Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Teddy Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter: Roswell's Presidential Ties

Roswell is the perfect place to visit for those in search of history, and this holds especially true for presidential scholars. Across the historic district, connections to not one, but three United States presidents can be discovered, giving visitors the chance to learn some of the lesser known details about the lives of Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Georgia’s own Jimmy Carter. There’s no better way to spend the upcoming President’s Day holiday than by seeing history up close in Roswell!

Bulloch Hall, one of Roswell’s Southern Trilogy Historic House Museums, was built in 1839 and served as the childhood home of Mittie Bulloch, mother of Teddy Roosevelt. Mittie initially met Theodore Roosevelt Sr. during a visit to Roswell, and a few years later, after a courtship that has captured the hearts of many historians, the two were married at Bulloch Hall. The Christmas-time ceremony is brought to life in the same room by historically costumed reenactors on an annual basis. Visitors to Bulloch Hall can participate in guided tours on the hour, or visit the carefully maintained gardens and reconstructed slave quarters, where more exhibits tell the story of Bulloch’s many inhabitants. The Roosevelt’s connection to Roswell continues through Teddy Roosevelt’s brother, Elliott Roosevelt, who would later become the father of Eleanor Roosevelt, future wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt and beloved First Lady. During his presidency, Franklin and Eleanor were often seen passing through Roswell while spending time in Warm Springs, and Eleanor made several visits herself to Bulloch Hall.

Visitors may also wish to pass by the former home of Emily Dolvin, a resident of Roswell and aunt of Jimmy Carter. Often called Aunt Sissy, Emily was an avid campaigner for her nephew, and her house was often used as a gathering place, earning the name “Jimmy Carter’s Roswell White House.” A plaque stands outside the house on Bulloch Avenue, which, though not open to the public, is one of the many beautifully maintained historic homes in the city.
For more information on visiting Bulloch Hall, or to learn more about Roswell’s Presidential connections, be sure to stop by the Roswell Visitor’s Center, or contact the Southern Trilogy House Museum directly.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Wild and Wonderful Roswell

For residents in and around the Atlanta area, a wilderness experience is closer than you think! Roswell, Georgia brings outdoor excitement close to the city with its 30-mile trail system, natural parks, historic walks, and easy access to the Chattahoochee River. 

At Roswell’s parks along the river, a seven-mile path and brand new boardwalk are perfect for enjoying the Georgia weather in any season, whether you prefer walking, running, or cycling. In the spring and summer, Riverside Park also hosts live concerts that are free to the public, combining the outdoors with music, food, and fun. For more historic sights, visitors can head to the Vickery Creek Trail (also known as the Old Mill Park). This family-friendly hike passes the 1853 mill ruins, as well as a waterfall created by the Roswell mill spillway. Informational signs along the path offer commentary on the history of the mills, but for the more enthusiastic historian, detailed information can be found at the Roswell Visitor’s Center. 

The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) and Chattahoochee Nature Center also provide visitors with excellent opportunities for outdoor enjoyment. At the CRNRA headquarters, located at Island Ford, a riverside trail exhibits some of the calmer sections of the Chattahoochee, as well as cave-like rock overhangs along the bank. Explorers can climb in and among the formations, which were likely used by some of the earliest residents of the Chattahoochee River valley.  

For a more interactive experience, stop by the Chattahoochee Nature Center, the oldest natural science learning center in the Southeast with over 127 acres of native plants and gardens. The Nature Center frequently hosts events for children, families, and adults, as well as special events throughout the year that include festivals, themed hikes, fundraisers, a holiday market, and “Family Fun Days.” In addition, over 50 animals, from eagles and owls, to beavers and snakes, call the Nature Center their home.

After a full day exploring Roswell’s wild side, finish off your adventure on Canton Street in the Historic District, where modern spirit and Southern soul come together to create a one-of-a-kind experience. Restaurants, art galleries, boutiques, and more family-friendly events ensure that any time of year, Roswell is the place to be.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Picturesque Holiday in Roswell

No experience is quite as special as a Southern Christmas, and Roswell, Georgia is bursting with holiday spirit. Just north of Atlanta, Roswell is perfect for a charming weekend getaway or an afternoon filled with adventure. The weather allows for plenty of outdoor fun, and the usual hospitality becomes amplified as everyone embraces the season of giving. Just a stroll down Canton Street will sweep you away to a whimsical holiday world.

Step into any of our specialty shops and boutiques and you will find the perfect one-of-a-kind gift for all of the special people in your life. Surround yourself with the delightful holiday bustle of downtown Roswell, where you will feel part of a reminiscent storybook. Follow your nose to a bake shop or restaurant to grab a bite and experience Roswell's vibrant culinary scene, with plenty of restaurants to choose from.

But why let the fun stop there? Canton Street is just minutes from a beautiful Southern Trilogy, a trio of historic houses that are decorated with seasonal splendor. These houses include Barrington Hall, Bulloch Hall, and Smith Plantation, and all are available to tour (click for more information). At Bulloch Hall you will learn of the 100 year anniversary celebration of the National Parks Service, a notable achievement of Theodore Roosevelt, son of Mittie Bulloch. These gorgeous houses will take you back in time, and remind you of a simpler life filled with family traditions and holiday joy.

There is so much to do and see in Roswell, and your experience wouldn’t be complete without a comfortable stay at one of our accommodating hotels. Peruse our Christmas in Roswell brochure to plan your visit, gather up your friends or family members and spend a day or two creating experiences and memories you’ll cherish for years to come. Your perfect downtown adventure awaits!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

February 20, 1937, the first Roswell Fire Department was organized with C. W. Hughs as fire chief and 27 other members, all volunteers.  A siren on top of City Hall and someone riding around town blowing a horn alerted people that there was a fire.  The first fire station, on Elizabeth Way in the old Citizens Bank building, was rented for $10 per month for use as an office for the clerk and storing the fire truck.

In 1946, the City built a small concrete block building on Alpharetta Street near Elizabeth Way to house City Hall, the fire station, and jail. The cost of the building was $1,000, much more than originally planned because of the extra steel bracing needed for the jail.

In the mid-1950s the Economy Auto Building was purchased for the fire station. In 1979, the Wright Chevrolet building on Alpharetta Street at Norcross Street was purchased for the Fire Department, becoming Fire Station 1.

The 1942 building, enlarged into a five-bay fire station with 11,643 square feet of space, was completed and put into use in 1980. The glassed-in room used as a showroom for the car dealership contains a
museum focusing on the history of the Roswell Volunteer Fire Department. It has numerous fire-related pictures, historical information, and 1947 Ford American LaFrance Pumper, used by the City of Roswell. A new feature is a mural dedicated to the memory of firefighters lost on 9/11.

In 1987, the Fire Department saved Barrington Hall from destruction by a fire, saving it for future generations to enjoy.

Photo of Wright Chevrolet in the 1950s, courtesy of the Georgia Archives. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Roswell's Mill Legacy

The first cotton mill for the Roswell Manufacturing Company was opened in 1839. Power for the mill was provided by harnessing the water power from Vickery Creek. By the Civil War, two cotton mills and one woolen mill were in full operation.  Top left: Drawing of original mills courtesy of the Georgia Archives. Top right: Machine Shop from the mills in the mid-1970s. Bottom: Walkways in Old Mill Park and the Machine Shop as it looks today.

During the Civil War, the Roswell Mills were leading manufacturers of materials used for the Confederacy.  When Union troops came to Roswell in 1864, their orders were to burn the mills.  The only mill building left standing was the machine shop.  After the war, the mills were rebuilt.  The mill standing today was built in 1882.  It has been restored as offices.  The Pre-Civil war mill ruins are part of Old Mill Park with hiking trails, interpretive signs and a pedestrian bridge that connects the Roswell trails to the Chattahoochee River National Park trail on the other side of Vickery Creek.

To experience the area, today, click on Roswell’s Historic District Walking Tour Map at www.visitroswellga.com/historic-district.html

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Taste-Y Time in Roswell

Ladies and Gentlemen – Start Your Taste Buds!  It’s time for the yummiest fall event in Roswell - The Annual Taste of Roswell.

Come on down to the Historic Square, this Saturday, October 20th, noon – 5:30 pm for a great chance to enjoy a beautiful fall day while sampling food from Roswell’s favorite restaurants.  Throw in a DJ playing great music and fun family-friendly contests and you have a great recipe for a fun afternoon.

If you’re not from “around here,” the Historic Roswell Square is located at the intersection of Marietta Highway (GA 120) and Atlanta Street (GA 9).

On this fine fall Saturday, Roswell eateries will be selling samples of some of the items on their menus on the square in downtown Roswell.  Make the ticket tent your first stop to visit the smiling volunteers and purchase your food tickets for 50 cents each.  Samples are one to six tickets (50 cents to $3 in value).  I usually start with $5 worth of tickets, scope out the tents to see what each restaurant is selling, buy my samples and chow down.  If I still have room left in my stomach, I figure out how many more tickets I need and purchase a few more and start the fun all over again.

After you’ve eaten your fill, make sure you stop back by the ticket tent and vote on your favorite restaurants.  The friendly competition between restaurants includes:  Friendliest, Best Decorated Booth, Favorite Food Item, and the coveted Best of Taste, which is determined by YOUR taste purchases.

While you’re digesting your food and deciding if you really need just one or two more desserts, grab a chair in front of the bandstand and enjoy the music and dance contests.  In addition to the music from DJ Greg Talmadge, you and your family can participate in:

Hula Hoop Contest
Bean Bag Toss
Ring Toss
The Twist Dance Contest
Hokie Pokie
Electric Slide
Line Dancing

So stop reading, get out your calendar, and mark it down to be at the Historic Square in Roswell, this Saturday, October 20th from noon – 5:30 pm to enjoy a enjoy a “Taste-Y” Time in Roswell!  See you there!

The preliminary list of restaurants includes:
Brick House Pizza
Brookwood Grill
Coldbrews Sports Bar & Grill
Dogwood Café at Doubletree Roswell
Douceur de France
Edible Arrangements - Roswell
El Porton Mexican Restaurant
Gluten Free Cutie
Jet's Pizza
Kani House Japanese Restaurant
McAlister's Deli
Menchie's Frozen Yogurt
Oli + Ve
Plum Café
Rita's Italian Ice
Shane's Rib Shack
Sugo Restaurant
The Counter
The Fickle Pickle Café
The Roswell Tap
Twisted Taco
Vin 25

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October Fun in Roswell

Are you ready to get out and enjoy the fall?  Roswell has many October events to delight folks of all ages.

The 62nd Annual Frances McGahee Youth Day Celebration is 10/13, starting at 10 am with the annual parade.  The parade route begins at First Baptist Church on Mimosa Blvd. and ends at the Roswell Area Park on Woodstock Road. Families line Canton Street hoping to catch some of the candy that is thrown from the floats.  After the parade, the festivities continue with an all-day outdoor festival at the Roswell Area Park football field that includes a variety of activities – inflatable slides, moonwalk, pony rides, climbing wall, entertainment and more.

Continue your Saturday with Fall Farm Days at Smith Plantation, 10/13 11 am – 3 pm. This free annual event features artisan exhibits and demonstrations pertaining to life on a 19th Century Farm, including living history exhibits, blacksmithing, spinning, weaving, and open hearth cooking. Children’s activities include period games, farm animals petting zoo, wagon rides, crafts, farm chores and gold and gem panning (for $5). Smith Plantation will be open from 12 – 3 P.M. for tours for $4 admission. www.archibaldsmithplantation.org

Get back to nature with the Halloween Hikes at Chattahoochee Nature Center: 10/19, 20, 26 & 27; 7 – 10 pm.  On the hikes, you will experience the mystery of a short half-mile guided night hike through the lighted woodland trails meeting friendly costumed forest creatures who will delight you with their dramatic antics. After hike, enjoy live music by the bonfire. Kids are encouraged to wear their costumes and have their photo made with CNC’s roaming characters.

One of my favorites is the annual Taste of Roswell in Historic Town Square, 10/20, 12 pm – 5:30 pm.  Come and sample the flavors of Roswell’s outstanding restaurants.  Enjoy music, food family activities, vote for your favorites and enjoy the ambiance of the historic district.

A new event is the Rucker Fest, 10/21, noon – 5 pm in Historic Town Square. Presented by the Roswell Historical Society, this dog-friendly event celebrates the new book, “Rucker:  The Lost Country Dog.” Bring your dog and have some fun with contests, vendors, food and more.
Click on Rucker for more information at www.roswellhistoricalsociety.org

Bulloch Hall’s annual Sip of the South, is Saturday, 10/27, starting at 6:30 pm.  This year’s event will be “Halloween Style” with participants encouraged to wear costumes.  Reservations are required.  Please call 770-992-1731 by 10/24 to reserve your spot.  More details are at www.bullochhall.org/sip-of-the-south.html