Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Bartow County, Georgia
Red Top Mountain State Park
50 Lodge Rd SE
Cartersville, GA 30121
This popular park on 12,000-acre Lake Allatoona is ideal for swimming, boating and fishing. For historical information on this park and the now-closed George Washington Carver State park, please see historical events for Cartersville.
Return to Index
Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham writes that Carver became "...a black recreational Mecca and attracted visitors from throughout the southeast. Several well-known entertainers such as Ray Charles and Little Richard performed at the park.... This is where Rev. Andrew Young and his family learned to water ski and where Mrs. Coretta Scott King remembers her family spending many weekends at church outings. The park also served as the summer home of the St. John's Ski Bees, a black ski club, which was headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. The St. John's Ski Bees was the only black water ski club in Georgia. The group performed throughout the summer and drew people from throughout the southeast." They did barefoot skiing, sock takeoffs, one legged skiing and ramp jumping.
Atkinson operated the park from 1950 to 1958 and helped start a black Girl ScoutCamp at Carver as a sub-lease on the Corps of Engineers property. Samuel Nathan was the last superintendent of Carver. In one of the all-to-familiar cost-cutting moves, Carver operations were combined with Red Top, Mr. Nathan was transferred to Richmond Hill State Park to become the first black superintendent of a formerly white state park. The Atlanta Girl Scout Council then took over the operation of the Carver area on Lake Allatoona and what started as a Girl Scout Camp for Negroes became fully integrated as had Red Top Mountain State Park.
This excerpt is from the website of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites, written by Billy Townsend, State of Georgia Chief Historian (ret.)