Opening   Railroad Line   Canton Cotton Mill   Busy Downtown   Growth and change


The role of the railroad in the development of North Georgia was immense. The area lacked a waterway to connect it to major east coast markets and was physically and socially cut off from the rest of Georgia and the United States. Until the development of a railroad infrastructure, North Georgia was limited in its growth potential and (excepting gold trade) its interest to white settlers. The development of the Western and Atlantic Railroad in 1837, cutting across North Georgia and terminating in the new city of Atlanta, would bring new development and prospects to North Georgia.


Atlanta, which lies thirty-five miles south of Canton, would rapidly become a regional transportation and distribution hub. North Georgia suddenly had a physical link to the emerging national web of industrialization and new towns, such as Canton, founded in 1833, would ride the back of this emerging network, tied in through the Atlanta market. The Marietta and North Georgia Railroad which opened in 1874 and connected Canton to the Western and Atlantic Railroad at Marietta, Georgia, would spur growth and development as Canton's agriculturalists. Canton mercantilists could now expand production to meet increased demand. Canton was now online, and current and future residents, such as Asaph Perry, would benefit in countless ways.


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