A "Rock City" barn in Rydal, Georgia.

Rock City Gardens officially opened as a public attraction on May 21, 1932, however, it got off to a slow start because advertising in those days was difficult, especially since the mountain-top attraction was not located in a place that people would just happen to be passing by and take notice. So Rock City founder Garnet Carter enlisted the help of a young sign painter from Trenton, Georgia named Clark Byers, who was hired to travel the nation’s highways and offer to paint farmers' barns in exchange for letting him paint three simple words: See Rock City. The distinctive black-and-white signs appeared as far north as Michigan and as far west as Texas. The advertising soon began to produce the desired effect and by the close of the 1930s, more travelers than ever had seen Rock City Gardens.

Over 900 barns once adorned “See Rock City” branding, however that number has dwindled over time due to the Highway Beautification Act which passed in the 1960s, restricting the use of roadside signage. Today, most Rock City barns are found along rural highways that predate interstates.