New sculpture to be unveiled at Marietta’s Root House during Juneteenth celebration

Kennesaw State University students used technology to create a smaller version of a sculpture that will be based on the likeness of history interpreter Misha Harp. The smaller model will help the artist create a full-sized sculpture that will go in the courtyard. Credit: Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society
Kennesaw State University students used technology to create a smaller version of a sculpture that will be based on the likeness of history interpreter Misha Harp. The smaller model will help the artist create a full-sized sculpture that will go in the courtyard. Credit: Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society

One of Marietta’s historical museums will pay homage to the city’s enslaved ancestors during a Juneteenth ceremony June 12 at the William Root House.

Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society, which owns and operates the landmark house, plans to unveil a garden sculpture that Kennesaw State University students helped design.

Census records show slaves made up almost 45% of Marietta’s population in 1860. The sculpture will pay tribute to that enslaved segment of the city’s past.

Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society partnered with KSU’s School of Art and Design to create the garden sculpture, using 3D scanning technology to capture the likeness of local food historian Misha Harp. Harp volunteers at the museum and does living history cooking interpretations using an 1850s stove, according to Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society executive director Trevor Beemon.

KSU students used 3D scanners to record Harp’s features and deployed a 3D printer to create a preliminary model of the sculpture. An artist from the master craftsman course used that model to create the full-sized courtyard monument.

William Root was an early Cobb County settler who moved to Marietta from Philadelphia with his wife Hannah. He became the town’s first pharmacist. The Root House was originally built in the 1840s and the family lived in the home for over 40 years. The ranch house was restored to its circa-1860 appearance in the 1990s.

The home at 80 N. Marietta Parkway still stands as one of the oldest in metro Atlanta. It’s situated on the outskirts of the Marietta Square.

The new sculpture will be unveiled next to a slave-themed garden that was planted in 2019, Beemon said.

Juneteenth is observed June 19 each year across the country. It’s a holiday that celebrates the emancipation of the last freed slaves.

The Root House’s Juneteenth ceremony is planned for 10 a.m. June 12. It will feature guided tours, history demonstrations and poetry readings. Admission to the program is free. For more information, visit roothousemuseum.com/events.

The William Root House in Marietta. 
Photo courtesy of the Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society
The William Root House in Marietta. Photo courtesy of the Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

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