In the late nineteenth century, discovery of new plant species in Floyd County were made by Alvan W. Chapman, in addition to the discovery of a new species of Hawthorn by Chauncey D. Beadle, Charles S. Sargent, and Charles L. Boynton. These findings made Rome and the surrounding area well-known botanical sites in the scientific world. These plants were discovered in Floyd County: Aureolaria patula (Chapman) Pennell , Spreading Yellow Foxglove, Rudbeckia fulgida Ait. var. fulgida, (Syn. Rudbeckia truncata Small), Orange Coneflower, Rudbeckia fulgida Ait. var.umbrosa (C.L. Boynt. & Beadle) Cronq., (Syn. Rudbeckia chapmanii C.L. Boynt. & Beadle), Orange Coneflower, Solidago flaccidifolia Small , Mountain Goldenrod, Scutellaria incana Biehler var. punctata (Chapman) C. Mohr ,(Syn: Scutellaria canescens Nutt. var. punctata Chapm.), Dotted Skullcap, Scutellaria montana Chapm., Large-Flowered Skullcap, Isoetes appalachiana D.F. Brunton & D.M. Britton), Appalachian Quillwort, Ilex longipes Chapman ex Trel., Georgia Holly, Philadelphus floridus Beadle, Florida Mock Orange, Viburnum bracteatum Rehder, Limerock Arrow-Wood, Crataegus aemula Beadle, Rome Hawthorn, Crataegus calpodendron (Ehrh.) Madic., Pear Hawthorn, Crataegus iracunda Beadle, Stolonbearing Hawthorn, Crataegus sargenti Beadle, Sargent's Hawthorn, Crataegus tristis Beadle, Minute Hawthorn, and Crataegus triflora, Three-Flower Hawthorn.

Presently, there exist growing sites of these endangered species in Floyd County: Marshallia mohrii Beadle & F.E. Boynt, Coosa Barbara Buttons., Helianthus verticillatus Small , Whorled Sunflower, Scutellaria montana Chapman , Large-Flowered Skullcap, and Viburnum bracteatum Rehder, Limerock Arrow-wood. The Nature Conservancy protects three botanical sites in Floyd County: Black's Bluff Preserve, Marshall Forest Preserve, and Coosa Valley Prairie. The valley of the Oostanaula River in Floyd County also contains botanical sites of rare plants. One of these sites is in the flatwoods of the Berry College Campus, Mt. Berry with growing sites of Marshallia mohrii Beadle & F.E. Boynt, Coosa Barbara Buttons, and four Georgia State Champion trees: Acer barbatum Michx., Southern Sugar Maple, Acer leucoderme Small, Chalk Maple, Catalpa speciosa (Warder) Warder ex Engelm., Northern Catalpa, and Quercus imbricaria Michx., Shingle Oak. The other botanical sites in Floyd County are: Berry College's Campuses and the Oak Hill gardens at Mt. Berry, the Chattahoochee National Forest, and the grounds of Myrtle Hill Cemetery in Rome.

LOCATION: Floyd County is in Northwest Georgia and it covers 1.329 square kilometers (514 square miles). Its boundaries are: the Chattahoochee National Forest and county line of Walker on the north, Gordon County and Bartow County on the east, Polk County on the south, and on the west is Chattooga County and Cherokee County in Alabama and Alabama’s state line.

GEOLOGY: The geological regions of Northwest Georgia are: Cumberland Plateau, Chickamauga Valley, Armuchee Ridges, and Great Valley. The Chickamauga Valley, Armuchee Ridges and Great Valley are known as the Ridge and Valley Province, and Floyd County is part of that province. To the east, of the Great Valley the Cartersville-Great Smoky fault line separates the sedimentary rocks of the Ridge and Valley region from the younger metamorphic rocks of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Deep sediments of sandstone, shale, and limestone, laid 300-600 million years ago, as well as fossils of marine invertebrates, are reminders that this area was covered by a shallow sea during the Paleozoic Era. The collision of the Proto-Africa continent with the Proto-North America continent faulted and folded those sediments, and million years of erosion formed them into long northeast-southwest-trending valleys and ridges of the Ridge and Valley Province.

MOUNTAINS: The highest mountain in Floyd County is Lavender Mountain on the Berry College Campus, rising 517 m above sea level. John's Mountain and Turkey Mountain are in the northern part of the county near Floyd Springs, and Turnip Mountain and Heath (Judy) Mountain are southwest of Lavender Mountain. Horseleg Mountain or Mt. Alto is southwest of Rome, and Tubbs Mountain is in East Rome. Simms Mountain is in the northwest, and Rock Mountain is between Big Texas Valley and Little Texas Valley. Finally, Armstrong Mountain is on the northeast between Pinson and Hermitage.

VALLEYS: The Great Valley spreads through northwest Georgia from Tennessee and into Alabama. Its boundaries on the west are the Armuchee Ridges and on the east the Great Smoky- Cartersville Fault. It is 28-46 km broad. The valleys of the Oostanaula, Etowah, and Coosa rivers are in the Great Valley. Big Texas Valley, 18.5 km long, is between two Armuchee Ridges, Simms Mountain and Rock Mountain. Little Texas Valley is 22 km long and it is between Rock Mountain, Armuchee and Lavender Mountain. Ridge Valley spreads northeast from Rome to Plainville in Gordon County at the edge of Armstrong Mountain, and it is 22 km long. Vann’s Valley begins 3.7 km south of Cave Spring and extends 18.5 km to northeast.

RIVERS: On the west side of downtown Rome, at the foothill of the Myrtle Hill, the Oostanaula and the Etowah Rivers combine to form the Coosa River. In the past, Native Americans called the conjugation of these three rivers, "The Head of Coosa.". The Oostanaula River, once translated as "mother of waters," flows through the Great Valley from the north with the waters of the Conasauga and Coosawattee Rivers. It is 72 km long. The Conasauga River carries waters from the high mountainous region of the Cohutta Wilderness near the Georgia -Tennessee border. The Coosawattee River drains the waters of the Blue Ridge province of Northeast Georgia, and, at Calhoun, joins the Conasauga River to form the Oostanaula River. The Etowah River, a "muddy bottom," is 227 km long. It rises in the Blue Ridge Mountains of north Georgia and enters Floyd County from the east.
The Coosa River, a "rippling water", flows to the southwest to Alabama, and there, after 460 km, joins the waters of the Tallapoosa to form the Alabama River and eventually finds its way to the Gulf of Mexico.

INHABITANTS: The first inhabitants, the Paleoindian hunters, arrived in North Georgia over 9,000 years ago. Artifacts of their culture, distinctive arrowheads, were scattered throughout the region. Ceramic artifacts found in Cartersville, Georgia tell the story of the archaic Woodland culture of the Native Americans that lived here 3,000 years ago. King Site is an archeological site of a mid-sixteenth century town built by Mississippian Native Americans on the banks of the Coosa River in Floyd County . When the first Scottish traders, came in the late sixteenth century, the Creek tribes lived here. Later they were replaced by Cherokee tribes. After the land lottery of the Cherokee lands in 1832 Floyd County was established. The Cherokee Nation was relocated to Oklahoma in 1836. They were replaced by European and African decedents.

1. Asclepias amplexicaulis Sm., Curly Milkweed at the foot of the Lavender Mountain on the Berry College Campus, Mt. Berry, Georgia, on May 30, a rainy day in 2004.
2. Crataegus aemula Beadle, Rome Hawthorn at McGee Band in Floyd County, on September 5, 2004.
3. Cliffs of the Coosa, Floyd County in Georgia, on December 25, the Christmas's afternoon in 2004.

Battey, George Magruder, Jr. A history of Rome and Floyd County : State of Georgia, United States of America ; including numerous incidents of more than local interest, 1540-1922 Atlanta : Cherokee Publishing Company, ed. 1969.

Last updated on March 6, 2005.



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