ATCO dates back to 1903 when Edward McClain began construction of a textile plant north of Cartersville to manufacture cloth for his horse collar pad business in Greenfield, Ohio. Bordered by Pettit’s Creek, Nancy’s Creek, old Highway 41 (now GA Highway 293 or Cassville Road), and the Western & Atlantic Railroad (now CSX), the plant was completed in 1904. It was incorporated in 1907 with E. L. McClain as the sole stockholder. Over the next twenty five years, the horse collar pad business declined due to the automobile, and new markets for their cloth had to be found. Products such as cement sacks, insulated steam pipe coverings, tents, tarpaulins and haversacks were all produced. The village of houses built around the mill developed the name ATCO, derived from the name, American Textile Company. Goodyear purchased the plant and village in 1929 in order to make cotton tire cord through its subsidiary, Clearwater Mills. Clearwater Plant #3, as it was called, continued to thrive through plant expansion and modernization including a village that grew to 291 houses. Considered one of the most modern and beautiful mill towns in the south, it was very self sufficient with a school, church, store, fire and police department, water, swimming pool, baseball field, parks, ice house, laundry, barber shop and post office. The post office operated from 1907 to 1965. In the early years ATCO was also a flag station on the railroad. ATCO ceased to be its own small town, being annexed into the City of Cartersville on December 2, 1957. Soon after, Goodyear made the decision to sell its houses to private citizens, ending the mill village era. Goodyear announced on July 29, 2003 that it would discontinue operations at its Cartersville plant by October 1, thus beginning a phased layoff of the remaining 319 employees. Much of the plant was razed during 2009 and 2010.
Source: ATCO by Guy S. Parmenter, Etowah Valley Historical Society Newsletter, 1991.
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