Early History



Many years ago Austell was known far and near as Salt Springs and was the favorite haunts of the hunter, who came to shoot the wary deer as he made his way to the salt licks.

The hunters soon found that the waters had wonderful medicinal properties, and spread the news of its remarkable cures, until long before the Civil War, it was the Mecca for the sick and afflicted.

Quite many years ago the Methodist built right at Lithia Springs a great arbor, and held annually their famed camp-meeting services, lasting many times for weeks. No few of them provided themselves with tents, housing their families and friends, and securing to themselves, not only good from the religious services, but health from its waters and from living in the open air.

It so happened that many who came liked it so well that they desired to make it their permanent abode, and so prevailed upon Mr. G. O. Mozeley, then the owner of all the property around Austell, to sell them a lot. After much persuasion and instance, he finally decided to subdivide 40 acres. So he laid the town off into squares, with streets fifty feet wide, making an ideal tavern-site.

About this time the old Georgia Pacific, now a division of the Southern Railway, made Austell not only a station on its own lines, but the division point for the two lines that converge there, viz.: the route to Birmingham and the one to Chattanooga.

This gave impetus to the growth of the town, which has steadily grown until now out of the village class.


Austell is located 18 miles from Atlanta at the junction of two divisions of the Southern Railway. It is situated in the southern part of Cobb County, its limits extending to the boundary line between Cobb and Douglas.

Sweetwater Creek drains this entire section, finally emptying its waters into the Gulf.


As a business center, Austell is a distributing point for quite a large adjoining farming territory. So rapidly has it made strides in the last few years that it has necessitated the building of several new brick stores, which are now about ready for tenancy.

A furniture store, two barber shops, two drug stores, six grocery stores, two dry goods stores, together with a table and chair factory, quarry, and cement block manufactory constitute the principal business enterprises. There are splendid opportunities here for a large importation of young hustling businessmen, who are willing to take hold and help make this a town its position and natural advantages it destined inevitably to become.


Austell is distinctively a resort––a health resort––the most noteworthy and famous in all the south, made so from the known efficacy of its lithia waters and from the delightful cooling temperature of its summers. It has an altitude upwards of a thousand feet, and is in the path of the gentle westerly winds. The streets are lined with great magnificent oaks, affording many a cool and alluring nook. There are several parks in and around Austell that are idyllic and picturesque that are free to the use of the visitor. There is, perhaps, no natural resort so wonderfully blessed by nature’s giver as is Austell.


There is one thing especially significant about Austell. It is a town of nice homes many of them elegant, situated on large and beautiful lots, generously burdened with great oaks. It is, therefore, free from noisome smoke and dirt and grime, incident to a manufacturing town. Winter and summer the homes and hotels are filled to overflowing with people coming from almost every state, to drink its famous lithia waters in order to recuperate and to regain their health.


Not only has Austell a Public School, but it has united with it a Preparatory Department qualifying its graduates to entry in any of the colleges of the state. The building is a handsome two-story brick edifice, having ten grades, and built with a view for the comfort and health of its students.

It is under the able superintendency of Mr. J. M. White, who is efficiently assisted by a corps of trained teachers. Austell’s school is the pet and pride of every citizen.


Austell’s people have from its earliest history been churchgoers. Like almost every town there are followers of the principal faiths. We have five churches, in which the Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian and the Christian hold service every Sunday, and in the mornings have Sunday school exercises in each.


The railroad facilities are unequaled by any place of its size in the south. There are eighteen trains daily, arriving and departing from six o’clock in the morning till twelve at night. Austell being a division terminal, transferring passengers and exchanging baggage, necessitates the stopping of each train from 10 minutes to half an hour. The depot is a handsome structure, a creditable building for a town many times its size. It has every convenience and comfort for the proper handling of the great number of visitors and tourists daily coming to Austell.


Austell is the proud possessor of a dummy line. It connects Austell with the hotels and springs. The dummy meets all trains. It is of considerable convenience to tourists and townsmen.


There is an immediate prospect of Austell having completed the electric line now terminating at Vinings. The matter has been held in abeyance since the panic, but not those who know, claim it will be projected not later than fall, and will be in operation next spring. Should it be completed it would make, at once, Austell the most populous and high priced suburb around Atlanta. A few who believe they see the trend of developments are beginning now to buy lots in around Austell, well knowing that its future will be brilliant.


We are making every effort to have Austell provided with electric lights and water. There is no town, anywhere, that could have these two things at a less cost than Austell, for within three miles is situated in the Sweetwater rapids, that will afford sufficient water power to generate electric current to light a city. Almost circling, making a perfect horse-shoe, is the Sweetwater Creek, affording ample water supply.


One thing that has greatly helped Austell in its continued growth has been its close proximity to Atlanta — the largest city of the southeast. Many of our best citizens work in Atlanta, going to and from Austell daily. They prefer this, because of its healthfulness, as well as for its Lithia water. Indeed, the running time between Atlanta and many of her suburbs, situated on electric lines.


Austell can boast a dozen well-equipped up-to-date hostelries that are known far and near for their splendid arrangement, providing every comfort and convenience to the guests, and spreading before them a table d’hote that is known as well for its good cooking as well as for its unusual variety.

The fact about the matter is that the town is a great hotel, boarding house, and all the private families that will, are filled up with boarders. Indeed, many of our summer residents are out of town people, who have built them a summer home here, and stay thru the hot weather months. Quite a few now are beginning to build and are building camp bungalows, that are beautiful rustic affairs. These cabins are usually built-in groups, forming a colony of congenial friends, thereby insuring exclusive social intercourse. This class of summer visitors is fast increasing, and bids fair to become the one popular den for summer outing all of which has been made possible on account of the beautifulness of the magnificent oaks and elms, and the natural attractiveness and picturesque of the lots, making it a unique sylvan retreat.


There is no stream in North Georgia that affords the fish of Sweetwater. It is often the case that the angler is awarded with a string of perch and trout and forked-tail cat that looks “fishy”. No few use the boat, not only to catch fish in the quiet, sequestered spots, but for the splendid exercise, and to view the beauty of the landscape, and the sweep of its trees bending to the water’s edge.

And to vary the sport, the sportsmen will find no little pleasure in the pursuit of the smaller game, as squirrels, quail, and rabbit, which abound in great numbers.


The outlaying farmlands around Austell is rich, yielding generous tribute to the touch of the plow. In fact, there is no farming section in Georgia comparable with it.

The land is in the main level, sloping sufficiently to shed the water without washing the rich topsoil away.

CORN – It is perfectly adapted to the raising of corn. Harvests of 50 bushels to the acre not being an unusual yield, and in the Sweetwater Valley considerably larger quantities of that.

SMALL GRAIN – The small grains, such as wheat, oats, and rye, are planted extensively, and produce crops that will compare favorably with western lands. It is not infrequent that farmers raise sufficient quantities to not only supply their family needs, but have some to sell.

COTTON – The soil around Austell is peculiarly adapted to the raising of cotton, it is no unusual thing for our best farmers to grow a bale to the acre.

MELONS – There is something in the soil of Cobb and Douglas counties that gives to melons and cantaloupes a succulent twang, peculiarly it’s own. Many of the melon-growers ship carloads of them to the northern markets, and have uniformly received good prices for them.

FRUITS – As for peaches, and apples, and pears, and plums, and cherries – well, every farmer has an orchard of them. Many of these fruits are the choicest variety, and yield a bounteous harvest. There are several Elberta peach groves around Austell that have made their owners independent.

TRUCKING – Down in the rich alluvial bottoms of the Sweetwater Valley is where the finest of truck is grown. Daily, crates of various kinds of vegetables are being brought into Austell to provide the hotels, boarding houses, tourists, and cabin-bungalow dwellers with fresh, crisp, and county-grown viands for the table.

POULTRY – A growing industry in our section is the raising of poultry. Some of the best breeds from famed coops are raised here. Many small tracts, near Austell, suitable for the poultry breeding may be had at a nominal price.

DAIRYING – One of the newest enterprises to take on large proportions is that of dairying. Several of the largest milk depots in Atlanta get practically all their milk and cream from the several dairies here. The milk is unusually sweet and pure, having a rich body of cream. This is due to the fine pasturage along the Sweetwater Creek and its smaller tributaries.


Austell has been richly endowed by nature in many ways, but in none more generously than in the bounteous gift of healing waters.

Located on the south side are the old salt springs, now owned and operated by the Bowden Lithia Water Company.

As the water flows from the spring it is immediately bottled in their new concrete sanitary bottling house, then placed on the little dummy cars, and in five minutes is at the Austell depot, ready to be shipped to all parts of the world.

Their business in the last few years has assumed very large proportions, selling nearly the entire outflow of their springs.

Surrounding their several springs is an immense picturesque and beautiful park, well provided with swings, and seats, and having a beautiful pavilion. Skirting the southeast confines of the park is the Sweetwater Creek — yielding a generous string even to an amateur fisherman.

It is one of those rare sports for the picnic’er, the tourist, and the health-seeker.


On the north side of Austell, just beyond Sweetwater Creek, is located the five artesian wells of the Benscot Lithia Springs Company. Each had to be bored through solid rock to the depth of 500 feet and more. It is claimed by many that the water from the artesian wells is a superior lithia water. This company, though only two years old, has been very successful in the marketing of its waters, and is doing quite an extensive business.

The Benscot Company has been constantly beautifying its grounds, buildings, pavilions, and making roadways until now they have one of the most handsome parks anywhere.

They gladly welcome in fact, extend a cordial invitation to everyone to come see and partake freely of their health-making waters.

To the man, women, or child afflicted with kidney, bladder, or stomach trouble, there is no better sanitarium than a short stay at Austell, drinking the Lithia water, and breathing the pure, balmy, woodland air. There have been thousands upon thousands who have come here broken down, sick, that has gone away well, shouting the praises of Austell.