New walking tour highlights Marietta’s Black history

Credit: Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society

Credit: Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society

Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society is hosting a new walking tour for anyone who wants to learn about Marietta’s Black history.

The tour, created in honor of Black History Month, showcases several sites around Marietta, one of which is Zion Baptist Church. According to its website, the church was first organized in 1866 under Rev. Ephraim B. Rucker, the church’s first pastor.

Another site on the tour includes the former Lemon Street Grammar School. The historically Black school opened in 1951 and closed in 1971. It served as the home of the Hattie G. Wilson Library until the county shut it down in January 2013.

Marietta City Schools, which had been using the building as a warehouse, just completed a $3.48 million renovation project on the building to be used for students enrolled in the district’s Performance Learning Center, which allows students who may have jobs or children to attend school on a flexible schedule.

The site also includes information about how Marietta schools were desegregated and information about the old Lemon Street High School. Although the original school dated to the 1800s, the most recent Lemon Street High School building opened in 1930 and served as the high school for all Black students in Cobb County. It closed in 1967 when schools were integrated. The high school was demolished after the graduation of its final class.

“While this walking tour presents a number of important Black heritage sites in Marietta, it’s just a start,” said Cobb Landmarks Executive Director Trevor Beemon. “We hope people will be inspired to go learn more after the tour. My hope is that tour-goers will walk away with a better understanding of the events, people, and places from Marietta’s past that formed the city we live in today.”

You can view sites on the tour by visiting Cobb Landmarks’ website.