In our continuing RV travels through Georgia there is another historic water-powered mill worth a stop. Just south of Fayetteville you will encounter the very scenic Starrs Mill.
As we learned in the last entry, during the mid-1800s, mills were constructed by the thousands to take advantage of the seemingly endless supply of water power for lumber, textiles, and grist mills.
In 1825, in what is today Fayette County, a man named Hananiah Gilcoat built the first grist mill along Whitewater Creek. The mill changed owners several times during its early years until Hilliard Starr took over the property in 1866 and ran the mill until 1879. While Hilliard Starr moved on to other endeavors after 1879, the name Starrs Mill endured on both the mill and community.
The mill standing today was built in 1907 by William T. Glower and is the third mill constructed on the original mill foundation after the previous mill burned down.
The current mill operated until 1959. An unusual feature on this mill was that it used a water power turbine rather than a typical wheel to grind corn and mill lumber.
The mill site also contained a cotton gin and served as a small hydroelectric plant providing electricity for the nearby town on Senoia. In 1991, the Fayette County Water System bought Starrs Mill and dam to use as an additional water source.
Today the mill is recognized as a historic site of the Atlanta Metro Area and is open to the public as a park. Photography, fishing, and picnicking are popular activities. Swimming is not allowed.
Starrs Mill is also a “star” of other sorts being featured in a motion picture and gracing jigsaw puzzles. It is one of the most photographed buildings in Georgia.
Visiting Starrs Mill
Starrs Mill Park is located at 115 Waterfall Way, Fayetteville, Georgia. The park can present access issues for those visiting with longer or low clearance RVs.
Here is a list of ways to access Starrs Mill Park:
There is a “Point of Interest” pullout allowing you a scenic view of the dam and mill (but not vehicle access to the park) at N33° 19.715 W84° 30.467. The pullout is accessible in the westbound direction off of Highway 85.
The east end of the pullout is accessible to most any RV. However the west end of the pullout is rather steep and not suitable for RVs. If you exit via the east end of the pullout you may find yourself needing to back onto the highway to resume your travels.
The main entrance to the park and mill on Highway 85 is at N33° 19.673 W84° 30.580 The paved apron exiting the highway into the park is rather steep limiting access to longer or low clearance RVs. Once in the park via this entrance there is an ample parking area and a loop allowing RVs to turn around and exit the way they came.
There is a side entrance to the park from Highway 74 at N33° 19.678 W84° 30.760 However, the curb is rather high and may again present access issues to longer or low clearance RVs. Also, once in the park, a rather sharp wye in the road prevents most RVs from accessing the parking area mentioned above.
If the above access options present a problem for your RV there is also a paved parking lot for a church just a few feet south of the side entrance where you can park your RV and walk into the park.
RVing through the scenic mills of Georgia, just another adventure in RVing!