Cedartown is a city in Polk County, Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 9,750. The city is the county seat of Polk County. Cedartown is the principal city of and is included in the Cedartown, Georgia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, Georgia-Alabama (part) Combined Statistical Area.
The Cedartown Commercial Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Cedartown Waterworks-Woman's Building-Big Spring Park Historic District is also listed along with the Northwest Cedartown Historic District and South Philpot Street Historic District.
Cherokee and Creek Native Americans first inhabited the area known as Cedar Valley. The Cherokee people had established a village they called "Beaver Dam" near present day Cedartown. White settlers established a trading post along Cedar Creek in the 1830s.
The most famous of these settlers was Asa Prior. According to local legend, the water rights to Big Spring were won for the white settlers by a local white boy in a footrace with a Cherokee youth. Some versions of the legend differ, saying that the rights to the spring were won by the Cherokee people from the Creek people in a ball game. "Big Strickland", became "Cedar Town" when Prior deeded ten acres of adjacent land to the newly chartered city in 1852. Big Strickland was the original county seat and Cedar Town became the county seat later.
In 1867, the town was re-chartered by the state of Georgia as Cedartown. An influx of industrial business bolstered the largely cotton-based economy of Cedartown, with Goodyear and other fabric mills and iron works appearing in or near what is now the Cedartown Industrial Park on the west side of town. Industrial and passenger railroad service was added to Cedartown in the early 20th century. Main St. became a part of U.S. Route 27, a major north-south automobile route that connects Cedartown to larger cities like Chattanooga, Tennessee and Columbus, Georgia. U.S. 27 also intersects in town with U.S. Route 278, which connects Cedartown with Atlanta. The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company built a large textile mill operation in Cedartown, and also built a large residential section of town for mill workers, now known as the Goodyear Village.
In recent times, the Georgia Rails to Trails project has converted much of the former Seaboard Air Line into the Silver Comet Trail, a federal and state funded park that connects many cities in Northwest Georgia. Cedartown's Main Street is listed in the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its 1890s architecture. During the 1970s, many structures were demolished including train stations, churches, and a high school, and a theater on Main Street. Downtown Cedartown has recently seen massive investment in new sidewalks, street parks, and paving to showcase the downtown district.