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      Battle Of
       West Point
 West Point Before The Battle

 


Settlement The Tracks that never Met
Expansion of Land Years of Prosperity
Railroad Revives Town Looming War

          Small towns in the Deep South have an appeal that time cannot erode. Past events surrounding such communities stir our collective imagination and popular interest seems to be renewed with every generation. Such is the feeling about West Point, a small town in midland Georgia.

        Long before the white men came to this region the proud Creek Indians called it home. When the covered wagons arrived bringing settlers and merchants from  northeast Georgia and the Carolinas they found a warm welcome and a deep satisfaction in their decision to settle here.

        The beginning of the community was made when log homes were built and farmers began to till the fertile soil. The settlement had no name but soon it became known as Franklin.  A busy trading post was established and the owners began to sell calico, sugar, blankets, pins and other necessities to the Indians and newcomers.

        In 1832 the unsettling news was brought that there was already a village named Franklin to the north in Heard County. To avoid confusion another name was selected and a new sign was nailed up at the trading post which read West Point, Established 1832.

        There were about 100 people living here at that time and they began to think about the need for a school and a church. This problem was solved with the erection of a large log structure which served as a school and common church building, and was located close to where the Confederate Cemetery is today.

        The swiftly flowing Chattahoochee was beautiful and teeming with fish, but its width and depth were discouraging to the settlers who wished to cross over to the west side. A number of ferries came into use and canoes were plentiful but a more permanent crossing was needed. Plans were made and in 1839, a wooden covered bridge was completed. It was 652 feet long and cost $22,000.  Most important it linked the two banks of the river and influenced the growth and shape of the town. Horace King, an illiterate but talented Negro slave, possibly drew the plans and supervised the construction. He is remembered as the builder of other bridges across the Chattahoochee.  

Next Page    Expansion of Land

 

Sources:

  Dorothy N. Young, "West Point Before the Battle of Fort Tyler,"  The Battle of West Point, Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society, 1997, pp. 9

  Dorothy N. Young, "West Point Before the Battle of Fort Tyler," The Battle of West Point, Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society, 1997, pp. 9

  Dorothy N. Young, "West Point Before the Battle of Fort Tyler," The Battle of West Point, Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society, 1997, pp. 10