House Time’s Long Gone
In August of 1839, a Philadelphian merchant named William Root moved south to Georgia. Root was one of Marietta’s founding citizens and opened the town’s first drug store. After marrying Hannah Remer Simpson in 1840, Root built his family home on the corner of present-day Church and Lemon streets. Today, this house is the oldest wood-frame house still standing in Marietta.
A Tour of Marietta
In the 1850s, 11 members of the Root family and their four slaves lived in the Root House. When the Union Army approached Atlanta in 1864, the Root family’s home would be one of just four Marietta buildings to survive Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. The family continued to live in the house until it was sold in 1886. Over the next century, the house was moved down the hill to face Lemon Street, remodeled in the Victorian style, and ultimately renovated into apartments in the 1940s.
During the following decades, the Root House fell into disrepair. This piece of history was slated for demolition and almost lost forever when Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society acquired the house in 1989. After the Root House was moved to its current location at the corner of Polk Street and North Marietta Parkway, architectural analysis was used to restore the exterior to its 1845 appearance. Meanwhile, the interior of the house was renovated to match how the home would have looked in the 1860s.
Today, the William Root House Museum and Garden preserves a piece of Marietta and American history. Interactive exhibits show what daily life was like for the Root Family, from the parlor and kitchen to the historically accurate gardens where William Root grew herbs for his pharmacy. There are also recently completed exhibits dedicated to the lives of Marietta’s enslaved population during the antebellum South. Guests are invited to curate their own experiences by signing up for a guided tour or exploring the museum on a self-guided discovery.
Waiting for the best time to visit the museum?
Saturday, April 4, is Smithsonian Museum Day! The William Root House Museum and Garden is offering free admission to guests with a Museum Day ticket. Visit RootHouseMuseum.com to learn more about all of the museum’s special events to start planning your next visit.