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.
www.chattnaturecenter.org

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.
www.visitroswellga.com

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

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Covering Roswell’s Historic Square in Color for 22 Years

Calling all husbands, fathers, and children, this is your final warning that Mother’s Day is this weekend! Unless you’re of an age where the Tooth Fairy regularly visits, you probably have outgrown simply giving Mom a great big kiss to go with the card you made in school. Husbands – as much as your wife might let you think that a new washing machine or vacuum cleaner is just what she wanted, take it from me, your stock will rise measurably if you’re a little more creative.

If picking out gifts for Mom isn’t your thing, don’t worry - Roswell has you covered!

The 22nd Annual Colors Festival of Arts is Saturday and Sunday, May 12th and 13th. Admission to the show is free. The festival is held on the Historic Town Square, located at the intersection of Highways 9 & 120, from 10 am. - 6 pm, both days. For those of you who need more detailed directions, the official address of the Square is 610 Atlanta Street, Roswell.

The Historic Town Square will be filled with fine arts, original crafts, children’s activities, fun food, and entertainment. Shopping, food, and entertainment all in one place – we’ve got you covered!

Entertainment ranges from local dance groups to young musicians to storytelling to folk/rock/bluegrass/county musicians to everyone’s favorite Adam Komesar and his balloon creations. You can find the full entertainment schedule at www.visitroswellga.com/include-new/events/2012ColorsFestivalArtsEntertainment.pdf

Don’t forget to visit the children’s area of the festival for art work opportunities for your children to make to take home. There are even vendors who create clothing and accessories just for children. What mom doesn’t want her child to look perfect?

Want a sneak peek at the artists that will be at the festival? There’s a full list on our webpage: www.visitroswellga.com/include-new/events/2012ArtistsCraftsmenColorsFestival.pdf

While you’re out, make sure that you treat Mom to a day off from cooking! If festival food isn’t your thing, we have many unique and fun restaurants in Roswell. Mother’s Day lunch can be a very busy time so reservations are recommended. For restaurant ideas, check out www.visitroswellga.com/restaurants.html

Looking forward to seeing you on the Square in Roswell this Mother’s Day weekend for the Colors Festival of Arts.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Roswell Celebrates Tourism

When you hear the word Tourism, what comes to mind? For some, it’s the last trip they took to some far off exotic location. For others, it might be a memory of pretending that you were not related to your dad as he walked down a sidewalk dressed in a brightly-colored shirt, plaid shorts, white socks and brown sandals, with the family brownie camera on a strap around his neck. Yes, that is Tourism, but I’m talking about something much closer to home.

Every time you see license plates from other states and counties as you drive into a restaurant, store, hotel or attraction parking lot in Roswell you are seeing tourism at work. It’s that wonderful economic engine that brings people in from other places to enjoy all that we have to offer.

With Georgia positioned as a premier travel destination, Tourism is the 5th largest employer in Georgia with a total economic impact of $45 billion, supporting more than 391,000 jobs, or 10.4% of all payroll employment in Georgia. If that wasn’t excitement enough, Tourism is the second leading revenue producing industry in the state. All of that revenue translates to a state and local tax savings of $706 for each Georgia household. With that much of an impact, it’s easy to see why we LOVE tourism in Roswell.

January 24th was the 2012 Tourism and Hospitality Day at the Georgia State Capital. Together with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Convention and Visitors Bureau and Chambers of Commerce professionals from around the state of Georgia, Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association members, as well as attractions and arts entities converged on the Capital to celebrate all that Tourism means to the state.

With so much for tourists (and of course our residents, too) to see and do in Roswell, the Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau was excited to participate in this annual event. With a theme of T.I.E.D. – Tourism is Economic Development, our legislators were reminded of the incredible benefits of tourism to Roswell and the entire state of Georgia.

As part of the festivities, the 2012 Georgia Travel Guide was unveiled, featuring Grammy Award-winning group Lady Antebellum on the cover. In addition to printed copies being available at the state’s eleven Visitor Information Centers, the guide is online so I just had to check it out. It was exciting to find all of the places in the Guide where folks can find out about Roswell.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Get Those Taste Buds Revved Up

We all know that Roswell has a wide selection of unique restaurants, right? What, you didn’t know? Where have you been?

My mouth is watering just thinking of the possibilities. From BBQ so good that it’s hard not to eat it multiple times a week to sandwiches made from bread and meats cooked on premise, daily, to mouthwatering steaks and salmon to vegetables cooked the good old country way to unique French and Italian dishes to new takes on Mexican and Thai dishes to you name it, Roswell has it all.

To showcase Roswell’s wide variety of yummy choices, a group of Roswell restaurants teamed up to create the First Annual Roswell Restaurant Week from January 14-22. The nine-day promotion will showcase the outstanding cuisine of the area’s best restaurants that will each offer a prix-fixe, three-course menu consisting of an appetizer, a main course and a delicious dessert for $15 and $25 per person excluding alcohol, tax and gratuity. Can you say bargain and yum in the same sentence?

www.roswellrestaurantweek.com has all of the details plus a list of participating restaurants.

After writing about all of this food, I just may have to get a jump on Restaurant week at lunch, today. I’m headed out to www.visitroswellga.com/restaurants.html to check my options, right now.