Typical of many commercial blocks built in late-19th- and early-20th-century Georgia, this structure served a dual purpose as a general store and Masonic lodge.
Tag Archives: North Georgia Murals
In the early 20th century, Coca-Cola wall paintings, or murals, were ubiquitous in small towns all over America. But through research and authentication by the Coca-Cola Company, it has been determined that the very first such advertisement was created here in Cartersville, on the side of Young Brothers Pharmacy, in 1894. It was painted by syrup salesman James Couden.The Coca-Cola Company regularly refreshed the sign with new paint until the late 1970s, and in the 1980s, Dean Cox, who had purchased the pharmacy from one of the Young brothers’ daughters in 1970, became curious about the historical sign. In 1989, he hired Alison Free and Aggie Ferguson to restore it to its original condition. 25 layers of paint were removed to reveal the mural visible today. Coca-Cola fans and collectors from all over the world have been making pilgrimages to Cartersville to see it ever since.
Cartersville Downtown Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
This tin-sided false front store should get your attention if you’re traveling on US Highway 27, just south of Carrollton. A sign on the building notes that the store operated from 1927-1957. Like the Johnson Sweet Potato barn, another roadside icon located nearby, the Ringer Store’s Coca-Cola signs and murals have been repainted.
Demolition of several storefronts on Broad Street uncovered this historic mural around 2018. A ghost sign for Tanner Hardware is located above the mural, which reads: Benson’s Bread Is Good Bread. Benson’s Bakery was founded in nearby Athens in 1918 by Howard Benson, who quickly gained a reputation for excellent products and became the leading commercial baker in the area. He delivered to Winder and other communities outside Athens and his business grew rapidly. Restoration of the mural is a current project of the Barrow Preservation Society.
Broad Street Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
One may notice a trend when in Rayle. The historic storefronts and warehouses are all sided with tin. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why this is the most interesting and significant of the bunch. There’s the wonderful Jefferson Island Salt mural, the tin brick, and the fact that it’s a rare two-story false front store (a shed roof has been removed). But most importantly, the owners have allowed it to stand intact all these years. I hope to learn more about it and hope it’s around for a long time.