to the Stilesboro Academy
The Stilesboro Academy, built
in 1859, it is one of the last buildings of its kind.
Before the Civil War there were several of these academies
but most were destroyed by Union troops when they came
through northwest Georgia in May of 1864. This Greek revival
building sits perched on a hill just eight miles west of
Cartersville, Georgia off Highway 113.
The building has twenty foot ceilings and twelve foot doors,
and is made primarily of heart pine.
Local legend says that Sherman himself chose to spare the
Academy from the torch because of the inscription painted
inside the building—the Latin words for
“To God and Country”, which is also the motto
of his beloved West Point. There is no documentation that he
was there but it is confirmed that he WAS within a mile of
the site so it is very likely that the story is true. At any
rate there IS tangible evidence that the troops occupied the
The caretakers of the Academy are the members of the
Stilesboro Improvement Club. The club started in 1910, when
ladies clubs were just beginning to be popular in the South.
That year a member of the newly established club ,Campie
Hawkins, suggested a chrysanthemum show as a way to raise
money for club projects. In 1912 the first annual Stilesboro
Improvement Club flower show was held. One hundred years
later the club continues to raise money to maintain and
preserve the Stilesboro Academy.