Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mrs. Synthia's Recollections

One year ago when I mentioned to friends I would be writing a local history column, I had a few people who immediately said, “Oh, you are going to write about the mill at Sweetwater, aren’t you?”
It is a foregone conclusion, isn’t it?  
The New Manchester Mill is one of our most historic sites, and there is a bit of mystery concerning the millworkers who were carried off by Union troops, but I quickly answered that since it was such an expected topic, I would wait and choose other bits of history that aren’t so well known. 
So far, I have stuck to that plan, but today I’m going to mention the mill because I’ve stumbled over an interesting story regarding one of the families who lived at New Manchester and what happened to them after the war.

The mill at New Manchester was built along the banks of Sweetwater Creek in 1846. It was the tallest structure around Atlanta at the time with five stories.   Ninety looms and six thousand spindles were busy making yarn and fabric. The mill’s closest competitor as far as output was a mill located in Roswell, Georgia. 
As I wrote in April, 2011 many don’t realize there was a town of approximately 500 people who supported the factory, a flour mill, a grist mill and a water-powered saw nearby. The town boasted a company store, inn and post office. There had even been talk of building a rail line into the town, but the Civil War delayed the effort. 
You can finish reading this column over at Douglasville Patch.

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