Once a heavily trafficked thoroughfare, the Dixie Highway will move to the forefront again as the yard sale named its honor kicks off Friday.
The Dixie Highway 90-Mile Yard Sale will feature one-of-a kind finds, which sellers can advertise on the event’s Facebook page. As in past years, the offering will pay tribute to the road’s past, where vendors sold items, such as chenille bedspreads and fruit, to travelers.
According to Facebook.com/DixieHighway90MileYardSale, “Because the Dixie Highway 90-Mile Yard Sale is many individually hosted sales along the Old Dixie Hwy route in Northwest Georgia, YES the sale will happen in 2020. Due to COVID-19, we do expect that the event will be very different this year.” Shoppers are urged to “travel safely and follow COVID-19 mandates during the sale.”
In 2006, the yard sale was established to showcase the road’s revitalization after the Georgia Legislature designated the Dixie Highway as a historic driving route. The Georgia Dixie Highway Association first promoted the project through the purchase and installation of 126 roadway signs.
Ongoing from Friday to Sunday, the Dixie Highway 90-Mile Yard Sale will set up shop in numerous communities, including Ringgold, Tunnel Hill, Rocky Face, Dalton, Resaca, Calhoun, Adairsville, Cassville, Cartersville, Emerson and Acworth. While times may vary, sales primarily occur from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“Although larger highways and interstates have replaced routes, such as the Dixie Highway as the preferred means of travel, these early roads still have important connections to our past,” Bartow History Museum Director Trey Gaines said. “Driving along the route of the original Dixie Highway, and participating in events, such as the 90-Mile Yard Sale, gives motorists the opportunity to see and visit small towns and historic sites, as well as learn more about the history around us that is often missed when traveling over modern high speed interstates.”
Envisioned by Carl Fisher to transport Northerners to the South in the winter, the Dixie Highway was built between 1915 and 1927.
“Construction on what became known as the Dixie Highway began around 1915 as cities and towns between Michigan and Florida made their case to be included on the route,” Gaines said. “In addition to geography and politics playing roles in determining the eventual route, unique, interesting and historic sites were also considered as factors. This included following key routes and sites from the Civil War through northwest Georgia, which brought the highway through several towns in Bartow County, such as Adairsville, Cassville, Cartersville and Emerson.”
Providing a route between the North and South, Gaines shared, the Dixie Highway bolstered commerce and tourism along its path.
“In Bartow County and throughout northwest Georgia, this rise in commerce was especially evident in the number of entrepreneurs who built tourist courts, restaurants, filling stations and roadside stands along the route,” he said. “In the 1930s, these roadside stands became known for the bedspreads and other chenille items being produced and sold, which would eventually grow into the modern carpet industry.”
In Bartow County, yard sales will spring up along Old Highway 41 in Adairsville and run southbound on Highway 41 through Cassville. Then, the route will follow Highway 293/Cassville Road to downtown Cartersville and then Tennessee Street or Highway 293 south to Emerson.