Rome (population 34,980) is the county seat of Floyd County, Georgia, and was founded in 1834. It developed as a trade center at the confluence of three rivers—the Oostanaula, the Coosa, and the Etowah.
As suggested by the rivers' names, the community has a strong Native American heritage predating the forcible removal of Indians from the area in the 1830s. The Chieftains Museum in Rome was the home of a prominent Cherokee leader, and Rome is a gateway city to the Chieftains Trail, a heritage tourism trail.
Rome was burned during the Civil War but rebounded during the ensuing decades. Its 19th- and early 20th-century prosperity is evident in the Between the Rivers Historic District, the largest intact Victorian-era district in the State.
The city has five other National Register Historic Districts and five locally designated districts. Rome's Historic Preservation Ordinance, adopted in 1979, is administered by the Rome Historic Preservation Commission.
In Rome's downtown along Broad Street—the second widest Main Street in Georgia—the city has worked for more than 20 years to reverse economic decline and disinvestment. As a result, Broad Street now has a 98 percent occupancy rate, and Rome was named a Great American Main Street City by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2003.
Rome is the resting place of America's Known Soldier. Selected at random from among the dead of World War I, and originally slated for burial next to America's Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery in Washington, DC, Rome native Pvt. Charles Graves is buried at historic Myrtle Hill Cemetery.
The city recently partnered with the Rome Heritage Foundation to create a memorial plaza at his grave, which has become an educational and inspirational destination for residents, schoolchildren, and visiting tourists.
Designated a Preserve America Community in March 2004.