As the county seat for Carroll County, the City of Carrollton GA has a rich textile and agricultural history. The town was chartered in 1826 and was the main market town for Carroll County. It remained a frontier town until after the Civil War, mostly because it did not have a railroad, and transporting goods and people in or out of town was difficult. When the railroad came in 1874, there came new prosperity to Carroll County. Farmers could export their goods, and equipment became more readily available for the farmers and for the production of textile mills at the beginning of the 20th century.
All trading and other business transactions occurred at what is still today the hub of shopping in Carrollton: Adamson Square. The square is made up of four quadrants and looks very similar to the way it looked in the 1800's. Most Carrollton business owners on the square are very aware of the history of their particular location on the square. Horton's Books & Gifts, located on the square, is the oldest bookstore in Georgia and has changed its location on the square several times.
Unlike many other small towns in the South at the start of the 20th century, popular Carrollton attractions of the time included running water, electric lighting, telephone service, and three silent movie theaters!
During the Civil War, there were four raids on Carrollton and in 1865, Union troops burned the Northwest quadrant of the square. At the start of the 20th century, the textile industry in Carroll County began to flourish and jobs became plentiful. In the early 1950's, however, local production of cotton and the textile industry declined. In 1950, Southwire, one of the largest wire and cable manufacturers in the world today, was founded in Carrollton and today employs over 1,500 people.
Carrollton was mentioned in Margaret Mitchell's novel, Gone with the Wind, and in the movie as well. Susan Hayward, an Academy Award winning actress married Eaton Chalkley of Carrollton, and they made their home in Carrolton from the time they were married in 1957 until his death in 1966. Hayward died in 1975 and the couple is buried at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church in Carrollton.
Today Carrollton is a thriving community known as “The Friendly City”, a bustling small city that represents the best that small- town Southern life has to offer!