Historic Markers Across Georgia

Big Shanty Spring

Marker ID:  
Location: At the spring on Watts Drive behind the Kennesaw City Hall.
County: Cobb
Coordinates: N 34° 01.369    W 084° 36.994
  34.02281666    -84.61656666
Style: Mounted **
Waymark: WM6XZ2
Big Shanty Spring Marker  


This spring, called Equ´ Ganug´ Gv Am´ (Big Springs of Water), by the Cherokee Indians and being near the boundary of the Cherokee-Creek territories must have been a meeting place for both tribes.

In 1833 when the Western and Atlantic Railroad was being built northward, workmen selected this site, near a bountiful supply of water, to build some small houses, called " shanties. " North and south grades on the railroad peaked near the spring and the settlement was first called " Big Grade ", then " Big Shanty Grade ", and finally " Big Shanty ".

A reservoir and piping system supplied water for the settlement and the railroad and it was from this station, in 1862, that the locomotive "The General" was stolen by Federal Forces, thus beginning the secular locomotive chase and recapture.

In 1861 Camp McDonald was located nearby and for many years Big Shanty Spring was the site of the annual reunion of the men of Phillips Legion.

Big Shanty, known for 54 years by this descriptive title, and figuring so extensively in the records of the War Between the States, was incorporated in 1887 as the town of Kennesaw with limits extending one half mile in every direction from the W. and A. Railroad Station. Big Shanty Spring is preserved for posterity because of its association with the War Between the States as well as the Cherokee and Creek Indians.

Big Shanty Spring
Big Shanty Spring


More information:
Western & Atlantic RR
Phillip's Georgia Legion - Infantry Battalion
Camp McDonald - Map