Situated in the southern part of Cobb County, Georgia, Mableton is a vibrant city with a population exceeding 78,000, making it the most populous city in the county. The city encompasses not only historic Mableton but also the Six Flags district, sections of unincorporated Smyrna, and portions of unincorporated South Cobb.
Early Beginnings and Native American Heritage
Mableton’s story begins long before its official founding. From the 16th to the 19th centuries, the land in present-day southern Cobb County, where Mableton is located, was primarily inhabited by the Cherokee and Creek tribes. The settlements of Sweet Water Town and Nickajack, established by these tribes, were significant Native American villages in the area.
The Naming and Establishment of Mableton
The town owes its name to Scottish immigrant Robert Mable, who purchased 300 acres in the area on September 11, 1843. Mable, a millwright and farmer, was a notable figure in the community, growing crops such as cotton, corn, potatoes, and sorghum. The Robert Mable House and Cemetery, remnants of his legacy, now serve as a historical site and venue for public events.
Industrial Growth and Urban Development
In the mid-1800s, more settlers moved into the northern edge of Mableton, near Nickajack Creek. This area, initially known as ‘Mill Grove’ and later ‘Nickajack,’ thrived with the establishment of various mills powered by the creek. A covered bridge built around 1848-1850 over Nickajack Creek is now a part of a historical district, symbolizing this period of industrial growth.
Mableton during the Civil War
Mableton’s involvement in the Civil War in the 1860’s was of considerable importance. Located in Cobb County, the area was utilized as an essential resupply and medical station for the Union Army during General William T. Sherman’s Atlanta campaign. This role positioned Mableton as a crucial support hub for the Union troops in their pivotal march through Georgia, a central state in the Confederate stronghold.
The Arrival of the Railroad
The opening of a railroad station by the Georgia Pacific Railway (now part of Norfolk Southern Railway) in December 1881 marked another pivotal moment in Mableton’s history. This development transformed Mableton into a commercial hub for Cobb County and played a crucial role in the flourishing cotton trade in the area.
Short-Lived Cityhood and Disincorporation
Mableton was incorporated as a town in 1912 but was disincorporated only four years later, in 1916, due to financial difficulties resulting from a devastating flood and consequent tax burdens. Despite this setback, the community continued to thrive and evolve over the following decades.
Recent Cityhood and Governance
In a historic move, Mableton elected its first mayor in over a century in April of 2023. This marked a new chapter in its governance, following the establishment of city boundaries and council districts by the General Assembly in House Bill (HB-839).
Mableton’s journey from its indigenous roots and early settlement days to its recent re-establishment as a city reflects a dynamic and evolving history. Mableton continues to gain popularity due to its proximity to Interstate 285, Vinings, Buckhead, and Downtown Atlanta. Mableton also enjoys a lower tax rate than neighboring Fulton County and Atlanta. In addition, affordable housing and plenty of space make Mableton an attractive location for those looking for real estate close to the city of Atlanta but within the acclaimed Cobb County school district.