Encouraging sightseers to “break out the camera and capture the beauty of spring,” the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau recently announced The Five Most Photographed Places in Cartersville and Adairsville. Based on social media posts, the destination marketing organization’s list featured — in no particular order — canola fields on U.S. 41, Adairsville; Barnsley Resort, 597 Barnsley Gardens Road, Adairsville; Rose Lawn Museum, 224 W. Cherokee Ave., Cartersville; first Coca-Cola wall sign, 2 W. Main St., Cartersville; and Old Car City USA, 3098 Highway 411, White.
“We looked to social media to see the various images that were popping up this spring and where those images were being taken,” said Regina Wheeler, deputy director for the local CVB. “Sometimes things that are most lovely are not always the tourist attraction.
“So we found that very interesting with the beautiful canola fields that were up in Adairsville. That’s just something that takes place periodically. Crops change, farmers decide to make different decisions, so that may not be something that’s there every year. But this spring, we saw it pictured a lot in social media, both in aerial photos as well as just roadside snapshots.”
To highlight the 1,000 acres of canola, the CVB news release featured an image of Adairsville resident Amber Nagle and her dog Cali in front of the golden backdrop. The photograph was captured by Nagle’s husband, Gene, April 17 about 7 p.m.
“We live a couple of miles from the site,” Nagle said. “The owners of the field have planted canola there in the past, so my husband and I knew to keep an eye on the field. A few days before we stopped to take photos, the field woke up — erupting in a sea of bright yellow in perfect contrast with the blue sky. Nature’s paintbrush is bold and showy at times.
While the canola fields are a product of “nature’s paintbrush,” the local CVB list also highlighted a manmade work of art — the Coca-Cola sign on the side of Young Brothers Pharmacy in the heart of downtown Cartersville.
According to the CVB release, “It may look a little different than today’s iconic brand, but that’s because the World’s First Outdoor Painted Wall Sign for Coca-Cola was not commissioned by the corporate marketing team. Instead, the advertising marvel was painted on the side of Young [Brothers] Pharmacy in downtown Cartersville in 1894, by an industrious syrup salesman.
“James Couden believed that if he could just tell people to ‘Drink Coca-Cola’ that they would be reminded of their thirst when stepping off the train, causing them to venture inside Cartersville’s oldest business for refreshment. Look carefully at the sign and you’ll see just how feverishly Couden worked, as he left out the ‘I’ in ‘Drink,’ adding it after the sign was finished. The rest truly is history, and today thousands of selfies are shot here in downtown Cartersville as visitors continue to ‘Have a Coke and a Smile.’”
In dispersing the list, Wheeler hopes it will encourage local residents to visit the popular sites as well as spark visitors’ interest in Bartow’s varied attractions.
“We did send [the list] out [via email],” Wheeler said. “It is posted, of course, online as well, and then we send it out to people who request news from our community. The reason we chose the topic is because photography is a great hobby. Almost anyone that goes on vacation is going to take a camera with them or at the very least have their phone snapping photos.
“It’s just a little added way of getting the word out there about some of our special attractions and just some unique places, such as those canola fields. There are [other canola fields] in Georgia, but they are few and far between. ... I will say ... they’re getting on the end of the bloom cycle, so if [people] want to go, they need to go [now].”
For more information, visit Cartersville-Bartow County CVB’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/VisitCartersville.