Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas in Roswell

Christmas in Roswell is more than an event. It’s an entire season of Holiday Events with the Southern Trilogy sites, Bulloch Hall, Barrington Hall and Smith Plantation, dressed in seasonal splendor and open for tours, Santa sightings, holiday tours, musical performances, high teas, re-enactments of Mittie Bulloch's Christmastime 1853 wedding to Theodore Roosevelt, theatrical performances, art, open houses, dance and of course fabulous shopping on Georgia's officially recognized "Great Places In Georgia – Great Street," Canton Street, and all around Roswell.

The season kicks off in November with all of the Southern Trilogy sites ready to wow you by Thanksgiving week. “A Very Southern Christmas” at Barrington Hall features the traditions that make Christmas in the South a truly memorable experience. From fireworks to fruit cake, from Christmas Bags to the Pink Pig, Barrington Hall will be sure to bring back childhood memories while making new ones for you and your family.

“All I Want for Christmas Is…” at Smith Plantation will delight your senses with fantasies for the young and the young-at-heart. Rooms of historic Smith Plantation are filled with timeless wishes from the past along with vibrant colors, whimsical trees, and countless memories for all.

Bulloch Hall celebrates with “A Christmas Carol.” Each room of the house will show the story of the Charles Dickens’ holiday favorite Ebenezer Scrooge and what happens to him on that fateful Christmas Even in the early 1840s.

Annual special events complement the daily home tours at the Southern Trilogy homes. The special events sell out so it’s not too early to reserve your spot.

Christmas High Teas at Bulloch Hall are December 1, 6, 8, 13, and 15. Reservations are required. Call 770-992-1731 to reserve your spot for this warm, engaging afternoon with ladies in period clothing serving a two course tea in candlelight followed by a tour of the home.

Manners with Snowflake the Ballerina at Bulloch Hall is December 3rd for children ages 4 to 11. Reservations are required. Call 770-992-1731 to reserve your spot as Snowflake dances her way into the hearts of the children with gentle reminders of good manners. Light refreshments and holiday favors will be provided.

Also on December 3rd, is the Gingerbread Christmas at Smith Plantation home for children ages 5 and up. Reservations are required. Call 770-641-3978 to reserve your spot. This fun event includes preparing and decorating Christmas themed cookies, baked over the open hearth at the plantation’s outdoor cookhouse. Children also prepare a craft to take home.

A Christmas Carol will be performed in the Terrace Room at Bulloch Hall December 3, 16, 17, and 23rd. What better way to enjoy Bulloch Hall’s 2011 decorating them than with a performance of this Charles Dickens classic? Reservations are required. Call 770-992-1731 to reserve your spot as Wally Hinds, with 20-years experience with this holiday classic, once again brings it to life.

A Southern Trilogy Candlelight Tour is December 10th. This is your chance to see all three of the homes in their holiday finery by candlelight. Enjoy festive holiday decorations, children’s activities, seasonal treats, and entertainment.

Cookies with Mrs. Claus at Barrington Hall is December 17th. Mrs. Claus will be on hand for a seventy-five minute cookie making workshop with the children. Children will take their cookies home as well as their special letter to Santa. Reservations are required. Call 770-640-3855 to reserve a spot.

Christmas for Kids at Bulloch Hall is December 17th. Non-stop fun for ages 5-11. Activities include Yule log hunt, candy cane hunt, Christmas crafts, light snack, storytelling by “Queen Glitter,” a visit with Mr. & Mrs. Claus and a tour of the house. Reservations are required. Call 770-992-1731 to reserve your spot.

The Reenactment of Mittie Bulloch’s 1953 Wedding to Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. is December 21st at Bulloch Hall. In this much anticipated annual reenactment, each room represents a snippet of the mid-1800s. Ladies discuss the fashion of the day while the gentlemen talk about the events of the times all leading up to the wedding. Reservations are required. Please call 770-992-1731 to reserve your spot.

These are only a few of the many special events taking place in Roswell from mid-November until New Year’s Eve. For specific times, prices, and more information on these events and the many others that Roswell has to offer during the holiday season, just click on

Friday, November 18, 2011

Okay, adults, it’s time to fess up and acknowledge that we all ready love hearing a good story. One of my earliest memories is hearing my mom or dad tell me a story. Entire family reunions were filled listening to stories. I can remember sitting spellbound listening to the various exploits of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. As an adult, I realized that not all of them were 100% true, but it doesn’t matter because the teller enjoyed sharing the story and the audience enjoyed listening.

Stories have the capacity to do more than simply entertain, as much fun as that is. They can also pass along culture, like Native American stories do, impart wisdom, and are excellent ways to keep concepts in the mind of your audience. Long after the bullet points on your carefully crafted PowerPoint slides have faded from memory, the stories you told will still be fresh in the minds of your audience.

Each year, Roswell keeps the joy of storytelling alive by participating in a world-wide storytelling event called Tellabration! It is a time when guilds and storytelling enthusiasts all around the globe share their storytelling talents in concerts held in cities and towns to celebrate the art of storytelling. Roswell’s Tellabration! brings together highly respected regional storytellers, to delight, captivate, and mesmerize audiences with their tales.

As is Roswell’s tradition, we hold our Tellabration! the Friday night before Thanksgiving and this year is no different. It’s a fun night of family-friendly stories geared to adults – yes, adults! You don’t even have to bring along a child or grandchild to hide behind while you enjoy the stories.

This year’s tellers are Mary Apps, John Beavin, Grace Hawthorne and Phil Kaplan. Martha Tate will be the emcee. I love hearing each of these tellers and would be hard put to tell you which one is my favorite. Each brings their own unique style to telling.

Admission is $5 and tickets are sold at the door. Join us at 7:30 pm on Friday, November 18th at the Roswell Adult Recreation Center, 830 Grimes Bridge Road for a great evening of entertainment.

The evening is sponsored by the Roswell Ramblers Club, Historic Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau, Roswell Recreation and Parks Department and the Magnolia Tellers of the Roswell Folk and Heritage Bureau.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thank You Veterans

My earliest Veterans Day remembrances are of a day off from school, which is a special treat to almost every child I know. That was long before I realized just what a Veteran was. As I progressed through my American History courses, I slowly began to realize that everyday men and women had answered the call through many wars to serve their country. Today, we honor those men and women for their sacrifices to ensure our freedom.

Throughout my life, I’ve been privileged to know veterans of all wars since WWII. Many served their time, came home, and for years didn’t speak about their experiences. My dad’s cousin served in WWII in Europe and only began to speak about the war in the past 10 years. My aunts and uncles served in WWII and the Korean War but I mainly only know their branches of the service and maybe where they were stationed. I didn’t know until fairly recently, that my mom was an airplane spotter during WWII. Do you know your family Veterans’ History?

The Library of Congress American Folk Life Center has an exciting project to “collect, preserve, and make accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.” If you have a veteran in your family, consider checking out this project and encouraging your family member to add their memories to the project. More information can be found at

One of the hidden treasures of Roswell is the “Faces of War Memorial” on the grounds of City Hall. This fourteen by twenty feet bronze monument captures 50 faces showing the fear, grief, and courage of people in war. One figure in the sculpture is a soldier who reaches out of the memorial to clasp the hand of a little girl who is in front of the sculpture. It’s a great place to remember and be thankful for our veterans as we honor them, this Friday, November 11.

Take a moment today to thank a veteran. The best things we can do for them are very easy:
1. Acknowledge their sacrifices. Even if they didn’t see a single minute of battle, they spent time in a strange place far away from family and friends.
2. Listen to their story. Many of our older veterans, especially, hunger for someone to hear about their experiences.
3. Let them know that you appreciate all they’ve done for you.

4. Check with your closest Veterans Affairs hospital to determine the needs of the veterans they serve. Items like gently used magazines and books, for example, can serve a new purpose helping a Veteran pass the time, waiting to see a doctor.

And now for my fellow history buffs, here’s some information from the Veterans Affairs website about the history of Veterans Day.

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m. The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926. In 1954, the holiday was officially renamed Veterans Day by Congress.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Roswell In The News

If you haven’t had time to read all of the wonderful publications that highlight the goings-on in Roswell, here are a few that you may have missed:

Mayor’s Wrap Up Bragging Rights: The Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau partnered with the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote activities in both cities with “Holidays Along the Divine 9.” The kick-off event featured some friendly completion between the mayors and their wives from both cities.

Sip of the South: Ready for a great party? Bulloch Hall’s annual Sip of the South will have a Halloween theme this year. Reservations are required. Check out,177033 for more details.

Youth Day Grand Marshal to Present Award: Even though the Youth Day Parade was October 1st, Sally White, the Grand Marshal of the 61st Annual Youth Day Parade still has one duty to complete.

Ever wonder about some of Roswell’s more interesting sculptures? Check out

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall and Halloween Fun in Roswell

I love fall. Between the beautiful crisp air, leaves changing colors, hot apple cider and freshly picked apples, every day is a new adventure. At my age I think my friends would wonder if I’ve entered my second-childhood if I were to go trick-or-treating so I’m always on the lookout for fall adventures. Are you ready for some fall fun? Roswell has you covered with events through the end of October to entertain everyone in the family.

Alive After 5
Thursday, 10/20, 5 – 9 pm
Fun, entertainment, and shopping along Canton Street in Roswell’s Historic District. Free parking at Roswell City Hall. Free trolley. This is the last Alive After Five for 2011 so don’t miss out on the fun.

The Manor Haunted House
Friday and Saturday, 10/21, 22, 28, and 29, starting at 7:30 pm
If you’re looking for screams and thrills this Halloween, visit Roswell’s spine-chilling and bloodcurdling adventure at The Manor Haunted House, sponsored by the Roswell Recreation, Parks, Historic & Cultural Affairs Department. The Manor is located at 9100 Fouts Road in Roswell. Tickets are $10 per person and available at the door.For more details, visit, or call 770-641-3705.

Beasties at Barrington
with the North Fulton Drama Club Friday and Saturday, 10/21 & 22, 20117 – 9PM, Barrington Hall, 535 Barrington Drive.Admission fee - $5 per person. Stroll the grounds of Barrington Hall and encounter storytellers whose tales of old Roswell and of bygone days will delight the whole family!

3rd Annual Boo Y'all Scarecrow Contest
on Canton Street
Roswell schools, churches, and businesses created some very exciting scarecrows that are displayed along Canton Street. Visitors and residents voted on their favorites during the first two weeks of October. The winners will be announced on 10/20 at Alive After Five at 7 pm in the Heart of Roswell Park on Canton Street.

Roswell Art District Fall ArtWalk!!
Saturday, 10/22, 4-8 pm; Sunday, 10/23, 1-5 pm
Seven art galleries on Canton Street have joined forces to provide a magnificent tour of new exhibits, artists’ receptions, art prizes, music, tastings from area restaurants, refreshing libations and more. Just look for the purple and yellow balloons.

Halloween Hikes at The Chattahoochee Nature Center
Friday and Saturdays, 10/21, 22, 28, and 29: 7 pm
Encounter costumed woodland creatures as young children enjoy Halloween with these enchanting, friendly night hikes. Crafts, face-painting, snacks and beverages for sale.

Roswell Ghost Tour
Grand Greek revival mansions and humble mill worker's apartments are some of the haunted sites you'll see on this mile of easy walking. Tours depart from the bandstand in Roswell Square (across from the Roswell Visitor's Center). Call for tour times. Reservations are required. Year-round tour led by paranormal investigators. Extra tours have been added through the end of October. Please check their webpage or call 770-649-9922 for schedule and reservation information.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It’s A Wrap

Would you believe that there are only 72 more shopping days until Christmas? More importantly there are only 39 more days until the holiday events start along the Divine 9.

What, you’ve never heard of the Divine 9? To us local folk, that’s Georgia Highway 9, here in Roswell and Alpharetta. Each year, starting with Thanksgiving week, Roswell and Alpharetta host some must-attend events and celebrations all up and down the Divine 9.

To unveil the Holidays along the Divine 9 publication a very special, fun event is scheduled on Monday, October 17th at 11 am at Northpoint Mall. Mayor Jere Wood of Roswell, Mayor Arthur Letchas of Alpharetta, and their wives, Judie Raiford and Sally Letchas will participate in “The Mayor’s Holiday Wrap-Up.”

Each husband and wife team will be in a race to see which team can wrap the most toys in 19 minutes. Santa himself will give special acclaim to the team with the most wrapped gifts and a few other select categories. Performers from the Tolbert Yilmaz School of Dance production of The Nutcracker will be on hand providing additional holiday merriment. All gifts will be donated to North Fulton Community Charities.

I’m not sure what will be the most fun – cheering on my favorite mayor and wife team or getting some great ideas for how to wrap those funny shaped packages that I have to deal with each year. I wonder if Santa will let me sit on his lap, at my age? Guess I’d better focus on the beauty and majesty of the Tolbert Yilmaz Nutcracker dancers and be content with being awed at their skills.

The best part about this event is being the first to find out about the 84 (yes, I said 84) events in the Holidays along the Divine 9 publication. I know for a fact that some of them are of the “fills up fast, gotta reserve my spot, now” type of events.

Join us at Northpoint Mall on Monday, October 17th for the thrill of competition, the beauty of the dancers, and I bet you’ll even hear a jingle bell or two – you just have to be there in person to find out what I mean.

If you ever snuck under the tree as a kid, carefully opened a wrapped package to see what you were getting, and then taped it back up, I bet you can’t wait for Monday to see what all the Holidays along the Divine 9 has to offer. Guess what? You don’t have to wait. Just go to and click on the link to view all of the events.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Taste-Y Time in Roswell

Ladies and Gentlemen – Start Your Tastebuds! 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 15th, 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 radio station 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, over 25 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, Favorite Item, and the coveted Most Popular, 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 106.7 Atlanta’s Greatest Hits, you and your family can participate in:
Hula Hoop Contest
Bean Bag 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 15th from noon – 5:30 pm. See you there!

For more information on our sponsors and participating restaurants, check out

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Celebrating 20 Years of Heads in Beds and Faces in Places

On October 8, 1991, the Roswell community showed strong support for a tourism program in Roswell by donating more than $20,000 at a kick-off meeting. Thus began the strong focus on tourism and the creation of a vital organization to carry that work forward.

The Roswell CVB operates as the Destination Marketing Organization for the City of Roswell, working with partners throughout the city to attract visitors to our area. Visitors’ spending adds to the economic vitality of Roswell which increases our quality of life.

On May 1, 1992, we opened the doors to the Historic Roswell Convention & Visitors Bureau at 617 Atlanta Street and have been staffing it 7-days-a-week ever since. Here, visitors to Roswell and residents alike, receive information about our city, our tourist attractions, lodging, restaurants, shopping, events facilities, community services, city services, directions and more. Through the Visitors Center we are the welcoming face of the community, providing information, answering phone calls, responding to e-mail inquiries, and fulfilling requests generated by our advertising programs.

We work to put Heads in Beds and Faces in Places, utilizing dynamic advertising, marketing, and promotional programs to reach people near and far.

Planning a wedding, reunion or special occasion in Roswell? The CVB provides free services and assistance to make your job easy.

Arranging a business meeting? We are here to help you.

Want to have fun with your family and friends? Let us tell you the possibilities.

Looking for things you can do free of charge? Try the walking tour or the free downloadable Civil War/Mill Village tour on our webpage.

Stop by the Visitors Center to learn more about the Roswell community, or visit our website at Our hours are 9-5 Monday – Friday; 10–4 Saturday; Noon – 3 Sunday; with extended hours for festivals and special activities as needed.

As we celebrate 20 years of serving the community, we invite you to experience and celebrate Roswell!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Canton Street Wins Great Places in Georgia Award

The secret is out about Roswell's historic treasure - Canton Street! The setting for great shopping, dining and special events like Alive After 5 was recently awarded the "2011 Great Places in Georgia - Great Street" by the Georgia Planning Association (GPA). Canton Street was described as "the hottest scene OTP" (OTP-outside the perimeter.)

The GPA award acknowledges that good planning has been crucial to preserving Canton Street and making it the vibrant "Great Street" it is today. Canton Street received this award because of the alfresco dining craze, being a walker's dream street and for the people looking for "the Virginia Highland experience OTP, Canton Street has it covered." According to the award application, 'Historic commercial buildings and historic homes house restaurants, offices, retail and residential space. The Heart of Roswell Park provides a public park space in a historic commercial area and narrow streets with brick sidewalks and street trees provide character-defining elements that contribute to an enjoyable experience for all and provide the setting for a variety of experiences including shopping dining and festivals. Good planning has been crucial to making Canton Street a "Great Street in Georgia"! Citizens and visitors alike enjoy this historic and memorable sense of place.'

The Georgia Planning Association (GPA) is an official Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). GPA is a 1,000-plus member organization of professional planners and planning officials who serve Georgia's communities in many ways, at all levels of government, the private sector and not-for-profit organizations.

A special presentation will be made at the upcoming Roswell Mayor and City Council Meeting in recognition of the award on Monday, October 10 at 7 p.m.

Art Captures History and Nature in Roswell

What happens when you take a city full of picturesque historic and natural attractions and combine it with the creativity of middle schoolers? The result is awesome artwork and a great excuse for some friendly competition between the student artists.

Last year, when the “Roswell Connect,” networking and social event for Roswell businesses, was held at the Atlanta Academy, the Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau was amazed at the size of the art gallery area and the work the students had created. This year, as part of the Roswell Paint Out, Atlanta Academy Students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades were busy creating scenes of historic areas in Roswell.

So many great works of art were created that it was a challenge for the school’s art director and panel of judges to narrow it down to 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and honorable mention awards for each of the grades. The October 4th ceremony to announce the winners was a great time to showcase the students’ work and of course, for a photo op.

Bank of North Georgia, as part of their support of the CVB and the arts, provided the ribbons and cash awards given to each student. Kevin Bamford with Bank of North Georgia, joined Mayor Wood, Rich Dippolito, Becky Wynn, Betty Price, Steve Stroud, administrators and instructors from Atlanta Academy, Dotty Etris and Marsha Saum from the Roswell Convention & Visitors Bureau in congratulating the students and celebrating their works of art.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wing Your Way to the Chattahoochee Nature Center

Hundreds of wings will be flying at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, this weekend. No, the birds at the Nature Center don’t have a lot of chicks ready to leave the nest. It’s not a convention of angels, either. It’s the 2011 Flying Colors Butterfly Festival!

Tickets are just $10 for the General Public ($8 if you’re a CNC Member) and children ages 2 and under are FREE.

Here’s a glimpse at what will be going on Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17:

Butterfly Releases
Witness the thrill of a live butterfly release including swallowtail butterflies! Butterfly releases occur at 11 AM and 1:30 PM on Saturday and at 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM on Sunday.

Plant Sale
Find the perfect host plants and nectar plants to take home to your garden to attract butterflies to your backyard! CNC Horticulture volunteers will be on-hand at the plant sale and in the butterfly garden to answer your questions about how to attract butterflies and other pollinators to your yard!

Butterfly Crafts and Face Painting
We have crafts for everyone! Kids can make butterfly inspired sun catchers, butterfly antennae, silly straws, and bouncy caterpillars. Come visit us in Kingfisher Kids can get their faces painted with beautiful butterflies and creepy caterpillars!

Butterfly Sidewalk Art & Fairy House Construction
Butterflies provide the perfect inspiration for our on-going art project. Create a "butterfly path" from the Ben Brady Lakeside Pavilion all the way to the "fairy village!"
Fairies are among us. Stop by the free play area and build a fairy house or gnome home during the Butterfly Festival. Fairy houses and gnome homes are made from nature objects for real and imaginary creatures. Nature materials provided; bring your imagination. One house per family please.

Butterfly and Caterpillar Costume Parade
Come with your very best butterfly wings or your best caterpillar colors on and join us for our butterfly parade at the end of festival each day with grand marshal Ms. Chrysalis!

Entertainment for the Entire Family
Saturday and Sunday will bring out our friends from Atlanta Dance Central as they showcase some of their up and coming dancers!

On Saturday, Piccadilly Puppets will have you laughing and learning as they present Butterfly Ballad at 11:30am and 2:00pm.

Captain George will have us dancing and singing along to old favorites on Sunday with some help from YOU!

Exhibitors and Vendors
We will have groups with us that will help you learn about the importance of pollinators in our environment. We will also have some environmentally friendly vendors on hand to help you green your life!

Girl Scout Butterfly Badge
Junior Girl Scouts can work on the requirements for the Butterfly Badge on their own with self-guided activities on Saturday OR come on Sunday and complete the requirements through an interactive program with Cadette Scout Mary Ann H. from Troop 24324 as part of her Silver Award! If you would like to sign-up for the Sunday program please contact The program is included with admission to the festival!

For full details, just click on

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bike Ride Will Shut Down GA 400

Bicycles on Georgia 400? Isn’t that normally illegal? This coming Sunday, for the third year in a row, Georgia 400 will be shut down so that bicycles can ride in the “Hospitality Highway Century” to benefit the Georgia Transplant Foundation (GTF). It’s your chance to be one of the few folks who can say that they shut down Georgia 400 and did something good for someone else at the same time.

Registered riders will promptly start at 6:30 a.m. from the former Home Depot parking lot in Roswell, at the intersection of Holcomb Bridge Rd. and Market Blvd., and pedal their way down GA 400 from exit 7 to exit 6. Cyclists will then wind through the cities of Roswell, Sandy Springs, Milton, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, and other scenic areas of north Fulton, Forsyth, and Cherokee counties. The route includes rest stops, complete with bathrooms, full mechanical support, and a variety of snacks and drinks. Whether it’s the 9-mile “I Did It” ride or the 22-mile, 60-mile, and 100-mile options, this event promises to be filled with fun, excitement, and the opportunity to say, “I closed down 400!”

The start/ finish point is located in the former Home Depot parking lot, next to the Publix, in the Kings Market shopping center, in Roswell. The exact address is: 1425 Market Blvd. Roswell, GA 30076. All persons involved with the ride - cyclists, fans, volunteers, staff, etc. - should only park their vehicles in the former Home Depot parking lot, NOT in front of Publix. Additional parking will also be available in the former Comp. USA parking lot, located off of Market Blvd., in the same shopping center

Registration opens at 5:15 am. Only registered cyclists who arrive before 6 am will be able to ride on GA 400 during the specific window of time allotted by the Department of Transportation. Registration is $45, including the day of the event. Registration includes a t-shirt, food, water, and full mechanical support along the way. The ride is open to anyone 14-years-of- age or older. For details about the ride and to register for the “Hospitality Highway Century,” please visit

Need a place to spend the night so that all you have to do is fall out of bed and get to registration early, early, early? The host hotel for the event is the Courtyard by Marriott, Roswell. You can leave your car at the hotel and just pedal a few feet to the start of the race. Call them at 770-992-7200 to take advantage of their special $59.00 rate for the ride. But wait, there’s more! Check out the other Roswell hotels, many located right on Holcomb Bridge where the race starts:

Founded in Atlanta in 1992, the Georgia Transplant Foundation is a non-profit organization providing financial, educational, and emotional support to transplant candidates, recipients, living donors, and their families throughout the state of Georgia. GTF is funded through the generosity of the Carlos and Marguerite Mason Trust, corporations and individuals. Eighty-four percent of all funds raised directly support Georgia’s organ transplant community. For more information, please visit

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Lost Mill Workers of Roswell

Can you imagine what it would be like to be arrested and deported just because you worked for a company that someone else didn’t like? That’s exactly what happened during the Civil War to women and children who worked for the Roswell Manufacturing Company in the cotton and woolen mills.

Just down from the Visitors Center is Sloan Street Park. At the far end of the park is a ten-foot Corinthian column, shattered at the top to symbolize the lives torn apart by the Civil War tragedy. This monument was erected and dedicated on July 8th, 2000 to the memory of the 400 mill workers, mostly women and children, arrested and charged with treason during the Civil War.

Theophile Roche, a French citizen, had been employed by the cotton mills and later the woolen mill. In an attempt to save the Roswell Manufacturing Company mills during the Union occupation of Roswell, he flew a French flag in hopes of claiming neutrality. However, the letters "CSA" (Confederate States of America) were found on cloth being produced. For two days the mill was spared, but on July 7, 1864 after it was proven that the claim of being neutral was false, General Sherman wrote: “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, which I will send them by cars to the North…The poor women will make a howl.”

The nearby cotton mills and woolen mill were destroyed. Mill workers, women, their children, and the few men, most either too young or too old to fight, were rounded up on the square, arrested, and charged with treason. They were transported by wagon to Marietta and imprisoned in the Georgia Military Institute, by then abandoned. Then, with several days' rations, they were loaded into 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.

In the New York Commercial Advertiser, dated September 9, 1864, the editor of the Louisville Journal recalled visiting the prisoners in an article entitled, “Sherman’s Female Captives”: As we ascended the steps, the first object that greeted our eyes was a child full of robust health engaged at play in the hall. Passing the lower apartments, the doors standing wide open, we found, on an average, three double beds in each room and seated around and on the beds, engaged in sewing, and other occupations common to ladies, were women - some with the bloom of eighteen years upon their cheeks and others advanced in years beyond the hey-day of life. . .Some moved about the building in sprightly manner, others with their robes gathered negligently about them, and with all the languor to be found in the invalid, or in the person prone to yield to gloomy thoughts, and grow sad and morose.”

A northern newspaper correspondent reported on the deportation …”only think of it! Four hundred weeping and terrified, Ellens, Susans, and Maggies, transported in springless and seatless army wagons, away from their loves and brothers of the sunny South, and all for the offense of weaving tent-cloth.”

Although the women mill workers were charged with treason, they were never tried for that crime. Shipped north, imprisoned and ordered to declare allegiance, they were eventually released—but without provisions or assistance to get back home. Some of the women would make their way back to Roswell, but what happened to others remains a mystery. We can only speculate. Because many of the women were young, they might have stayed in Indiana, married and settled. Some may have found employment in Indiana mills or other locations. If their fathers, husbands and brothers had been killed in the War, they may have had no reason to try to find their way back to Roswell.

Here are two stories of women that survived the deportation and managed to come back to Georgia:

One of the women involved in this tragedy was pregnant and working as a seamstress at the mill. She was sent north to Chicago and left to fend for herself. It would take five years before she and her daughter would return, on foot, to Roswell. Her soldier husband returned to Roswell after the war. Thinking that his wife must be dead, he remarried before she returned.

Another young woman was just a teenager working in the Roswell Mills with her mother and grandmother. All three were charged with treason and deported. The mother died on the train between Chattanooga and Nashville. The grandmother died on a steamship on the Ohio River, after being carried on board sitting in a rocking chair. The young woman married a Confederate veteran in Louisville, KY. The newlyweds tried to make a new life in Indiana but her health had been ruined by the deportation. A doctor advised that she would not live through another Indiana winter. The couple moved south to Cartersville, GA, back to the South she loved.

Sources: , “Roswell – The Lost Mill Workers of Roswell” monument brochure by The Roswell Mills Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, , , “The Guide to Roswell,” a publication of the Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau, Caroline Matheny Dillman, The Roswell Mills and a Civil War Tragedy: Excerpts from Days Gone by in Alpharetta and Roswell, Georgia, vol. 1 (Roswell, Ga.: Chattahoochee Press, 1996), Michael Hitt, Historian and author of Charged With Treason.