Continuing to combine fitness and historic preservation, the Bartow History Museum Historic 5K at Rose Lawn will return to downtown Cartersville Sept. 19. The third annual offering will begin and conclude at Rose Lawn Museum, the former residence of the late renowned evangelist, Samuel Porter Jones.
“This is the third time [we will] host the event, and it’s just a way to experience the historical feel of downtown Cartersville in a different way,” Bartow History Museum Director Trey Gaines said. “So running through the streets of one of the historic districts is just a unique experience and a way to support both of these museums at the same time. ... We are continuing to do the event in hopes that it will continue to grow and become a bigger presence on the 5K scene, and people will come out and enjoy it each year.
“It doesn’t go through the downtown business district. It does go through one of the historic residential districts. So the race leaves Rose Lawn and goes back into the neighborhoods on Leake Street and Luckie Street, Boatner [Avenue] — some of those older streets here close to the downtown area. We hope that people will come out and just enjoy being outside and the health benefits of racing, but also ... experience some of the architecture and history that we can pick up by just being around some of the historic structures in the community.”
The 5K will kick off at 8 a.m., following registration from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. Entry fees are $25 until Sept. 18 and $30 on race day. Walkers and runners also are encouraged to sign up in advance at http://www.runnersfit.com/historicbartow.html. Proceeds from the 5K will benefit the Cartersville museums’ operations and preservation efforts.
Formed in 1987, Bartow History Museum welcomed more than 9,000 visitors in 2014 and is on track to surpass that number this year. Since December 2010, the venue’s gift shop, multi-purpose room, and permanent and temporary exhibits have been housed in the 1869 Courthouse, 4 E. Church St. in Cartersville, under the Church Street bridge. Divided into six galleries, the permanent exhibits include “A Sense of Place,” “Bartow Beginnings,” “Community Champions,” “People at Work,” “The Coming War” and “Toward New Horizons.”
Serving as Bartow’s courthouse from 1869 to 1902, the museum’s two-story brick building was utilized for a variety of purposes in the 1900s, some of which included a roller skating rink, furniture store and warehouse. Sitting vacant since the 1980s, the structure was acquired by the city of Cartersville in 1995 and renovated with $1.7 million in Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds.
“The race proceeds will benefit the day-to-day activities [of the Bartow History Museum] such as the preservation methods that we employ to care for the artifacts in our collection,” Gaines said. “Also it will go toward creating programming for the public and for school groups that come into the museum. So just really to help us complete our mission to preserve history here in Bartow County and present it to the public.
“[The Historic 5K] is a joint event between the two museums. The proceeds will also benefit [Rose Lawn’s] day-to-day preservation efforts, and again, presenting that history to the public.”
Following the 5K, participants are encouraged to visit both Cartersville venues. For individuals who bring their race T-shirts, Bartow History Museum will waive its admission fees on Sept. 19. Also occurring on the day of the race will be the 40th annual Arts Festival at Rose Lawn from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The juried fine arts festival will continue Sept. 20 from noon to 5 p.m.
Located at 224 W. Cherokee Ave., Rose Lawn Museum is owned and operated by Bartow County government as a house museum. The 18-room Victorian structure features the belongings of Jones’ family and teacher, Rebecca Felton. While his ministry started small — preaching at various churches and open-air tabernacles surrounding Cartersville — Jones gained notoriety during the late 1800s. He drew thousands to revivals at the Union Gospel Tabernacle, now known as Ryman Auditorium — a venue in Nashville, Tennessee, that was built in his honor.
“People are getting out and about in September and this is a great time to hold an event like this,” said Regina Wheeler, Arts Festival at Rose Lawn committee member and Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s deputy director. “Of course, it’s a beautiful neighborhood surrounding Rose Lawn. So we are excited that people come out each year to appreciate the history of Cartersville’s neighborhoods and, of course, Rose Lawn [is] ... one of those cornerstones or centerpieces of the historic district there.
“The route takes you through [one] ... historic [residential district] as you come back to Rose Lawn. Then it’s a great celebration at the end. People can enjoy the arts and crafts and food,” she said, referring to the Arts Festival at Rose Lawn. “So we think it’s a win-win for everyone.”
On Sept. 19, parking will be available at the Cartersville Civic Center, 435 W. Main St., and the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center, 135 W. Cherokee Ave., with shuttles departing from the latter.
For more information about the Bartow History Museum Historic 5K at Rose Lawn, call Gaines at 770-382-3818. Further details about the BHM or Rose Lawn Museum can be obtained online at http://bartowhistorymuseum.org or http://www.roselawnmuseum.com, respectively.