Cooper’s Iron Works is the last remaining remnant of the 19th century town of Etowah. Jacob Stroup established the works in the 1830s, and Mark Anthony Cooper purchased the ironworks in the 1840s. In 1863, cooper sold the iron works to the Confederate States of America in 1863, and federal soldiers on May 22, 1864, destroyed the ironworks and mill, bringing about an end to the city’s livelihood. Following the Civil War, the town never again returned to its antebellum prominence. A smokestack is all that remains of the ironworks.
When Mark Anthony Cooper found himself $100,000 in debt in 1857 and his company, the Etowah Iron and Manufacturing Co., was about to be auctioned, he turned to his friends for help. With the help of 38 friends, Cooper raised $200,000 and purchased back his company. But, he didn’t forget his friends, and in 1860, after he repaid the debt, Cooper built a monument to thank them. The monument was originally erected on the town square of Etowah where his iron company was located. In 1864, the monument survived the wrath of Union soldiers led by Gen. William T. Sherman. In 1927, as the federal government was poised to create Lake Allatoona, the monument was relocated to nearby Cartersville. Three decades later, the monument was moved to the banks of Lake Allatoona to make room for more parking spaces in downtown Cartersville. In 1999, the monument moved to its current location in downtown Cartersville and the aptly renamed Friendship Plaza.