Tag Archives: North Georgia Industrial Sites
Euharlee was originally known as Burge’s Mill, for the grist mill Nathaniel Burge operated on Euharlee Creek. The earlier mill burned around 1880 and was rebuilt by Daniel Lowry. Sections of the foundation are likely remnants of the original antebellum mill. A plan to rebuild the mill has been proposed, but I’m unsure of its status at this time.
Massachusetts Cotton Mill of Lowell, Massachusetts, opened this mill in 1896, and with 42,000 spindles and 1400 looms, it soon became one of the largest mills in the state. 75 multi-family houses were built to house workers and a free elementary school was also provided. The mill doubled in size in 1903 and continued to add employees. In 1926, it was purchased by the Peperrell Manufacturing Company.
During the Depression, employees built a huge lighted wooden star and strung it between the smokestacks at Christmastime. It has remained a tradition ever since. The mill played an integral role in clothing the military during World War II and remained an integral part of the local economy and community until it closed in 2001.
Today, the property features a wedding venue and has been used by the movie industry as a set location.
Aragon Mill was established in 1898 by Wolcott & Campbell of New York and the community bearing its name was linked inextricably to the fortunes of the business. It was purchased by Augustus Julliard in 1900 and saw numerous improvements and significant expansion during his ownership. It became a United Merchants Mill in the 1930s and shut down in 1970. Several efforts to revive the mill were made over the next three decades but most of the complex was lost to fire on 6 August 2002. The smokestack, bearing the name Aragon, is the most significant remaining relic of the mill.
The American labor and social activist Si Kahn penned a song about the loss of mill village culture entitled “Aragon Mill” in the early 1970s.
Anne Chamlee made these photographs of the abandoned Stevens Pottery mill in August 1990. The rural community was named for the industry that was the largest employer in Baldwin County in the years following the Civil War.
Bill Boyd wrote in the 13 August 1992 edition of the Macon Telegraph: Henry Stevens, who grew up near pottery plants in England, worked his way to America aboard a merchant ship, landed a job as a railroad conductor and arrived in Middle Georgia in 1850. An ambitious and enterprising fellow, Stevens bought a sizable tract of timber land in the southwest corner of Baldwin County in 1854, and he discovered “an extensive and valuable deposit of fire-clay” according to an 1895 book “Memories of Georgia”.
After putting a sawmill into operation in that area, he built kilns and began to produce the first sewerage pipe ever produced in the South. The plant also turned out pottery and stoneware. During the Civil War, Stevens’s plant produced “knives, shoepegs and Joe Brown pipes” for the confederacy according to the history book. And, because of that General William T. Sherman burned the plant to the ground in 1864. Stevens rebuilt the plant after the war and sold it to his sons in 1876. By the turn of the century, the Stevens plant employed some 300 people and produced only brick.
The late T. L. Wood recalled in a 1984 interview with the Associated Press that Stevens Pottery acquired a reputation as a rough-and-tumble town where shootings and stabbings were commonplace at night and on weekends. “My mother wouldn’t let me go down there when I was a kid.” he said. But when he grew up, Wood, like many residents of Stevens Pottery and Coopers worked there for at least a while, and he remembered the plant as a “dirty, dusty, crude-looking place, (where) the work was hard- hauling brick in wheelbarrows and things like that.” Wood escaped the hard labor in the plant by operating a general store; and getting the town’s post office located in his store. But others stayed with the hard work and long hours, and as late as the 1950s, a person could work all of the overtime he or she wanted as the plant turned out brick for the booming sugar refineries in Cuba.
Built as a cotton warehouse in the 1890s, this structure was best known throughout most of its history as the Sparta Furniture Manufacturing Company. Suzy and Robert Currey bought it in 2012 and have transformed it into Sparta Mushrooms, with numerous specialty varieties being grown and distributed regularly to restaurants in Atlanta and Athens.
Sparta Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
A grist mill was first established here in 1825 by Hananiah Gilcoat. Whitewater Creek was less than a mile from the Creek Nation and the area was a frontier at the time. The mill changed hands numerous times over the first few decades of its existence until it was purchased by Hilliard Starr in 1866. In the 13 years that Starr operated the mill, he made a lasting impression on the surrounding community, which would come to bear his name.
The present mill, the third to be sited on the mill foundation at Whitewater Creek, was built by William T. Glower to replace its predecessor which was destroyed by a fire. By this time, the mill was also powering a sawmill and a dynamo which powered nearby Senoia. The mill was operational until 1959.
The two-story building on the right was the W. A. Brannon Mercantile, built in 1894 by R. D. Cole of Newnan. On the left is the Moreland Knitting Mill, built in 1904 as a cotton warehouse. An alley originally separated the two buildings but they were connected by the middle building (with square canopy) in 1937. Brannon sold the old warehouse for use as a knitting mill in 1920, which was originally known as Moreland Hosiery Mills (1920-1927) and later operated as Moreland Knitting Mills (1927-1968).
National Register of Historic Places