“Architecturally, it’s very unique in that it’s a very early home," said Regina Wheeler, member of the planning committee for the Arts Festival at Rose Lawn. "We’re not exactly sure how far back it dates. We know probably a portion of the home [dates back] to the 1840s but it began kind of as like a little two-story cottage.
“And as his fame and his followers began to grow throughout the nation, [it] made it possible for him to create a home that was really a social showplace, if you will. He entertained a lot of important guests in this home. ... [It was] an architectural marvel at the time to raise that home and then build a floor underneath. So it’s a mixture of styles.”
With guided tours available — $5 for adults and $2 for children — of the 18-room Victorian structure, festival-goers will be able to delve into Bartow’s past while shopping for one-of-a-kind items during the two-day event on Sept. 15, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sept. 16, noon to 5 p.m. Operated by Bartow County government as a house museum, the building at 224 W. Cherokee Ave. features the belongings of the late Methodist evangelist’s 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, drawing thousands to revivals at the Union Gospel Tabernacle — now known as Ryman Auditorium — a venue in Nashville, Tenn., that was built in his honor.
“You could almost sit for hours and just look at the home and all of its different features,” Wheeler said. “Exterior-wise there’s a lot of fretwork and a lot of good unique woodwork shown there. Then on the inside, [there is] the sculpted plaster, the lead glass, just some really unique features, and a lot of treasures that were given to the Jones family.
“But the story that plays out at Rose Lawn, I think, is what really attracts people — the story of Sam Jones, his legacy to the ministry, to the nation. ... He had so many followers that upon his passing his wake basically was held at the rotunda at the state capitol. So it’s quite interesting the impact that he had on Georgia and the nation.”
Along with guided tours, the festival — hosted by Bartow County government and sponsored by Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Century Bank of Georgia — also will include a record number of fine arts and heritage crafts vendors, live entertainment, an annual book sale hosted by the Cartersville chapter of American Association of University Women, and a plant sale and clinic conducted by the Bartow County Master Gardeners.
“We thought we would max at 115 [booths],” Wheeler said, adding the juried festival will feature a wide variety of artwork, such as pottery, woodworking and jewelry. “We keep having interest in the event, which is just a wonderful blessing. So we have rearranged and added some additional space.
“Right now we are at  booths. ... So people can expect the largest Rose Lawn festival ever in its 37th year. So we’re really excited about that. We’ve got a lot of new artists and, of course, all of the favorite older ones that are there every year.”
For Adairsville resident Terri Paulk, who won Best of Show last year, the Arts Festival at Rose Lawn is a wonderful opportunity for artists to share their craft with the public.
“I didn’t really realize that I had won Best of Show,” said Paulk, who wood burns walking staffs and canes with artwork and hymns, the most popular being “Amazing Grace.” “I thought maybe there was a mix-up or something [because] there’s so many talented artists there at the show every year. It was a blessing to me to be able to do that.
“I think I’ve been [exhibiting] either eight or 10 years. I just enjoy the people. It’s like a big reunion every time you go. I have a lot of repeat customers and see people that you haven’t seen in a while and that’s always good.”
At the festival, the entertainment will kick off Sept. 15 with Cartersville Gymnastics at 10:30 a.m. Other acts will include Steps of Faith Dance Studio at 11 a.m., Cartersville City Ballet at noon, Kerry’s School of Dance at 12:30 p.m., Fusion Dance Company at 1:30 p.m., Dixie Hot Shots at 2 p.m., Brian Schultz & Band at 3 p.m. and Spirit of Dance Company at 5 p.m. The lineup on Sept. 16 will include Stephanie Culver & Praise Team at noon, Carmen Jordan and Terry Jordan at 12:45 p.m., Ashley Pritchard at 1:30 p.m., Purely Acoustics at 2:30 p.m., and Lost and Found at 3:30 p.m.
On Sept. 15 at 1 p.m., accolades will be bestowed in three different presentations: Juried Artists Awards, the Hospitality Heroes Awards and the People’s Choice Awards for the top attraction, restaurant and shop.
While there will be a charge to partake in guided tours of the Rose Lawn Museum, there will be no admission fee to enter the festival.
Patrons will be able to park at the Cartersville Civic Center or the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center, where complimentary shuttle buses will transport them to Rose Lawn’s grounds. For more information about the festival, call Wheeler at 770-387-1357.