Now a commercial center, Roswell Mill is the 1882 incarnation of a cotton mill in downtown Roswell, Georgia and serves as the parking area for Old Mill Park. The original Roswell Mill (1839) was located near the entrance to the covered bridge. The machine shop and blacksmith shop were nearby to power the mill using an "endless belt" system for power transmission from a nearby millpond on Vickery (Big) Creek, a tributary of the Chattahoochee River. Nearby housing, known as the Bricks, provided shelter for workers.
In 1853 a larger dam was constructed upstream, along with a new machine shop. Because the river valley was deeper, the machine shop took on a vertical orientation. When General William Tecumseh Sherman took the town during the Atlanta Campaign he ordered the workers removed to Marietta, Georgia, where they were removed to the Louisville Womens Prison, then under the command of Mary Edwards Walker. Walker turned the workers loose in Indiana and Ohio, once she felt they did not pose a threat to the United States. Some eventually returned to the Roswell area.
In 1882 the current mill (now the commercial center known as Roswell Mill) was built and eventually expanded. The endless belt system of power generation was replaced at the turn of the century and the mill, bought by Southern Mills (nowTencate) in 1947 continued in use until 1975.
The historic Roswell Mills are now under the jurisdiction of the United States National Park Service. The mills are considered part of the Chattahoochee River Recreation Area, a popular local tourist destination due to its nature trails, running paths, and rich history. Remnants of various buildings are still visible, and the covered bridge spanning Vickery Creek has been rebuilt. A private contractor was scheduled to clear away the effects of the elements from the mill site in the summer of 2008. The appearance of the mills suggest that the focus has been on conservation, not preservation. A sculpture of a crumbling column stands near the mill as a memorial to those who were deported, and its inscription reads as follows:
HONORING THE MEMORY OF THE FOUR HUNDRED WOMEN, CHILDREN, AND MEN MILL WORKERS OF ROSWELL WHO WERE CHARGED WITH TREASON AND DEPORTED BY TRAIN TO THE NORTH BY INVADING FEDERAL FORCES
The monument was made public in 2000, following a rise in interest in the tragedies that surrounded the deportation, which had been largely forgotten in the aftermath of the Civil War.
source: http://www.georgiatrails.com/gt/old_Roswell_mill and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roswell_Mill