The History of the Tallapoosa School
Looking Back to See Our Future
The first thing visitors to the Tallapoosa Wellness Collective of Carrollton comment on is the serenity. The large studio with beautiful light streaming through its many windows; the shine off of the amazingly refinished floors; the peaceful quiet of the space; the solitude of the setting. All combine to enhance the welcome and sense of community that is part of us. We will be looking back into our history, specifically the history of this property, to find out more about what makes this place so special. We began our research in January of 2019 at the University of West Georgia archives to find out more about the past 139 years of our existence as a school, as a community center, and as a center for wellness.
Thanks to Michael Camp and the staff the at the University of West Georgia special collections, we have learned so many new and exciting things about our history in the Tallapoosa Community and our links to the University itself. We have finished with just one box of over 35 boxes of information, and to continue, we have purchased a scanner and laptop so that we can bring what we have found to you in our newsletter. We have also been fortunate to speak with a person who attended West Georgia College (now UWG) and had a chance to observe students at the Tallapoosa School. And we met Judy Rowell who attended the Tallapoosa Community School and who's mother taught there! We are looking forward to learning more about our building and our community! In an article written by Karen Sifton, we hear the story of how the school building became a studio and wellness center.
It was late winter of 2001 when Roger and I saw a “For Sale” sign on the Tyus Road property that we passed almost every day on our way to Carrollton from our home on Blackjack Mountain. The old structure on the property was well off the road and everything so grown up that we scarcely noticed it. Since we had a dream of opening a yoga and Tai Chi studio and had been looking for months for the right place, we checked it out. In spite of the poor shape it was in, we knew right off that it was “the one”.
We learned that the building had been the old Tallapoosa School, so named for the tiny community there in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s (not to be confused with the current town of Tallapoosa). The school closed in the 50’s and was used as a community center for many years after that, but its state of disrepair made it clear that we were rescuing it in the nick of time. And rescue it we did!
It took months of seriously hard work to bring it around. Although we contracted out a couple of jobs, we did most of the work ourselves, Roger being an accomplished carpenter/builder and I an able helper (who also did the wiring!). And in spite of the hard work, it was an incredibly exciting time; the dream was unfolding!
On September 17th, just six days after the horrors of 9/11 and six months after acquiring the property, we taught our first yoga class in what we had named the Tallapoosa Center for Inner Arts. For the next seventeen years it was home to weekly Yoga, Qigong, Meditation, and Tai Chi classes; massage services; energy medicine services; workshops; Earth Day gatherings; spiritual retreats; and even a few weddings! The beauty of the space and the property was enhanced and blessed by the energy we offered, and all of us who practiced there were similarly enhanced by the quiet energy and beauty that was offered back to us.
Stay tuned for more information as we dig through the archives at West Georgia University and talk to the community about their memories of the building and the grounds. We also welcome any information that any of you might have about the history of this building and encourage you to contact us.