For the past few entries, we have been exploring the golden history and waterfalls among the rolling hills of the Dahlonega area in North Georgia. In this entry, we are heading south towards Atlanta, which takes us out of the hills and into territory more easily traversed via RV.
Those that follow this blog regularly know that my wife and I enjoy exploring ghosted sites (tangible ruins of a former era) and waterfalls among our interests. When I learned there were opportunities to combine the two in the lower (i.e. flatter) regions of Georgia, they quickly went on the “to-do” list.
Man has been harnessing the power of falling water since ancient times for grinding, sawing, milling, and more recently, hydroelectricity. The industrial revolution quickly took hold where there was available water power and Georgia was no exception.
In the countryside, which is now Roswell, Georgia, the combination of rapidly flowing water from Vickery Creek and the cotton crops grown in the region, led to the formation of the Roswell Manufacturing Company.
A brief history from the City of Roswell’s website states,
“The first cotton mill for the Roswell Manufacturing Company was opened in 1839. Power for the mill was provided by harnessing the water power from Vickery Creek. By the Civil War, two cotton mills and one woolen mill were in full operation.
During the Civil War, the Roswell Mills were leading manufacturers of materials used for the Confederacy. When Union troops came to Roswell in 1864, their orders were to burn the mills. The only mill building left standing was the machine shop.
After the war, the mills were rebuilt. The mill standing today was built in 1882. It has been restored as offices. The Pre-Civil war mill ruins are part of Old Mill Park with hiking trails, interpretive signs and a pedestrian bridge that connects the Roswell trails to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area trail on the other side of Vickery Creek.”
When you visit Old Mill Park, you can view the ruins of the original mill and see Vickery Creek crashing over the dam and the waterfall that powered the mill.
You can also cross over the newest covered pedestrian bridge in Georgia, spanning 161 feet to connect Roswell’s Historic District with the Chattahoochee River National Recreational Area.
Old Mill Park is rated as the #2 of 31 things to do in Roswell and rates 4.5 out of 5 stars, so be sure to include it on your visit through the area. The address is 95 Mill St, Roswell, GA 30075. Those navigating by GPS will find the parking area at N34° 00.836 W84° 21.567
Note: The road down to the park is relatively steep and parking is limited. Those with vans and shorter Class C motorhomes probably won’t have any problem, but those of us with larger RVs will want to visit in their dinghy or tow vehicle.
You will find the memorial commemorating the Lost Mill Workers of Roswell located in the Sloan Street Park at 75 Sloan Street Roswell, GA. Click here for more history on the incident.
If you are coming or going to the Dahlonega area during your visit, Twin Lakes RV Park is conveniently located along the route. Learn more here.
Combining the love of historical ruins with the love of waterfalls, just another adventure in RVing.
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.
Charles Hanna says
There are dozens of old mill dams in the south, and quite a few remaining mills too. Cannot find it now, but there used to be a web site documenting the grist and sawmills of the Atlanta area. Many can be identified by the names of the nearby roads.
Starrs Mill on GA 85 south of Fayetteville is on well known, picturesque building and dam, on Line Creek.