Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Atlanta Day 2; The Roswell Mill

Our wanders today took us down to the old mill in Roswell, and not only did we get a Georgia history lesson, but there was plenty of natural science soaked up, too.  After running across this bridge the kids and I started the slippery trek up to the dam and the remains of the old mill.

It was a slow climb and the water beckoned for close inspection more than once.

And wee girl knows a good platform when she sees one..."Take this picture, Mom."  When I saw the large rock behind her on the opposite bank I had to agree and I snapped it.  We didn't set out from the hotel on a hiking trip, as you can see from her blue dress and Mary Jane's.

After a few minutes we could begin to see the remains of the turbine and hear the roar of the water as it fell over the dam.  

We admired the view from this angle...

...and then climbed up and looked down the river from above the dam.  And Mom, don't worry, the kids weren't as close to the edge as you think.

Then we followed the path that the water took as it was diverted away from the river and into the mill.  At some point this wheel that the water turned, had been moved out of the mill house and rested up against this water pipe.

This is the final leg before the energy was converted to operate the five story mill. 

This mill was built by Roswell King after he bought the land in 1835 from the original owners, who had won it in a lottery drawing three years earlier.  This of course came after the United States had so cruelly eradicated the Cherokee Indians in what would become known as the Trail of Tears.  Mr. King was the president of the Bank of Darien, which is down on the Georgia coast where we live, when he came to North Georgia on business.  Although the white tenant farmers who came to work in the textile mill worked twelve hour days six days a week and were paid in company dollars, Mr. King was known to be a benevolent caretaker.  He didn't allow consumption of alcohol and he kept their pay consistent even in lean years.  The mill was in use until 1976.

It was a good day and it ended with feeding the geese on the golf course after it was abandoned by humans, and they came home with pockets full of lost balls.  All in a days work!
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