Kenneth Wheeler

Reinhardt University history professor Kenneth Wheeler will visit the Rock Barn in Canton at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 to discuss his book, “Modern Cronies: Southern Industrialism from Gold Rush to Convict Labor, 1829-1894.”

The book dives into how the Southern gold rush in the area surrounding Waleska, the Etowah Valley, helped shape the development of the southeastern United States during the county’s Industrial Revolution. From stamping machines that pounded gold ore to the iron industry along the Etowah River, the Etowah Valley played a significant role in the industrial development.

Wheeler, who is a local historian, hopes his research provides a new perspective of the development of northern Georgia in the nineteenth century from the gold rush and Cherokee Removal through the Civil War and into the decades that followed.

Wheeler will visit the Rock Barn as part of History Cherokee’s Author Talk. Books will be available for purchase during the event. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Social distancing and face coverings are strongly encouraged. This event is free and open to the public, however, representatives with the event are asking for attendees to RSVP by Oct. 14 to

The Rock Barn is located at 658 Marietta Highway in Canton.


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