Calling the structure Cartersville’s “crown jewel,” Rose Lawn Museum Director Jane Drew encourages area residents to experience a slice of history this weekend as they take part in the site’s 42nd arts festival.
Occurring Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., the event will blanket the grounds of the former Cartersville residence of the late renowned evangelist Samuel Porter Jones. Currently operated by Bartow County government as a house museum, the building is situated at 224 W. Cherokee Ave.
“Each year, the arts festival committee strives to produce a quality arts festival with exemplary art and heritage crafts, entertainment, great food and a tour of the 20-room mansion,” Drew said. “This architectural wonder, widely accepted as the crown jewel of Cartersville, is filled with sculptured plaster scrollwork, family treasures of the Sam and Laura Jones family, the antique collection of the Etowah Valley Historical Society and memorabilia from Rebecca Latimer Felton, the first woman to serve in the United States Senate. The magnificent, three-story home will be open all weekend and can be toured at a reduced price of $5 for adults and $2
While touring the historic structure, patrons will obtain details about Jones, whose ministry started small — preaching at various churches and open-air tabernacles surrounding Cartersville. Gaining notoriety during the late 1800s, he drew thousands to revivals at the Union Gospel Tabernacle, which is now known as Ryman Auditorium — home of the Grand Ole Opry.
“Rose Lawn began as a mere dwelling between 1850 [to] 1860, consisting of three rooms made of pine,” Drew said. “Over the next 20-plus years, significant additions were added to this home making it a lovely two-story farmhouse. In 1885, the Jones family moved into the lovely cottage.
“Needing more space, in 1895, Sam and Laura had the original dwelling raised off the ground and built another floor under it. Along with the significant changes onto the rear of the house, stained glass, fretwork and lead lace glass panels surrounding the front door, Rose Lawn was transformed into the elegant mansion that stands today. All three floors will be open for tours and the Rose Lawn staff and volunteers will be stationed throughout the house to give information regarding the house and the Jones family who once graced this property.”
Presented by Bartow County government and the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the juried festival also will include 150 vendors, live entertainment, the final book sale hosted by the Cartersville chapter of American Association of University Women and the Bartow County Master Gardeners’ plant sale.
“[This year’s festival will feature] a full slate of vendors, well over 100 diverse, creative, artistic people who will have a wide variety of items for people to purchase, whether it is something special for yourself or a birthday or Christmas gift for someone else,” said Jennifer Wiggins Matthews, committee member for the Arts Festival at Rose Lawn. “We have lots of patrons that knock out a lot of early Christmas shopping with a visit to the festival. We will have many of our long-time vendors people count on seeing as well as new vendors. We are always amazed by new vendors who apply to be a part of the festival and have created something unique and beautiful with their hands.
“... Food and entertainment are a big part of the festival, and we will have plenty of both. We have a full slate of entertainment Saturday and Sunday, including talented dancers from our local dance companies to bluegrass and some gospel on Sunday. We feel like Sam Jones smiles down on us when he hears the gospel music coming from the grounds of his home on Sunday afternoon. We will have barbecue, ice cream, shaved ice, hamburgers, hot dogs, deep fried-well you name it, as well as healthy options and, of course, funnel cakes. You can’t have a festival without a good funnel cake.”
On Saturday, accolades will be bestowed in three different presentations starting at 1 p.m.: Juried Artists Awards, the Hospitality Heroes Awards and the People’s Choice Awards for the top attraction, restaurant and shop. While the People’s Choice Awards are voted on by the public, the Hospitality Heroes are nominated by various organizations, with the recipients selected by the Cartersville-Bartow County CVB’s board of directors.
“The CVB Board of Directors annually honors individuals, organizations and businesses who have made significant contributions to the community, both historically and currently, which enable the success and viability of the tourism industry,” said CVB Deputy Director Regina Wheeler, referring to the Hospitality Heroes Awards. “The awards were first presented in 2005. There are four awards presented for economic development, lifetime service, contributions to the arts and a community service award. Additional awards are presented to honor volunteers and those that we like to call our Shining Stars, individuals or groups of individuals that attract positive national attention to our community.
“The People’s Choice Awards are voted on by the people. It’s our residents’ and visitors’ opportunity to vote for their favorite local attraction, restaurant and place to shop; all of which honors and celebrates the uniqueness of our community. The tourism industry, more than any other, is dependent upon people, hospitality, and times of relaxation and recreation. When the awards were created, we decided to present the awards in a friendly and very public, all-inclusive manner. What better way than to present them at Bartow County’s annual arts festival where everyone can visit free of admission.”
While there will be a charge to partake in guided tours of the Rose Lawn Museum, there will be no admission fee to enter the festival, as Wheeler noted. Complimentary shuttle service will be available from the parking lots of the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center at 135 W. Cherokee Ave. and School Street, near the Cartersville Public Library.
For more information about the Rose Lawn Museum and its festival, visit http://www.roselawnmuseum.com.