How about giving your wallet a break while you’re experiencing what Roswell has to offer? It sounds like a deal that fits my budget perfectly.
Roswell Mills & Old Mill Park
On the banks of Vickery Creek you will find the ruins of the Roswell Manufacturing Company Mills nestled among the trees that line the creek. The largest mill building was constructed in 1853. A few hundred feet down stream from that location is the site of Roswell’s first cotton mill, built in 1839. Fire has been a constant in the mill area. The 1839 and 1853 mills were burned by Union forces on July 7, 1864. During Reconstruction, the 1853 mill was rebuilt and used until destroyed by fire in 1926. The mill building seen today was a machine shop built in 1882 as an addition to the complex.
Stroll through this beautiful area as you hear the rush of the water falling over the much photographed waterfall created when the dam was built to harness the power of the water. A covered pedestrian bridge connects Old Mill Park to the National Park trails on the other side of the creek, if you’re ready for more adventures. Interpretive markers in the park will help you learn more about the history of the area.
Wear walking shoes and bring water so that you can enjoy the area to the fullest. To access the park, turn onto Mill Street from Atlanta Street and look for the signs. There’s plenty of parking in the area.
Roswell Mills and the Civil War – Free Downloadable Audio Tour
There’s that beautiful word, again – Free! On our website is an audio tour that tells the stories of the Roswell Mills and Roswell Mill workers, including the 400 women and children who were charged with treason and sent north to uncertain fates during the Civil War occupation of Roswell.
General Sherman’s orders for the mill workers were, “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, whence I will send them by cars to the North … The poor women will make a howl.”
Download the audio walking tour at www.visitroswellga.com/mill-village-walking-tour.html and enjoy exploring the history of Roswell. The tour gives you a glimpse into the lives of the mill workers before and during the Civil War as you explore the areas where they lived and worked.
Self-Guided Walking Tour of Roswell’s Historic District
Come into the Visitors Center at 617 Atlanta Street to pick one up or just download it at www.visitroswellga.com/historic-district.html The map includes a description of many of the houses and buildings that have been part of Roswell since Roswell King founded Roswell over 150 years ago.
While you’re in the Visitors Center, take time to enjoy the displays that tell the story of the importance of water power to the founding of Roswell and the vital role that cotton played in our mills. There are even two videos that will tell the story of Roswell and give you an idea of everything there is to see in Roswell. All you have to do is to decide if you want the 12 minute “overview” video or the longer 25 minute video that starts with the Cherokee and takes you through reconstruction after the Civil War. A friendly staff person will be happy to start the video for you and answer any questions you may have.
Monthly Free Events from summer through fall
Riverside Park on Riverside Drive is the place to be the first Saturday of the month, from May through October. Bring your blankets and spread out a picnic spread and enjoy the Riverside Sounds music series. These free concerts are from 7 to 9 pm. Details on the concerts are at www.roswellriversidesounds.com
Another fun event each month from April through November, is the Alive After Five held on Canton Street the third Thursday of the month, starting at 5 pm. Enjoy live music, outside vendors, late hours by retailers, face painting, free trolley, balloons, and more. Enjoy with family, a date or your friends. Full details can be found at www.aliveafterfiveroswell.com
All of this free stuff to do and I didn’t even mention the miles of walking trails, including one along the Chattahoochee River going right by Shallow Ford, the first place in U.S. history that a rifle was used successfully under water during armed conflict, cemeteries in the Historic District to explore, parks with playground equipment for the children, a disc golf course at East Roswell Park, great places to window-shop for antiques, art work, or even unexpected finds in shopping areas like the Historic District, SOCA, and Sweet Apple Village. I could go on and on.
So get off your couch, lace up those walking shoes and head out!