The decade of the 1870s had been a period of national depression, regional instability, and limited outside investment. The booming 1880s, however, brought increased outside investment, renewed railroad construction, and dramatic growth and development. Not until the financial panic of 1893 and the following depression did growth and development slow. During the 1880s two railroads were constructed throughout Haralson County. The first, and probably the most important for Haralson County, was the Georgia Pacific (Southern) which was built east to west through the county in c. 1882-1884. The second was the Chattanooga, Rome, and Columbus (Central of Georgia), built through the county north to south in c. 1887. Service on this line was completed between Chattanooga and Carrollton by May 1891.
Haralson County's population increased 89.4 percent during the 1880s, growing from 5,874 in 1880 to 11.316 in 1890. Population growth slowed in the 1890s, however, increasing only 5.4 percent to 11,922 in 1900.
During the 1880s, total land in farms declined modestly, although improved land in farms increased from 28,603 acres in 1880 to 39,060 in 1890. The main crops, by acres planted, continued to be corn (13,515 acres), cotton (9,132 acres), oats (3.838 acres), and wheat (1,842 acres). Fruit production began to increase, with 28,070 bushels of peaches and 22,978 bushels of apples harvested in 1889. The estimated value of Haralson County's farm products, however, continued to rank 107th out of Georgia's 137 counties.
By 1900 there were 1,517 farms in the county and improved land had increased to 48,921 acres. Corn was still the leader in acres planted with 16.905. Cotton accounted for 11,849 acres, wheat 1,764 acres, and oats, 2,212 acres. The value of Haralson County's farm products not consumed by stock rose from $279,930 in 1890 to $455,363 in 1900. This figure ranked Haralson County 95th among Georgia's counties.
Peaches, apples, and melons were grown, but the most interesting agricultural phenomenon in the 1890s was the development of significant grape growing venture within the county in c. 1893-97. Most of the vineyards were located east of Tallapoosa, including the communities of Buda and Nitra which developed during the period, and in the vicinity of Steadman. According to the U.S. Census on Agriculture in 1900, Haralson County had 665,885 grapevines and produced 1,593,536 pounds of grapes. no other county in Georgia even came close to these figures. Coweta County was second with less than one-fourth of the production. According to Georgia: Historical and Industrial (1900), Haralson County was "a great county for vineyards, of which there are 500, covering 5,000 acres." Only about 25 percent of the grape production was marketed. The great majority was used in wine making. Two wineries were located in Tallapoosa, and according to the 1900 U.S. Census, 64,115 gallons of wine were produced in Haralson County- more than 15 times the production of second place Houston County.
Manufacturing increased significantly during the 1880s. According to the 1890 census, there were 39 manufacturing establishments with 369 employees in Haralson County. Much of this growth can be attributed to the industrial development begun in Tallapoosa in c. 1887-88. Flush times in Tallapoosa continued until c. 1893, when outside capital began to be withdrawn. The 1895 Sanborn maps show at lest ten of the manufacturing establishments at Tallapoosa as "not in operation", "not running", or "vacant". This decline was offset to some extent by the development of fruit-related industries in the late 1890s, but by 1900 average employment in manufacturing had dropped to only 216 wage earners, and the value of products declined from $285,329 to $277,391. Georgia: Historical and Industrial (1900) mentions, in addition to the two wineries, a fruit canning establishment, a charcoal pig-iron furnace, a glass factory, several flour and gristmills and many small sawmills and planing mills. Regarding mining, the Royal Gold Mine at Tallapoosa had a plant costing $200,000 and other small mines were said to be in operation.