Allatoona Waters Covering Old Mill, Village on Etowah
by Col. Thomas Spencer
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When my map–covering sites of Historic Bartow– was printed in the Tribune News on January third, I promised you some old, and rare, pictures of places being covered by the water of the Etowah as the Allatoona Dam stops the flow of the mighty Etowah.
With this article appears two pictures–taken from old wood cuts–showing Etowah Rolling Mill and Village, also the Etowah Flouring Mill. The old Flouring Mill stood almost exactly on the spot where the new Allatoona Dam was built. Some of the remains of the old mill were destroyed with the start of the dam.
Parts of the buildings at the Rolling Mill were still visible several weeks ago. All these sites with the exception of part of Cooper Furnace will be under water. Many of those who read the article of January 3rd happened to be in the ‘’roaring mob’’ who rushed to see the dam on Sunday, January 8th.
It is interesting to note–that in two letters I have just received from some of the readers of my humble column– that they went to see the dam on Sunday of the ‘’roaring mob’’ due to having read the Tribune article. One reader wrote, ‘’I went to the New Allatoona Dam after having read your article in the Tribune–not knowing traffic-jammed almost to death.’’ The other letter stated, ‘’We get our news in the Tribune–and Sunday being our day-off–I took the family to the New Dam.’’, etc, etc.
It is of interest to note in the diary of Jenkin Lloyd Jones, a private in the Sixth Wisconsin Battery of the Federal army, that Yanks from the battery–where the old W&A crossed the Etowah–’’took many a refreshing bath in the waters of the mill-dam.’’ This refers to the lower dam’’the one west of the present New Dam.
An old ledger–found by Mr. W.E. Bivens of Emerson, shows many sales recorded from these old mills. Among the items shown are sale from the Flouring Mill, the corn mill, rolling mill, and from the Cooper Shop. Items sold included nails, castings, iron, flour, meal, merchandise, etc. Sales were made to points in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, New York and other points.
Old Georgia names included names as, Carpenter & Compton, Cassville, Ga.; Keys & Henderson; Jones & Greenwood; Dr. James LaConte; A.J. Rippey & Queen; S. Fouche; Stovall; Black Cobb & Co., Rome; Thomas R. Ripley, Atlanta; A.R. Churchill; Charles Smith; and many others. Flour was shipped to England–and shipments top Atlanta brought on a ‘’flour war’’ between the flouring mills and Atlanta competition.
Thanks are due to Major B.C.Yates for the use of the old woodcut prints, and to Mr. W.E. Bivens of Emerson, for the use of the old ledger and it’s content. Also thanks to Mr. Key of Cartersville now living, who verified the location of the Howard house and his description of the dam and how it was made. Also thanks to Mr. J.P. Abernathy of Sherman, Texas for his information regarding the mills.
The story of the engine ‘’Yonah’’ has been recounted in a previous article–written by me for the Tribune. The old ‘’Yonah’’ was the old engine used between the W&A Railroad and the Cooper Iron Works. It was used by Captain Fuller on that 12th April, 1862–in the famous old ‘’engine chase’’–a part of Bartow history.
So, the old Etowah is being backed up over many points of historic interest. The case of the modern taking over the grand and glorious past. It is well to record the past–that the future might go on to greater and bigger things–only because the past was the beginning of the greatness of the present.
January 17, 1950
One of my most fondest memories when I was younger was the only time we were interested in TV and not playing outside was Sunday nights. It was a time when everyone was there. My mom, dad and my nieces and nephews who came to visit Amy, Jeff and Bubba (Julian). P.S. almost every southern family has a Bubba. He just wanted to be called Bubba. We lived at 8816 East Borne Drive in Jonesboro, Georgia not far from the Flint River. There were a few programs my parents instead on watching which was the news WSB Channel 2. The next program was the Gospel Jubilee which was a colorful group of gospel singers. It was a program that seemed to have the colors of the flower children of the Sixties set to gospel music. Following that was Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins and Big Jim. Jim seemed to get the short end of the stick on that program. Marlin would announce Jim was going to jump from a helicopter into a heard of wildebeests. Jim also tried to rope an ocelot with a long stick and a rope. That cat wasn’t having that and slapped the stick and rope out of his hands. You certainly need insurance from Mutual of Omaha to do what Jim did.
The next program was the Lawrence Welk Show which was another singing program like Gospel Jubilee. We hated that show but had to sit through it to watch what we wanted. Just to aggregate mom and dad we would loudly sing the Good Night Song as it went off.” Good Night Sleep Tight and May Your dreams come true…. and then finally the Walt Disney Program came on. We always wanted to go to Walt Disney World but never had the money. The show began with Tinker Bell waving her wand to starts the program. A television should not hold a lot of fondness. Today we have over 300 channels and nothing on. I do remember it was one of the time we ate and sat together with family.
Two of the events I remember clearly in life was the Space Shuttle Disaster and the events on.9/11. Of course, at the time, I did not seem like that big an event. I was 16 in 1986, I was going to Etowah High School in Woodstock, Georgia. My parents had moved to Euharlee, Ga as we previously lived in a trailer park in nearby Acworth. While living in the trailer park, I met Doug Pazstak who hired me to do odd jobs around his home. He created his own dog kennel called ,”A PETS PLACE.” I hauled 34 tons of gravel between two sides of the kennel by wheel barrow. I helped Doug run the kennel and in return he let me stay at his house to finish school at Etowah. I also stayed to help with the kennel. For a reason I cant remember I did not go to school that day. I was in the upstairs bedroom where they let me stay. I turned on the TV Set and watched the space shuttle launch on the news and saw the smoke trails on the screen. The TV went silent as if nobody knew what happened. No comments, no panic, just silence and a lot of confusion. I might have been upset but I wasn’t aware of what happened. Just what looked to be chem trails of smoke and then maybe a hour later they began to explain what happened. I remembered the teacher on the flight and wondered what it was like for her students who were surely watching the events unfold. One of my stranger days indeed. The image on the TV screen is still there.
The next big event was just as subtle but big nonetheless. It was 15 years later on September 11, 2001. I was working for the power company in the electrical apparatus department. My specialty was repairing electronic regulator panels. These panels control large oil filled regulators that keep the voltage in your home around 123 volts .I worked with a college professor who left education to work for the power company, a Mr. Kelly Daughterly. Together Kelly and I travelled out to what was called the Five Points Substation #15 to replace a couple of regulator panels and retire the old ones from the field. The unique thing was how quiet it was. No planes in the sky with maybe a few chem trails from planes but no other noise. We travelled back to the office and Elaine, the receptionist called us on the radio and said a plane had hit a building. I imagined a little Cessna sticking out a window of a skyscraper. We went upstairs and turned on the news and watched the entire scene. Later that day we had to go back out into the field. Kelly was concerned about war and the potential of his son being drafted. We talked and talked with so much uncertainty about what would happen next. I always thought Lockheed in Marietta would be a target for terrorists. At the time was not up on local news or events. My focus soon changed after that.
Scene: The Set of the Movie Sweet Home Alabama
Location: The Battles for Atlanta in Covington, Georgia at the Georgia International Horse Park
Setting: Henry, Raymond and Barry – Re enactors are repeating many scenes in the movie but are not getting paid anything.
I say, “How long is this gonna last? We walked this hill five times already.”
Raymond replies, “We are going to have to fire the artillery soon.”
Each time we repeat a scene an actor, shouts at Reese Witherspoon, “JESUS CHRIST, HES YOUR COUSIN!!!” Suddenly the scene changes up with a different line, as we repeat walking up and down the hill. The actor then pushes Reese Witherspoon away and shouts, ” I DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU ANYMORE!!!.
Suddenly we are called to the cannons for a firing scene. Raymond says, “Henry’s calling us lets go!.” I replied, “Are we done with the scene.” I didn’t care really, but a directors assistant begs us to stay. We pointed to the guns and kept on moving.
As we prepared to fire the guns, we can still hear the actors shouting in the distance,”I DON”T KNOW YOU ANY MORE!!” We load the cannon with a charge and just before we prepare to fire I shouted, “YES YOU DO, ITS JESUS CHRIST!!!!” I heard the director shout, “CUT!!!” Soon after Henry shouts the order to fire, several cannons fire in succession with a deafening boom that sets off car alarms in the distance and covers the entire field with a dense fog of powder smoke. Thus ended the movie shoot for the day
Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama from IGN.com
According to Hegel,” History teaches us man learns nothing from history.” I really did not take an interest in genealogy until I met a friend Robert Crowe who got me interested. Low and behold I found a whole group of family members that served in the Confederacy and a couple in the Union. Truly this War Between the States was a battle of brother against brother. This sparked an interest in that era of history and Robert invited me to visit him at a war re-enactment to meet Garry Alexander. Garry had his own little mountain howitzer and a unit called the 9th Battalion Georgia Artillery. A mountain howitzer is a small cannon that is usually carried by three mules with the tube on one mule, another carried the trail or carriage and the wheels on last mule. The mountain howitzer was meant to be just that, it was a cannon that could be carried over mountains and set up quickly where needed. Unfortunately these types of cannon were not used much in the Atlanta Theater of the war.
Garry wanted to be historically correct but his mule was an old four wheel drive dodge with a small trailer on back. At the time it did not matter to me as I knew nothing. I saw Garry, His daughter Kim and another friend Keith Boyles was getting water and cleaning up after the Battle of Bridgeport, Alabama. I walked up and introduced myself rather sheepishly. Garry shook my hand and mentioned what I might need to get started. Apparently both Union and some Confederate soldier wore sky blue pants. It was safe to get a pair as a re-enactor would galvanize. In Georgia, there was always more Confederate Soldiers than Union so sometimes you had to switch jackets being gray on day and blue the next. The sky blue pants was the denominator that got you started. Excited about participating, I purchased my Jernigan wool, sky blue pants and suspenders at Bridgeport along with a white shirt that had wooden buttons. Thus I began my venture into a hobby of reenacting. I pieced together my uniform a little bit at a time as I got the money and ran up some credit cards in the process.
Garry was not interested in the history of the 9th Georgia Artillery but I was. I went to the library and searched for all I could find. For starters the 9th had five units from around Atlanta, Gwinnett, Columbus and Augusta. Most of the 9th Georgia’s large guns were Napoleon 12lb smooth bores which are more historically accurate for the period. We carried pistols but it seems the original 9th Georgia had Mississippi rifles to defend themselves and equipment. All of the reenactments we participated in were in Alabama and Georgia but the original 9th Georgia Artillery fought from Georgia , Tennessee, Kentucky and up into Virginia. Over time I would buy many more pants, boots and supplies to participate. I wore glasses and bought authentic frames with my prescription in them. They looked quite silly but it worked. We were a rag tag looking group at first with some in full uniform and others were piece mailed together. After a reenactment it would difficult to want to do much but people would want to visit camp afterword to get a feel of how soldiers might have lived. Of course you have to keep modern conveniences hidden but at times you were just too hot to care.
One of the important things about firing a cannon is that it takes five people for operate the weapon. It take one person to load the round which in our case was a tube wrapped in aluminum foil with black powder and flour for effect. The second person would ram the cartridge pushing the charge to the back of the muzzle with a long rod called a rammer. The third person would prick a hole in the charge with a brass gimlet and place a device called a friction primer into vent hole. The fourth positron holds a rope called a lanyard taut so that when he pulls the primer wire the primer will shoot fire into the vent hole setting off the charge and firing the cannon. The fifth position is the person who gives the order to fire. In order to fire again a different process is used. The first position has a tool called a worm that will reach in and pull the spent charge out of the muzzle. The second position would sponge out the muzzle and what remains with get sponge on a long rod. The one of the other positions will plug the vent with their finger to prevent any embers or chaff from being left in the vent.
The important thing to remember in the whole process is safety. After a little practice the procedure is like a dance, or riding a bike you don’t forget it. Of course, if you are missing part of your crew you are at a disadvantage. At a reenactment at Resaca, Georgia this is exactly what happened. An inexperienced teenage crew member and his father were recruited to work the front of 3rd U.S. Artillery’s gun which was right beside us. They had forgotten to sponge the muzzle with water before loading the charge. The father rammed the charge to the back of the muzzle with the burning embers still there. He somehow punctured the charge and it went off shooting the wooden rammer across the field. No one got hurt but the two working the front of the gun had some burns and deafened by the cannon firing prematurely. No one was hurt by the flying rammer but it was interesting seeing this short pole fly through the air over soldiers head. You can’t really learn the dangers involved until you see it firsthand. One could only imagine what the real thing was like with deadly rounds like grapeshot or a 12 pound ball. With black powder and flour the best we could manage was an unleavened biscuit.
Pictured Above Barry Colbaugh, Raymond, Gossett, Robert Crowe, Garry Alexander and the youngest is Josh the Fiddle Player