Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday afternoon at Roswell Mill

Sunday afternoon after church we drove back over to Founder's Cemetery to debunk what we thought was something in one of our pictures from Friday night. After we left the cemetery which is near Big Creek (used to be known as Vickery Creek) we sort of stumbled on the Old Roswell Mill. We decided to park the car, get out and go investigate further. Here's a little history we found out about the Roswell Mill and what happened to those who worked there.

Construction on the mill began in 1836 and the first cloth was produced before the Indians were forced west on the Cherokee Trail of Tears. The mill was incorporated in 1839, and at about this time "The Bricks" were built to house some of the mill employees.

Despite the economic downturn after the Panic of 1837, the mill continued to operate. Barrington King, Roswell's son, expanded the operation with other water-powered businesses including a grist mill, carding shop (where wool was processed), and a saw mill.

When the war began Roswell Mill produced the famous "Roswell Gray" that is so closely associated with the Rebel troops. During the Atlanta Campaign, Roswell Mill was a major target for William Tecumseh Sherman's forces. He ordered Brigadier General Kennar Garrard to advance and take the mill and attempt to secure the bridge across the Chattahoochee River south of the mill.

In July 1864 during the Atlanta campaign General William T. Sherman ordered the approximately 400 Roswell mill workers, mostly women, arrested as traitors and shipped as prisoners to the North with their children. There is little evidence that more than a few of the women ever returned home.

As the Union forces approached Atlanta in the early summer of 1864, almost all the members of the founding families of Roswell—aristocrats from the Georgia coast, most of them owners and/or stockholders of the Roswell Manufacturing Company mills—had fled. The remaining residents were mostly the mill workers and their families. The two cotton mills and a woolen mill continued to operate, producing cloth for Confederate uniforms and other much-needed military supplies, such as rope, canvas, and tent cloth.

On July 5, seeking a way to cross the Chattahoochee River and gain access to Atlanta, Brigadier General Kenner Garrard's cavalry began the Union's twelve-day occupation of Roswell, which was undefended. The next day Garrard reported to Sherman that he had discovered the mills in full operation and had proceeded to destroy them, and that about 400 women had been employed in the mills. On July 7 Sherman replied that the destruction of the mills "meets my entire approval." He ordered that the owners and employees be arrested and charged with treason, elaborating, "I repeat my orders that you arrest all people, male and female, connected with those factories, no matter what the clamor, and let them foot it, under guard, to Marietta, whence I will send them by [railroad] cars, to the North. . . . Let them [the women] take along their children and clothing, providing they have a means of hauling or you can spare them."

The women, their children, and the few men, most either too young or too old to fight, were transported by wagon to Marietta and imprisoned in the Georgia Military Institute, by then abandoned. Then, with several days' rations, they were loaded in boxcars that proceeded through Chattanooga, Tennessee, and after a stopover in Nashville, Tennessee, headed to Louisville, Kentucky, the final destination for many of the mill workers. Others were sent across the Ohio River to Indiana.

First housed and fed in a Louisville refugee hospital, the women later took what menial jobs and living arrangements could be found. Those in Indiana struggled to survive, many settling near the river, where eventually mills provided employment. Unless husbands had been transported with the women or had been imprisoned nearby, there was little probability of a return to Roswell, so the remaining women began to marry and bear children.

The tragedy, widely publicized at the time, with outrage expressed in northern as well as southern presses, was virtually forgotten over the next century. Only in the 1980s did a few writers begin to research and tell the story. Even then, the individual identities and fates of the women remained unknown.
After the war portions of the original mill were rebuilt. In 1872 a new mill wheel was added, but it was difficult to rely on water power. In 1897 the mill wheel was replaced with a wood-fired steam generator, and in 1947 the mill was purchased by Southern Mills, who updated the buildings and began to purchase electricity from Georgia Power. The mill produced its final bolt of cotton cloth in 1975. It was a victim of foreign competition.

The machine shop. Part of the Mill complex that runs along Vickery Creek. The water was high and muddy from the 10 days of rain that we had recently had.

What would a day out with one of my besties be if we didn't take one of these?

The covered bridge that leads across the creek to the steep hiking trail on the other side.

The remains of the 1849 mill burned down by fire in 1927.

The back of the machine shop seen from the other side of the creek.

Bowling & ghost hunting

After a whole year....a very, VERY long year, Skylar's Nanny finally came back to see us after moving far away to Indiana last fall. While she was here we didn't do too much but we did manage to go bowling one Friday night after I got home from work. We had dinner at home and then went to the Brunswick Zone over in Roswell since we had a coupon for .99 cent games. Robert and I have our own shoes (because of the bowling dorks that we are) so we just paid for Victoria's shoe rental and two games each. I totally kicked their butts in the first game and Robert wiped the floor with us on the second. He claims it takes him a game to warm up. I guess he was right. After we left the bowling ally we drove over to the Founder's Cemetery where the Founder's of Roswell and their family and slaves were buried. It's supposed to be haunted but we didn't see anything or catch anything on camera. We did see something in a picture that we thought was something but we were able to debunk it a couple of days later. After we left Founder's Cemetery we went and took some pictures at the Presbyterian Cemetery. We didn't catch any ghosties there either. Roswell is one of the most haunted cities in the U.S. and they have a ghost walk every week so one night we're going to try and do that.

Family fun time! Momma, Daddy, Pootie & her Ritz cracker.

Pootie's first trip to the bowling ally.

Waiting for Momma to take her turn.

After bowling we went to the old Founder's Cemetery in Roswell. The founder's of Roswell and their slaves are buried here. Scarlet fever killed quite a few children and the first grave was that of a two-year-old.

This is Victoria's "scared" face.

Leaving the cemetery. Hope we didn't bring any ghosties home with us.

Roswell King's grave.

Graves at the Presbyterian Cemetery downtown.

Pictures from Skylar's birthday

Two days before Skylar's first birthday we had a party for her at Dave & Buster's so that not only the little kids could have fun but the "big kids" too. Grammy and Grandpa came down from Blairsville the night before so they could be here for her party on Saturday. Everyone who was invited showed up. We had a great time eating yummy food and playing games on the midway. Skylar made a mess with her cake but I guess that was to be expected. After the party Tara and Roger came home with Momma and Skylar to help us open the presents. She got a Radio Flyer wagon with big fat all-terrain tires from Grammy and Grandpa, a pretty singing purse from Miss Tina, Miss April and all the kids, jammies and a toy from Tara & Roger, a singing shape spinner (another noisy toy) from Kim, Cory & the girls and some Fisher Price Little People from Ed and Stacy who live next door. She loves all her toys....including the four toys we gave her the week "before" her birthday. I just couldn't wait to give them to her cuz I loves my big girl!

Here are some pictures from her party.

Jada just LOVED Skylar....she wanted to hold her and touch her and eventually ended up riding around in the stroller with her!

Kim, trying to hit the jackpot for the second time.

Tina helping Moriah spin the big wheel.

Moriah, Skylar and Joshie.

Momma, Auntie Kim, Jada & AhNeelah.

Look at Momma's pretty girl eating french fries with the BIG kids!

Skylar's cake. It was Winnie the Pooh....I guess you can see that huh?

Micah, Joey, Jack, Jada, Josh & Moriah.

She reached over and dug her hand in the cake.

She played with the frosting and then smeared it all over the table and high chair. She never did stick it in her mouth to taste it. How weird.

What's that up there? And is Mo laughing or crying?

Jack & friends forever.

Josh, all wet from the spilled drink, Moriah still smiling and the birthday girl reaching for a balloon.

Micah was playing with the power cards.

Moriah told Skylar that she was "this many"

Friday, September 11, 2009

Can hardly believe it's been a year

I am going to try and pound out a quick entry before my lunch break is over. I am here in the lunch room at work. I usually leave the building on my break and go park down the street and take a nap in my car but today Robert needed the car to take Skylar to her 12-month check-up. I dont remember the statistics he read off to me but he did say she's in the 90th percentile for her weight which means she's not the little cow that I thought she was. The doctor said she looks good and that we can go ahead and start her on whole milk.

On Saturday, the 5th of September we had her birthday party at Dave & Buster's. We got her a bunch of balloons and a cake from Publix (I was not a big fan). There were seven adults and seven children at her party so I would say it was a pretty good turnout. She sat at the big kids table and ate french fries. She loves being around other children. After we had lunch we went to the midway to play games. All the kids had fun and got goody bags at the end of the party before they left.

On Sunday Skylar cut her first two teeth on the bottom. No wonder she has been acting like a crabby patty lately. She started crawling two weeks before her birthday. I thought she would never do that but she surprised me. Monday was her birthday and also Labor Day so after we went to IHOP for breakfast and then took her to get her portraits done at Sears we drove up to my Aunt Sharon's house for a cookout. It was nice to see some of my family. I got to see my cousin Alaina who I haven't seen in two years and she looks really good. I think she wants to have a baby girl from hanging out with Skylar. Well, who wouldn't want a cute baby like Pootie?

I think when Robert picks me up today we'll go have a little D&B before we go home because once we're there we've got a ton of house cleaning to do. Fall is coming quickly and it's time to pull the furniture away from the walls and start cleaning all that hair bunnies out of the corners.

Better go for now. I'll post pics from last weekend later.