Iconic Southside

original artwork by martin pate

BY Sherri Smith Brown | JULY 1, 2015

25 things that just say Southside:


1. Old Malear’s BBQ (portrayed above by Newnan artist, Martin Pate)

In 1966 Bill Melear bought his father’s barbecue stand in Union City and turned it into one of the best known barbecue restaurants in Georgia. Later, it moved to Fayetteville just south of the courthouse square. Now closed, the iconic barbecue joint is remembered for its old fashioned pit, smokehouse, and basic plate of pork or beef, Brunswick Stew, bread toasted on one side, pickles, a bag of chips for lunch and coleslaw for dinner.


2. Fayette County Courthouse

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 1825 courthouse sits in the middle of the old courthouse square and is the oldest courthouse building in the state. The clock tower was added in 1888.


3. The Fred

Originally built in the 1970s, this 2,500-seat, open-air entertainment venue is in its 21st year of hosting classic acts in a summer concert series.


4. Peachtree City golf carts

Peachtree City is known all over the country for its ubiquitous golf carts and the more than 90 miles of paved path by which they travel.


5. How we say Coweta

Named for the tribe of Creek Indians headed by Chief William McIntosh, Jr., Coweta means “waterfalls.” But is it pronounced “cow-eeta” or “ky-eeta?” Old time Southsiders will tell you it’s “ky-eeta!”


6. Coweta County Courthouse

Built in 1904, this Neoclassical Revival architecture sits in the middle of Newnan’s courthouse square. Its dome rises 100 feet and features clocks on all four sides


7. Flint River

The Flint River running between Fayette and Clayton counties flowed between the fictional plantations of Tara and Twelve Oaks in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind.


8. Partner’s Pizza

Hundreds of Peachtree City kids have celebrated their birthday or waited tables at this iconic pizza establishment since it opened in 1977.


9. Senoia

This once small, rundown Southern town has transformed into a movie studio backlot that is visited by thousands of tourists each year.


10. The Walking Dead

The number one show on cable television, the zombie apocalypse series is based in Senoia and shoots all over Coweta and Fayette counties.


11. Serenbe

This idyllic, yet progressive, community in Chattahoochee Hills is regularly written up by national publications like the New York Times, USA Today, and Smithsonian Magazine.


12. Serenbe Playhouse

Located in the heart of the Serene community, this site-specific theater company performs outdoors in different locations throughout the community—come rain or shine!


13. Zac Brown

This Grammy-winning country music artist has deep roots in this part of the Southside with his Southern Ground Social Club restaurant in Senoia and his Camp Southern Ground for kids and Southern Ground Amphitheater in Fayetteville.


14. Georgia Renaissance Festival

Set inside a 16th-century European village, this interactive festival combining outdoor theater, circus-style entertainment, and an arts and crafts marketplace, has been held on the Southside for the past 30 years.


15. Greenville Street

Lined with Victorian and antebellum homes, this Newnan street is one of the grand old streets of the South.


16. Line Creek nature walk

Line Creek’s shoal covered creek bed in the nature area has been a summer place for area kids to play for decades


17. Peachtree City Farmer’s Market

The first farmers market in Peachtree City, it often shows up on “best” Atlanta farmers market lists.


18. Cotton Pickin’ Fair

May and October of each year, this country fair set against the backdrop of an old farm, cotton gin, and cotton warehouse comes to Gay, consuming the entire little community on Georgia Highway 85.


19. Pinewood Atlanta Studios

Built just last year in Fayette County, the movie studio has iconic status all over the world and is destined to be a home base for Disney/Marvel productions for the next few years.


20. Sprayberry's BBQ

Another famous barbecue joint, Sprayberry’s began as Houston Sprayberry’s gas station on Highway 29 north of downtown Newnan. In 1926, Houston was selling enough barbecue sandwiches from the back of the station to close the pumps and become a restaurant. With his barbecue sauce and wife Mattie Lou's Brunswick stew, Sprayberry's Barbecue became Newnan's most popular eating spot.


21. Alan Jackson

This popular, awarding-winning country music recording artist is a well-known figure on the Southside, especially in his hometown of Newnan, where he waited tables at Sprayberry's during high school.


22. Holliday Dorsey Fife House

Located near Fayette’s old courthouse square, this house was built in 1855 by John Stiles Holliday, the uncle of famous gambler John Henry “Doc” Holliday. Today, it is a museum of Fayette County and Civil War history.


23. Williams Grocery

President Jimmy Carter as well as cast members of “The Walking Dead” have been known to place orders for the sausage biscuits that are made here each morning.


24. Powers’ Crossroads Country Fair and Arts Festival

People used to sit in line a couple of hours to get to this iconic Coweta County arts and crafts festival on Labor Day weekend. After 43 years, Powers’ Crossroads Fair shut down last year, but will long be remembered as a major attraction on the Southside.


25. How we say Senoia

Named for Senoia He-ne-ha, the Indian mother of Chief William McIntosh, this town gets pronounced numerous ways, including “Seh-noy-yuh,” but locals will tell you, it’s "Seh-noy."


Lifestyles features a mix of entertaining stories covering the local food, style, art, people and events of Coweta and Fayette and the surrounding areas.

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