Marietta’s historic William Root House to present free Juneteeth program

William Root House, a two story wooden pre-Civil War house

The William Root House Museum will highlight Juneteenth during a special Saturday, June 15 event.

Juneteenth is named for the date that U.S. Major General Gordon Granger read General Order #3 at Ashton Villa in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, informing the residents that the Emancipation Proclamation had ended legal slavery in the U.S. 

According to the announcement on the City of Marietta website, the event will include guided museum tours, crafts, living history demonstrations, storytelling, and a genealogy workshop. 

The event is free thanks to a grant from the Georgia Humanities Council.

The announcement gives the following historical context to the William Root House and the enslaved people in the house:

In 1860 Marietta had 297 households and a population of approximately 2,600. Of the 297 households, 137 (46%) held slaves. The same census shows that there were four enslaved people at the William Root House property: two men and two women, ages 35 to 73. Recently discovered Root family papers and new research into public documents are helping to tell the story of the lives of these individuals. At the Root House Museum, an 1830s log cabin is used to help tell the stories of the enslaved individuals who labored at the Root House property and would have lived in a similar cabin. A garden sculpture erected next to the cabin is dedicated to the 1,200+ enslaved individuals living in Marietta prior to 1860 whose names were not recorded and are now lost to time. 


About the William Root House

The William Root House was built in about 1845, and was the home of William Root and his wife Hannah.

William Root was a druggist who was born in Philadelphia. He moved to Marietta in 1839 to open a drug and general store. He married Hannah Simpson a year later, and they built the house at what is now Church and Lemon streets.

It was later moved to face Lemon Street, and was owned by William Root until 1886.

Afterward it had a series of owners and went into steady decline, and in the 1940s was split into apartments.

By the 1980s, the house was in serious disrepair and scheduled for demolition.

A preservation effort began, and in 1989 Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society bought the house and moved it to its current location at 80 North Marietta Pkwy NW, Marietta, GA 30060.

According to promotional materials for the museum, “While the home and grounds have been meticulously restored to their 1860 appearance, interactive electronic displays have been added to tell the story of the Root family and their enslaved house servants.”