Tallapoosa Historical Society - Online Historical Exhibits

A Brief History of Tallaposa


Tallapoosa (land lottery parcel) map 1869


PIONEERING IN THE SOUTH; HOW ENTERPRISING YOUNG CITIES ARE SPRINGING UP. TALLAPOOSA, THE LATEST OF THEM, SITUATED BETWEEN ATLANTA AND BIRMINGHAM--THE EFFECTS OF NORTHERN CAPITAL. - The New York Times (October 8, 1887) - byline: Tallapoosa, Ga., Oct. 5
(Adobe Acrobat .pdf file embedded in a Web page)
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...Three years ago Tallapoosa was an isolated village, hardly known to the people of Atlanta, in one of the least populated and most lawless counties of Georgia, the abode of moonshiners and shotgun gangs. The village then contained about 100 persons, and no man was ever sure of his life there. But what a wonderful transformation was effected by the building of a railway through the place, and no more peaceful community than that of Tallapoosa can be found to-day... The present population... exceeds 1,000.

"...the man who did it all -- R. L. Spencer... though I am among his most pronounced victims... I tell you he's a dandy -- a regular out-and-out Napoleon of finance and a diplomat from wayback. Why, I'm seen men foolish enough to think he had been swindling them go into in his office in Tallapoosa all prepared to fill him so full of lead that it would require six men and a windlass to bury him. In a few minutes they would reappear as happy as a boy with new boots, and with nothing except good words for their would-be victim."

INVESTORS COME TO GRIEF; THE GEORGIA-ALABAMA COMPANY'S BUBBLE BURSTS. FIFTEEN THOUSAND STOCKHOLDERS LEARN A LESSON IN FINANCIERING -- BIG DIVIDENDS PROMISED, BUT ONLY A RECEIVER LEFT -- R.L. SPENCER'S BRILLIANT RECORD. - The New York Times (July 15, 1892) (Adobe Acrobat .pdf file embedded in a Web page)

COMING SOON: R. L. Spencer - hero, villian, or both?

The man who would cast a giant shadow here circa 1890

Too Many Irons in the Fire: The Failure of Land Development Companies in Tallapoosa, Georgia CA. 1880-1900 (2007) by Benjamin Corey Maynard, M.A.

In the late nineteenth century, Tallapoosa, Georgia, with the help of northern investors, grew from a small rural community into an emerging 'urban' town. Using census records, tax digests, county court records, Dun & Bradstreet credit ratings, promotional material produced by the Georgia-Alabama Investment and Development Company, and newspapers (local and national), this thesis will analyze Tallapoosa's change from a rural agrarian town into a 'Yankee city under the southern sky'.

Revolutionary War soldier gravesite ceremony

The Colonization of Tallapoosa by Prof. Carole E. Scott

Tallapoosa Territory (1952) by Lee S. Trimble, Sr. (a historical sketch of Tallapoosa focusing especially on the boom years of 1886-1900)

The Royal Vindicator and gold mining

President Benjamin Harrison speaks in Tallapoosa by Dr. Ron Feigenblatt

Detailed panoramic view of Tallapoosa in 1892

Photographs of Tallapoosa circa 1900

Celebrated country musician A. A. Gray (1881-1939) made Tallapoosa his home as an adult. A film named after his signature piece, Tallapoosa Bound is under production. Learn more at the film's Facebook site and new Website. Listen online to two other A. A. Gray numbers, Streak Of Lean, Streak Of Fat and The Old Ark's A'Moving.

Digital Library of Georgia - Tallapoosa Sanborn® Fire Insurance Maps
(1888, 1890, 1895, 1903, 1909, 1914)

Growing up in early 20th century Tallapoosa (see page bottom)

early 1950s road trip including Tallapoosa 1960 Tallapoosa centennial film (excerpt)

Selected Historical Landmarks

The Lithia Springs Hotel Neighborhood - 1892, 1914, 2008

The Building (George M. William's Block)

History of Tallapoosa Presbyterian Church

Amelia's - The Johnson Family Homeplace

Selected Historical Businesses

Lipham's Department Store