Scenic USA - Georgia
Rutledge Historic District
|Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website
Greeted by a highway lined with ornamental pear trees, Rutledge continues to welcome its visitors with friendly hellos, old southern charm and true hospitality. With a population of just over 700 people, little has changed since its heyday as a roundhouse terminal at the end of the Georgia Railroad line. Just a short distance from I-20 in Georgia's Historic Heartland, the Historic District of Rutledge offers a line of quaint stores, necessity shops, a few bustling restaurants and a well shaded city park. Continuing over a century of service, the Rutledge Hardware specializes in made in America merchandise. The Caboose, the last railcar in town, features a deli-style menu and specialty desserts. While the Sunflower Farm attracts visitors for its annual festival on the 4th of July, others frequent the Hard Labor Creek State Park throughout the summer. Known best for its golf course, other park guests enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, swimming, horseback riding and mountain biking.
Rutledge was placed on the map during the mid 1800s when the Georgia Railroad laid tracks right through Hezekiah Rutledge's farmland. Railroad men first called the area Rutledge's Place and soon the Rutledge name applied to the new railroading community.
A unique business combination, the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company was first chartered in 1833. Even after the Civil War, the company continued, offering free rides home to Confederate soldiers and honored worthless Confederate script for their depositors. Enjoying its strong reputation, the bank prospered into the 20th century as the Georgia Railroad Bank and the First Bank of Georgia.
Proud of its railroading heritage, the Rutledge community continues its prosperity, evolving into an artist's community.
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