The City of Rockmart
Rockmart Downtown Historic District
"Where Past & Present Stroll Side by Side"
|o Mayor||Stephen Miller|
|o City Manager||Jeff L. Ellis|
|o City Clerk||Pam Herring|
|o Total||5.72 sq mi (14.80 km2)|
|o Land||5.64 sq mi (14.61 km2)|
|o Water||0.07 sq mi (0.19 km2)|
|Elevation||781 ft (238 m)|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||763.03/sq mi (294.60/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0356502|
|Website||City of Rockmart, Georgia Official Website|
Rockmart is a city in Polk County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,199 according to a 2010 census. Rockmart developed as a railroad depot town when the Southern Railway built a station in the area. The community was incorporated in 1872, and was named from abundant deposits of slate in the area. The Rockmart Downtown Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Rockmart is located at  According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11 km2), of which 4.3 square miles (11 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.69%) is water. The majority of the city of Rockmart is located in Polk County; however, parts of Rockmart stretch into Paulding County as well..
U.S. Route 278, as well as Georgia State Routes 101 and 113, are the major roads through the city. U.S. 278 runs from west to east as a northern bypass of the city, leading southeast 15 mi (24 km) to Dallas and west 14 mi (23 km) to Cedartown, the Polk County seat. GA-101 runs along the northern bypass of the city with U.S. 278, leading north 20 mi (32 km) to Rome and southeast 8 mi (13 km) to Yorkville (concurrent with GA-113). GA-113 also follows U.S. 278/GA-101 along the northern bypass of the city, leading northeast 19 mi (31 km) to Cartersville and southeast to Yorkville (concurrent with GA-101).
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,870 people, 1,541 households, and 1,027 families residing in the city. The population density was 892.0 people per square mile (344.3/km²). There were 1,681 housing units at an average density of 387.5 per square mile (149.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.82% White, 18.48% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.39% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.50% of the population.
There were 1,541 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.6% were married couples living together, 16.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 29.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $32,171, and the median income for a family was $36,906. Males had a median income of $31,714 versus $22,381 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,272. About 12.8% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.3% of those under age 18 and 14.4% of those age 65 or over.
Beginning in the mid-1990s, Rockmart experienced a period of economic expansion. Growth in the form of new restaurants and casual dining, as well as retail shopping, came about as residential building increased. A Walmart Supercenter store was opened in the city in 2007.
The Drama Department at Rockmart High School is known for its involvement with the community and every spring the advanced acting class performs at a GHSA One-act play competition. When the new Rockmart High School was constructed, performance space was not included. Instead, the Rockmart Thespians use the historic Rockmart Art Center Theatre for their productions. The department has produced many theatrical feats such as "Seussical," "Grease (musical)," and most recently "Hairspray (musical)." In October 2008, the Rockmart High School Thespians placed first at the Region AA One Act Competition with their performance of Godspell, as well as receiving the Best Actor award. The RHS Thespians then took the show to the State AA One Act Competition and placed 3rd out of four schools. In 2013, Rockmart Thespians placed first in the State AAA One Act Competition with a riveting production of the thriller When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?.
Another important addition to the performing arts in Rockmart is the Rockmart High Marching Yellow Jacket band. The band won a best in show at the 2006 and 2008 Golden River Marching Festival. In those competitions, both band and auxiliary sections (such as the drumline, tubas, colorguard and danceline) were regarded as being among the best in Northwest Georgia. RHS host the annual Yellow Jacket Classic band competition every year, and is well attended by bands all over the state.
The movie Irresistible produced by Jon Stewart was filmed in the Seaborn Jones Park, historic downtown Rockmart, and Rockmart Middle School. Downtown Rockmart was the location of the fictional Deerlaken, Wisconsin.
Rockmart operates under a council-manager form of government. The city is divided into five council wards, each electing one member to the council. The city's mayor serves as chairman of the council, and is its sixth member. The mayor and council, together, appoint the city manager. Other appointed positions include the city clerk, city attorney, city auditor, and city court judge.
The city of Rockmart is a part of the Polk County School District. It has one high school, Rockmart High School; one middle school, Rockmart Middle School; and two elementary schools, Eastside Elementary and Van Wert Elementary. Rockmart High School is the only high school in the city of Rockmart and serves the Aragon community as well. As of the 2011/12 school year, the school had an enrollment of 837 students and 50.10 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 16.71.
In 1912, the Georgia Legislature created the public school system in the state of Georgia. That year, the city of Rockmart began the Rockmart School System in the building vacated by the Piedmont Institution (established in 1889 by the Methodist North Georgia Annual Conference). It had closed after a 23-year existence in 1912, after it was purchased by the Rockmart School Board of trustees. Rockmart High School was in the building until it burned down in 1915. The building was later rebuilt until the building burned down again in 1940. The current lot is now the Rockmart Governmental Complex. Prior to the Polk County School System of Georgia, RHS had its own city school system and rival school Cedartown High School also had its own city school system in Cedartown.
The Polk County campus of Georgia Northwestern Technical College is also located in Rockmart.
Prior to the racial integration of the Polk County School System, two high schools existed in Rockmart--Rockmart High School and Elm Street High School--which served the African American community of Rockmart. The integration of the school system began in the year 1964 when some African American students began attending Rockmart High School until total integration was achieved in 1965 with the closing of Elm Street High School.
The Southern Railway had two Mid-West to Florida named trains, Ponce de Leon and Royal Palm that made stops in the town into the 1960s. The Seaboard Air Line Railroad, had the Silver Comet, which made a stop in Rockmart on all trips between Atlanta and Birmingham. The Passenger and Mail #5 and #6 made stops in Rockmart, until it was cancelled in 1968. The Silver Comet continued on the merged Seaboard Coast Line, which discontinued the train on May 30, 1969.