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.
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