and hung on the back wall of the house under the screened in porch for all to enjoy when they park their cars at the Museum.

In 2017, the Seven Springs Historical Society acknowledged and Honored the Mimosa Garden Club, it’s members and charter members for their contribution to the community and the Seven Springs Historical Society and Museum with a plaque which is displayed in the Museum.

This 2018 history of the Mimosa Garden Club has been compiled from information gathered by Sarah Frances Miller, various Club documents, notes, scrapbooks and Minutes of their meetings.

Early Powder Springs Black Churches and Schools

This historical information was compiled by Sarah Frances Miller in the 70’s & 80’s and is available in our Powder Springs History binder located in the library room in the museum. You can also visit our Black History displays (pictured) and purchase a copy of “Powder Springs Has Some Deep Roots In It” – An Oral History Portrait of an African American Community by Ann McCleary, Catherine Henricks, and Stephanie Wright.

“For far as we can ascertain there have been two black Methodist churches in Powder Springs – Kite’s Chapel and Davis Chapel. Kite’s Chapel was located on what is now Butler Street, almost on the same site where Ruthie White’s house now stands. It was blown down by a wind storm around 40 years ago. The Reverend Hamilton was one of the pastors of Kite’s Chapel.

Davis Chapel was located on Macland Road near the overhead bridge next door to the home of Andy and Laura Davis. Going from Powder Springs to Macland it was on the left hand side of the road. The Reverend Morgan was one of the pastors of this church. According to the minutes of the Powder Springs City Council, May 1935, the church was ordered to discontinue holding meetings because the residents of the area objected to the noise and the disturbance. The following appeared in the minutes of the city council on May 5, 1940. “Motion passed that the black church by the Seaboard bridge be and is hereby condemned as a fire trap. Notice of the same to be posted for thirty days.”

The black Baptist church located on Brownsville Road is the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. After the Civil War, in 1867, the blacks, in search of their own religious life, separated from the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. They worshiped for three years under a brush arbor. The Reverend Seaborn Rucker was their first pastor. A church site was obtained and a donation of a barn was made to them by the Pleasant Hill Church. A plank church was built. Reverend Barber was there for many years in the plank church. During the pastorate of the Rev. R. H. Williams, this old building was torn down and a new structure was erected. The Rev. W. A. Bowen followed by Rev. Williams as pastor and under his leadership, heat and water were put in the building, and the building was brick veneered. Pews, pulpit furniture and two pianos were purchased. The next pastor was the Rev. J. C. Carter. It was during his pastorate that the church was completely remodeled, and the cornerstone was laid October 6, 1974. The New Hope Cemetery is adjacent to the church.

Two Broadnax brothers gave land for the Macedonia Baptist Church located on Macedonia Road. The church was founded about 1896. Early members were the Broadnax, Wyatt and Stiles families. Pastors include Rev. I. P. Ward, Rev. Alexander Penn, Rev. Calvin and presently Rev. Lennie Gunn. Annie Wolf has written a history of the church which is in its second building.

Rev. Sandy Young lived in Powder Springs. He had a barber shop in downtown Powder Springs for a long time. He and his wife, Hattie Turner, and their eighteen children raised cotton on a farm where Florence Estates begins. He served Methodist churches, Prodigal and Cavalry.

Rev. Alexander Penn served many Baptist churches in the area. He was at Mt. Zion Baptist on Brownsville Road for a long time. He served Big Bethel on Marietta Road, Sweet Home in Hiram and Macedonia in Powder Springs. He was moderator of the Friendship Association which includes New Hope Church in Powder Springs. His wife was Bunch and they had sixteen children.

A more recently established church is the black Church of God In Christ, which was located on Long Street in Powder Springs. This church was built in 1954. The building was made possible largely through the efforts of Ethel Clark. The late Bishop James J. Hensley was in charge of the dedication service on July 18, 1954. The first pastor was Elder Arthur Jones, Sr. Some of the first members were: Ethel Clark, Annie Mae Kimball, Gracie Young, Essie Clark, and Jake Marshall. Ethel Clark was the church secretary.

The first black school that anyone in the community seems to remember was a two story building that was located across the railroad about where the Happy Valley Trailer Court is now located. Students who attended the school say that it stood across from what was then the Jim Florence place. One of the long time principals was Mr. C. D. Evans. Mr. Evans’s wife was his assistant teacher. The Mizelles, the Waldons, the Weddingtons, the Holcombs, and most of the black children in the community attended this school. When this building fell into bad repair the school was moved to a new site on Brownsville Road adjacent to the New Hope Church and cemetery. Later this school became an elementary school, and the county had an arrangement with the Marietta School Board for the Powder Springs black high school students to attend Lemon Street High School in Marietta. The school by the church and the arrangement with Marietta lasted until Cobb County Schools were desegregated and all of the children attended the same schools. The black school building by the church was sold and made into a dwelling which still stands.

Some of the early teachers were S. S. Broadnax, Samuel S. Young, and James M. McAfee. They taught in the 1890’s.”

More photos from New Hope Missionary Baptist Church

Senior Citizens Remember (Part I): Loving Memories Preserved

In 1910, V. A. Lovinggood moved to Powder Springs with his bride who had left her position as stenographer with Uncle Remus Magazine in Atlanta to establish a home. Mr. Lovinggood recounts with a smile his wife’s singing ability and trips to attend the singing school which was located near Powder Springs. In addition to being a fine singer, Mr. Lovinggood remembers that his wife was the “biggest talker in the world.” In 1918 the couple purchased sixty acres of farmland near Powder Springs for $3,600, reportedly the highest price ever paid for land in the area. (A half-acre parcel of the same land recently sold for $3,500.) With his farm prospering, Mr. Lovinggood was presented the opportunity to purchase a store in Powder Springs. Reluctantly at first, Mr. Lovinggood, with the help of his father and his brother Albert, bought the store. Gradually, the store occupied greater and greater attention and Mr. Lovinggood operated it actively until 1970.

Always a farmer, Mr. Lovinggood raised much of the produce and livestock that maintained both his table and his storeroom. His memories include some of the hardest times in this country’s history and he tells of feeding people who came to him crying for bread during the Depression. At one point in 1930, cotton, which had been the major money crop of this and many other farming communities throughout the South, sold for 5 cents per pound. Mr. Lovinggood remembers speculating on some 12-14 bales at 5 cents per pound and later selling the cotton to a broker for 10 cents per pound. High finance was very limited for merchants during this time.

Such crops as peaches and tomatoes were attempted after the destruction of cotton by the boll weevil. Although relatively unsuccessful, the attempts did lead to such enterprises as the cultivation of sorghum and the resulting grinding and preparation of syrup. Describing himself as “born and raised in a syrup mill”, Mr. Lovinggood and his family operated a sorghum mill which handled the needs of farmers from many miles around. Even a relatively successful enterprise like the sorghum mill was limited by modern standards. The syrup, ground by a mule-drawn mill and boiled in huge open vats to thicken the sweet juice, sold to Atlanta wholesale distributors for only 35 cents per gallon. Mr. Lovinggood also sold the syrup in his store.

But perhaps Mr. Lovinggood’s most vivid memories are of the cotton gins, both the Farmer’s Co-op and McTyre’s, which were in major enterprises in the community, rivaled only by the railroad section crews in economic importance. When the cotton crop was ready for ginning, Mr. Lovinggood would open his store at 1:00 A.M. in order to serve the farmers who would line up their wagons, loaded with as much as 40 bales of cotton, along the main street of Powder Springs. He remembers the day that an electrical short at one gin affected the power source at the other gin and resulted in a brace of mules owned by a Mr. Wade to be electrocuted as they waited to deposit their load of cotton.

As a store owner in Powder Springs for almost 50 years, Mr. Lovinggood recalls much of the commercial activity of the town. He remembers the sound of anvils ringing in the early morning air from the three blacksmith shops that thrived before the automobile became common. As a young merchant on a trip to Atlanta, he describes the deserted streets surrounding the Henry Grady monument that still stands on Marietta Street near Five Points; there were no cars in sight and he observed a grand total of eleven motor vehicles on the streets of Atlanta that day. The hard times of the 20’s and 30’s meant people could not pay for their basic needs. Mr. Lovinggood remembers one family who did pay him $10.35 for a crate of eggs and a bushel of potatoes — he got the check 35 years after the merchandise was sold. He sold 25 lbs. of flour for 75 cents back then and bought 100 cases of a new but very popular product from a broker in Atlanta at 85 cents per case. Coke has gotten more popular, and more expensive since then.

Mr. Lovinggood remembers, perhaps not a better time, but certainly a time from which modern society can learn much. He has preserved the memories of that time in carefully maintained records: photographs, the ledger books from his store, even the letters written to him by his second wife prior to their marriage. He intends to take those letters with him to his grave. Thankfully, he has taken the time to share his memories and insights with us.

Thank you Mr. Lovinggood for the loving memories.

– Article from the Powder Springs Enterprise, Vol. 1, 1983

Preserving Local History

This article was written by the Seven Springs Historical Society founder, Miss Sarah Frances Miller and originally featured in the Powder Springs Enterprise, 1983.

A backward look at the history of Powder Springs is full of pleasant memories. We are now experiencing a period of change from a farm community, self-sufficient and isolated, to a bedroom community, inexplicably tied to our metropolitan neighbor in the east. We have worked with plows; now we work with planes.

Even in a period of transition, however, it is possible, perhaps even essential, to protect and preserve our past while living in a modern world.

Here in Powder Springs, we have saved the evidence of our past: farm and blacksmith tools, spinning wheels, show lasts and quilts are only a few of the objects to historical interest to young and old alike.

Yes, the history has been preserved. The next step is to make it available. In commemoration of the Cobb County Sesquitenniel, let’s get together to give ourselves a community anniversary gift–a town museum. I say to the officials of Powder Springs, give us the building, the history is already here.