(CARTERSVILLE, GA) – Weinman Stadium will play host to another great matchup Friday night as the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes host the Sandy Creek Patriots. Over the years, the stadium has hosted two state championship games (Cartersville won both), some all-time great players and 64 years of memories. But what is the back story of the stadium’s namesake? We must go way back into Georgia history books to get a peek.
William J. Weinman was born in Virginia in 1872 into a family that was in the mining business. He perfected the skills on mining and building hydraulic damns. After a successful stint in Kentucky, Weinman moved to Bartow County, Georgia in 1914, he came to Cartersville with the Thompson Weinman Company and began mining barite in Cartersville (the Thompson Weinman Dam on the Etowah River was built to provide electricity for the mining efforts).
Meanwhile, Cartersville High School was located off Lee Street that fronted Cherokee Avenue. Their first season of football was in 1909 and was played at Jones Field adjacent to the school. In 1914, the team began playing at the Old Fairgrounds of Cassville Road.
Weinman had a son, Andrew, who was 10 years old when they arrived in Cartersville. Weinman would graduate and play football at Georgia Tech before returning to Cartersville to be the high school head coach from 1926 to 1931. His career record of 27-10 still has him tied for 7th all time in wins for the Purple Hurricanes.
Tragically, Weinman was murdered on October 26, 1940 at a residence in the 200 block of Stonewall Street. John Knight was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Andrew’s death and was sentenced to six years in prison.
After the tragedy, William continued to give his money, time, and talent to several lasting projects in the community, including the new Cartersville High School stadium that was a gift to the city in honor of his son, Andy. The first game there was a 13-6 victory over Murray County on September 2, 1955.
On Friday, 64 years after that first game, the stadium will be as new and beautiful as ever. Echoes of Trevor Lawrence, Ronnie Brown, Keith Henderson and Robert Lavette reverberate through every aisle, bleacher and step in the building. It is a place where dreams are made, and memories last forever.