Names like Stanley, Glover, Fowler and Dobbs pepper the family tree of Davis McCollum. Through his Facebook page, Old Marietta (O.M.), McCollum keeps the past alive by sharing historical photos of Marietta and Cobb County and connecting with others.
McCollum, a Marietta native who has lived here all his life said, “My mother was a Dobbs. If you’ve got a Dobbs in your family, you’re kin to everybody. The Dobbs family and the Stanley family go back so far it’s ridiculous.”
After his mother, Peggy Joyce Dobbs McCollum died in 2009, McCollum started researching her family history. “I knew (the Dobbs) were an Old Marietta family,” he said.
His father is John Davis McCollum III, son of John Davis II and Barbara Frances Stanley McCollum.
“I remembered my grandmother on the Stanley side had left me the family Bible and all kind of documentation on the Stanleys when they came over from England,” said McCollum, owner of McCollum Advisors LLC, Commercial Real Estate and Facilities Consultants.
McCollum created a family tree dating back to the 1600s with over 30,000 family members. At the same time he acquired photos of their cemetery plots as well as photos of relatives and their homesteads through different databases.
“My family is intertwined with so many Marietta families,” he said.
In September 2010 after McCollum shared a photo with his father on Facebook and 10 people commented on the initial photo, McCollum created the Old Marietta Facebook site dedicated to posting photos of historical images in Marietta.
“(The site) has grown into something big. I post one picture and within an hour, 800 people have looked at it. People come on and look at a photo and share it with their mom or family and the next thing you know there are hundreds of people looking at this one photo. Then they comment,” McCollum said.
The site draws hundreds of visitors from other states who moved from Marietta as well as those from the immediate community. For example, during the week of Feb. 28 to March 6, McCollum said tracking data showed 60,449 people browsed that week, with 2,134 of those people having commented on a picture or sent it to someone else. He said there are more than 4,000 day-to-day followers.
“I wanted to have a single place for anybody to visit to ask questions and find out what happened to some historical place (in Marietta). It’s convenient. It brings back memories,” he said.
To make viewing easier, McCollum has organized the photos on the site into 35 different albums. “There are 3,500 plus photos,” he said.
Because of the success of the site, McCollum expanded it to include Cobb County. “I’ve tried to separate them from Kennesaw and Acworth, Smyrna and Austell, etc. But I still kept the name as Old Marietta,” McCollum said.
“(O.M. Facebook) is an education. It’s entertaining. It’s just a hobby. I had no idea it would grow to 60,000,” McCollum said.