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