Promoting Cartersville’s history and healthy living, the Bartow History Museum Historic 5K at Rose Lawn will return Sept. 20. The event will start and conclude at Rose Lawn Museum, the former residence of the late renowned evangelist, Samuel Porter Jones.
“The event began last year,” Bartow History Museum Director Trey Gaines said. “Community Health Network partnered with the museum on a downtown walking brochure. We developed a 5K as sort of a kickoff to highlight that brochure’s availability. So that’s been out for the past year and people have been using it and learning more about the history of downtown as well as walking around the streets and seeing the sites. It was part of their healthy initiative.
“So this year we just wanted to continue the 5K to allow folks to see some of the historic features of the more residential areas in Cartersville as well as support the Bartow History Museum and the Rose Lawn Museum through this effort. The race route takes you through some of the historic districts of Cartersville — portions of them. It allows the runners to sort of see a different side of the history in Cartersville or different pieces of our history — not downtown per se, but you’ll see some of the older homes that have been around the city for decades.”
Following registration, which begins at 6:30 a.m., participants will depart from Rose Lawn Museum — 224 W. Cherokee Ave. in Cartersville — at 8 a.m. Entry fees are $25 through Sept. 19 and $30 on race day. Walkers and runners also are encouraged to sign up in advance at www.runnersfit.com/historicbartow. Proceeds from the 5K will benefit the Cartersville museums’ operations and preservation efforts.
Formed in 1987, BHM welcomed about 12,000 visitors last year. Since Dec. 10, 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 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.
Following the 5K, participants are invited to visit both Cartersville venues. For individuals who bring their race T-shirts, BHM is waiving its admission charges on Sept. 20. Also occurring that day will be the 39th annual Arts Festival at Rose Lawn from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The juried fine arts festival will continue Sept. 21 from noon to 5 p.m.
Owned and operated by Bartow County government as house museum, Rose Lawn Museum 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, Tenn., that was built in his honor.
Funds generated through the Historic 5K will go toward enhancements that will be made to the 18-room Victorian structure in the near future.
“We’re having the house painted,” Rose Lawn Museum Director Jane Drew said. “In fact in the next couple of days, you will see the painters here, just trying to refurbish and restore and bring it back to its former glory as it’s always been. So that’s what we’re ... basically [going to] be using our money for.”
On race day, 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.
“I just want to encourage people to come out,” Gaines said. “It’s a great way to learn more about the history of the area but also to take part in a healthy activity of getting out. You can run it or you can walk it. You can enjoy it with friends. It’s a great way to just be out in history.”
For more information, call Gaines at 770-382-3818.