Early settlers, in the 1830’s, discovered the lush mountains and abundant waters of the area now known as Rome, Georgia. So called due to the seven prominent hills that rise above the city. Three smooth flowing rivers crisscross in the heart of the city, the Oostanaula, the Etowah and the Coosa. During the early days, cotton bales and other necessities crowded the streets and docks awaiting their turn to be transported on steamers and paddle wheelers over the rivers.
John Wisdom, the “Paul River of the South”, rode 64 miles in May of 1863 to warn Rome that the “Yankees are coming”. The town was saved, but was occupied by Union soldiers a year later. Confederate and Union soldiers are buried in Myrtle Hill Cemetery.
Miss Martha Berry, a wealthy planter’s daughter, began to teach mountain children in her playhouse cabin, near her plantation home. World famous Berry College developed from her mission of “education of the head, the heart and the hands”. The boy’s school begun in 1902, with the girl’s school starting in 1909.