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Georgia Natural Wonder #247 - Snake Creek Gorge - Banning Mills - Carroll Co.(Part 1)
Georgia Natural Wonder #247 - Snake Creek Gorge - Banning Mills - Carroll County Part  1

We bounce across the State to Carroll County for our next Georgia Natural Wonder. I delayed this for so long as I wanted to visit it first. Look for addendums when I do. Banning Mill is located in southeastern Carroll County on the banks of Snake Creek, an arm of the Chattahoochee River. When it closed in 1971, the mill, which opened in the decade of the 1840s, had been in existence longer than any other regional mill and had served as both employer and home to generations of area residents. Nice to find a scenic Wonder this beautiful, this far down in our search for Natural Wonders of Georgia. First, we got the scenic Snake Creek Gorge, then we got the history of the Mill, then we got the continuing extreme outdoor adventures. With two current Guinness Book of World Records under its belt (the largest zipline canopy course and the tallest free standing climbing wall), visitors will be amazed at the varied and numerous opportunities to be experienced. We come to Carroll County for the first time on the far west border of Georgia with Banning Mills.

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Snake Creek

Not a lot found on Snake Creek (No Wikipedia page) in Carroll County, but American Whitewater tells us ... Most of the gradient occurs in a series of slides behind the Banning Mills.

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Under one of the Sky Bridges.

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This run is also interesting in that you get to paddle through a broached dam. 

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There are several significant rapids in this stretch.

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Banning Mill Road to Johns Mill is a 3 mile run.

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This is the left side ledge of first rapid after put-in.

Be careful at the foot bridge it's a little tight. 

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Watch out for strainers, and as you approach the mill rapid, be careful of the hole that forms on river left at the last ledge before the mill rapid. 

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This run is just as fun as the Upper Hooch (GNW #77) or Cartecay (GNW # 76).

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In 1990 Carroll County applied to build a 650 acre reservoir on Snake Creek. The Hill Seaton Reservoir Dam (Snake Creek Reservoir Dam) was completed in late 2001.

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The Creek flows past the Reservoir down to the Chattahoochee River at the City of Franklin in Heard County. The Snake Creek Access is a U.S. Corp of Engineers property along the shore of West Point Lake. 

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It offers a boat ramp, courtesy dock, and picnic facilities.

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Banning Mills

The four Bowen brothers first operated the mill on land that they acquired in one of Georgia’s land lotteries. By 1849 they were producing skeins of coarse yarn used in osnaburgs (grain sacks). The factory became known as Bowen’s Mill, and the surrounding area as Bowenville, with one of the brothers, William, serving as the community’s first postmaster.

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After the mill burned in 1851, the Bowen brothers forfeited their business. The next owner was William Amis, a businessman and state legislator from Coweta County. The Civil War (1861-65) began before Amis was able to make the mill fully operational.

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But some operations began and were in operation throughout most of the Civil War. The mills produced wool, cotton yarn and the processing it into cloth. It has also been stated that they manufactured meal, flour, lumber products, shoes and leather. During the Civil War, federal troops were ordered find the mills and burn them, but they were very hard to find in the hidden gorge on the Snake River. By the time the troops found the mills, all of the equipment had been moved to a location in the Carolinas. Hence, because the mills were non working, they were spared. The Banning Mills site tells us ...

"The textile mill, known as the Amis Mill, operated throughout most of the Civil War. During the war, federal troops were ordered to find and burn the mills. Upon finding the mills in the hard to find, hidden Snake Creek Gorge, the equipment had already been shipped to South Carolina in hopes of saving the machinery. Since the mills were found in “non-working” condition, they were not burned. The federal troops did not want to return empty-handed, so they decided that Mr. Amis would accompany them. Mr. Amis did not want to be a guest of the “Yankee” troops and although he was shot in his attempt, he was able to escape and eventually recover from his wounds. The ruins of the mills are still present today."

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The mill buildings survived the war, and in 1866 Amis reopened, naming the mill Carroll Manufacturing. The post-Civil War era saw a decline in the success of the mill town. In 1878, Arthur Hutcheson acquired the textile mill and U.B. Wilkinson acquired the paper mill. By 1882, the textile mill, known as Hutcheson Manufacturing Company, had 2,000 spindles and 14 cards which manufactured warp and bunchy yarn.

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The nearby paper mill was originally established by Kellog and Company and sold later at a sheriff auction to U.B. Wilkinson of Newnan. After the paper mill burned in 1882 he reconstructed and renovated the mill. The Hutcheson charter was amended to authorize the manufacture of paper from wood pulp and the purchase of land and real estate establishing this site as one of the earliest pulp mills in Western Georgia. Confirmed by Georgia Tech, Banning is considered to be the birthplace of the modern paper industry. By 1889 the paper mill was producing 12 tons of wrapping paper each week.

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The following years the textile mill factory also began making cloth. Hutcheson, an Irish-born merchant with a store in Palmetto, devoted the rest of his life to the mill community. Under his direction Hutcheson Manufacturing, as it was renamed, prospered. He added two new pulp mills, a sawmill, and a gristmill, in addition to refurbishing the area’s old paper mill.

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During Hutcheson’s time at Banning, the mill produced cotton sheeting and shirting fabric, while the paper mill produced striped paper, the first mill in the region to do so. Hutcheson’s greatest achievement, however, was bringing electricity to the mill in the late 1880s. Banning became one of the first factories in Georgia to operate with electric power.

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By Hutcheson’s death in 1895, the mill property extended for more than 1,300 acres. The textile mill housed 5,000 spindles and employed, in addition to the residents working in the surrounding mills, about 240 workers.

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The mill town was thriving at the time of Mr. Hutcheson’s death on April 5, 1895. By this time, the town contained up to ten mills, including two pulp mills, a paper mill, a grist mill and a sawmill. All of these were located within a mile apart from each other along Snake Creek. And all of the machinery was powered by water from a single dam on the Snake River. Banning was one of the first towns in Georgia to produce its own electricity – well before Atlanta. Documented diary and journal entries talk about day-long horse and buggy rides from Atlanta to watch the lights come on at Banning. Electricity was produced there until 1917.

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In 1921 the mill acquired new owners and another new name, Banning Cotton Mill. It was at this time that the name of the mill town was changed to Banning. The name change was largely due to the result of other nearby communities with similar names, Bowersville and Brownsville, which resulted in numerous postal mix-ups. The new owners hoped for the prosperity of the Hutcheson years and updated the mill by adding a rubber plant facility. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, however, the mill experienced several closures. The residents of the area remained a close community but were often forced to seek work in other mills, and the owners declared bankruptcy by the close of the decade. During the 1940s Banning had several different owners, who initiated the production of heavy cord to be used in tire manufacturing and yarns to be used in mops. The mill closed down often during World War II (1941-45) and, when open, employed only fifty to seventy-five workers. One improvement to the facility during the war years was the installation of a motor to replace the water-powered turbine.

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In an effort to revive the factory during the late 1950s, Banning manufactured carpet yarns and became affiliated with carpet manufacturers in Dalton. By the 1960s, without the capital to make required modern improvements, production at the mill began to decline and its operations ceased in 1971, approximately 130 years after its opening.

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In August 1974 the mill opened as an entertainment center. The West Georgian reported one month prior that the venue would be the home of a private dinner club and two public theaters. The venue hosted musicians, visual artists, actors, and more throughout the following two decades. 

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In the early 1990s the property was purchased by Atlanta businesswoman Patricia Brown, with hopes to document its history with students at the University of West Georgia Public History Center. In 1998 Historic Banning Mills was founded to help preserve its history, as well as the surrounding Snake Creek River Gorge and Chattahoochee watershed. 

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The conservancy now operates alongside an adventure resort and retreat center, offering experiential education, lodging, and outdoor activities and adventure-based programming.

From the Banning Mills Web Site.

Historic Banning Mills is located in Georgia’s only hidden gorge on beautiful Snake Creek in Carroll County, Georgia. The area is rich in history and home to our country inn. We invite all to visit us and explore the surrounding nature and history. Originally, the area was home to the Creek and Cherokee nations. The Native Americans lived in lodges made of pine poles and mud plaster, farming and hunting along the rich and fertile Chattahoochee River area.

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Cabins and Tree Houses now.

Historic Banning Mills has multiple mill sites and ruins to explore on our hiking trails Visit our gift shop to get a book of our history and the surrounding areas. The unique geology and ecology of Snake Creek Gorge is unmatched! The topography of the Gorge made milling ideal. You can walk along the historic raceways that brought water to and powered the mills.

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Mini Fall spills over Dam Raceway.

Zip Line

Historic Banning Mills was the first Zip Line and Aerial Adventure Park in North America! 

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With over 100 zip lines compiling nearly 11 miles of cable to ride, we also hold the Guinness World Record for the longest Zip-line Canopy Tour! We have something for almost everyone with introductory, low to the ground levels for kids, and those who are just getting started zip-lining, all the way up to extreme zip lines measuring over 3,000 feet in length and hundreds of feet above the ground.

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Our course has so much to explore; it would take you a full two days to experience every zip line! Banning Mills is nestled along Snake Creek Gorge, which provides incredible scenery as you navigate the treetops and cross over the creek below.

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We have over 15 miles of nature trails with 12 suspension bridges and many ground bridges that view Snake Creek Gorge, lakes, and forest on over 300 acres of conservation land.

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The original wooden bridge over Snake Creek was used by wagons transporting cotton to Banning Mill in Carroll County. Although the location of the bridge has changed. The foundations of the original bridge can still be seen from the mill.


Length: 530 feet

Height: 90 feet above Snake Creek

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This is our most recognizable bridge as it is closest to the lodge and is used by many to access the Adventure Tower and Tree House Village across the creek.

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Length: 730 feet across

Height: 140 feet above Snake Creek

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This bridge is big enough to drive our Eco-Spider SWINCARs across! Big Shoals Bridge offers great views of the Gorge and is close to the historic Cotton Mill. This bridge is accessible on the Laurel Ridge Trail.


We have many additional suspension and ground bridges of various sizes.

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Explore our trails for surprises around every corner!

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Our Sky Trek Bridge is 640 feet long and 190 above Snake Creek!

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Because you are safely harnessed, these bridges have various designs from wide planks to a single plank or wire to traverse. 

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Coons enjoy the Adventure Tower Bridge.

We have over 90 sky bridges on our Zip Line Canopy Tours. These thrilling bridges require harnesses and the use of our continuous belay system.

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More of a Ropes Course.

The tallest artificial climbing wall

Certified by Guinness World Records, our climbing wall is 140 feet tall and is part of our Adventure Tower. 

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At 14 stories high, our wall includes nine climbing lanes, two rappel walls (up to 95 ft. high), and four overhangs (including a traversing overhang and chimney). Whether you are a beginner or an expert, our unique and dynamic routes are enjoyed by all. 

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And, as you climb your way to the top, you can enjoy the breathtaking views of Snake Creek Gorge! Due to the height of our climbing wall, all climbs are staff-assisted. Participants must be at least 8 years old, and weigh a minimum of 60lbs (maximum of 285lbs).

Oaks of Banning

Historic Banning Mills, located in the beautiful Snake Creek Gorge, holds an enormous amount of history and unique natural features. When some of our oldest and most beloved trees fell over the years due to old age and storms, we decided that instead of letting them rot in the woods, we would let them continue to tell of the history and nature they witnessed over hundreds of years in the form of Legacy Tree Carvings. Here are their stories.

Red Oak Legacy Tree

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This red oak tree was called the Village Oak and once stood in the middle of one section of the mill village complex. Under optimal conditions and full sun, the northern red oak is a deciduous and fast-growing tree with beautiful dark red leaves in the fall. The Red Oak can reach 140 feet tall and live over 400 years.

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This Red Oak had a 23-foot circumference x 12 inches for 276 inches divided by 3.14 which equals 87 x 3.5 and gives this tree an estimated age of over 325 years. The mill workers built their homes around this tree because of the huge canopy spread it had which gave shade in the summer. There were about 15 homes built near or surrounding it. The red oak would have been around 200 years old by this time. With its wide canopy and tall height, he was a superior looking fellow. In January of 2020, the tree did fall during a severe storm. it broke our hearts to see our stately gentleman down. 

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We did not want him just to rot in place and be forgotten, so we decided to create a legacy tree carving depicting a history timeline of Banning and display it on part of the tree trunk. Now, the Village Oak can show some of the amazing history of Banning Mills. James Denkins, Master Chainsaw wood sculptor and Chap Nelson were contracted to create the history time line on the Legacy Tree. James Denkins has been creating works of art for over 20 years. His specialties include realistic humans and caricatures. He is known for his attention to detail and lifelike proportions. His website is Chap Nelson organizes an annual chainsaw carving event in Gray, Georgia called Chaptacular, it is the largest such event in North America.

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Our carvers arrived on November 10th, 2020, and finished the Legacy Tree on November 15th! This tree trunk weighed over 22,000 lbs. and needed to be moved very carefully and slowly.

White Oak Legacy Tree

When we lost this ancient white oak (Over 400 years old: Feb 2021) in another high windstorm, we were pretty heartbroken. 

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The white oak was bigger than the red oak (which now has our historic timeline carved on it). 

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The oak was almost 24 feet in circumference and over 110 feet tall.

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The canopy was over 120-130 feet in diameter.

Carroll County

Tremendous Natural Wonder, now we present a tangent on Carroll County. In Top Row Dawg Rockin' standards I present the Rolling Stones playing Carol as we scroll our tangent on Carroll County. Carroll County is a county located in the northwestern part of the State of Georgia. As of the 2020 census, its population was 119,148. Its county seat is the city of Carrollton. Carroll County is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metropolitan statistical area and is also adjacent to Alabama on its western border.


The lands of Lee, Muscogee, Troup, Coweta, and Carroll counties were ceded by the Creek people in the Treaty of Indian Springs (1825). This was a huge amount of land in Georgia and Alabama, the last remaining portion of the Creeks' territory, and it was ceded by William McIntosh, the chief of the Lower Creek and a member of the National Council. This cession violated the Law, the Code of 1818 that protected communal tribal land. The Creek National Council ordered the execution of McIntosh and other signatories to the treaty for what it considered treason.

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McIntosh was killed at his plantation home, at what has been preserved as the McIntosh Reserve. Menawa and a force of 100-150 Law Defenders from Upper Town lands ceded in this treaty carried out the executions of two other men, including Samuel Hawkins, one of McIntosh's sons-in-law. Benjamin Hawkins Jr., another son-in-law, was also named for execution but he escaped, and soon moved to East Texas with his wife and family. Both of the Hawkins brothers were sons of Benjamin Hawkins, the longstanding US Indian Supervisor of the Creek. I love how this Benjamin Hawkins New Georgia Encyclopedia biography is written by my cousin, Robbie Etheridge, Ole Miss Professor, UGA grad.

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Hawkins, father and son feeding the Indians.

Chief McIntosh’s home was located in present-day Carroll County along the Chattahoochee River. Much of McIntosh’s personal land, known since 1825 as the McIntosh Reserve, is today a county park.

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Next Natural Wonder.

The boundaries of Carroll County were created by the Georgia General Assembly on June 9, 1826, but the county was not named until December 14, 1826.

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It was named for Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Maryland, the last living signer of the Declaration of Independence, as was Carrollton, the county seat.

At the time of its creation, Carroll County was the thirty-first of Georgia’s thirty-two original counties. The original Carroll County was a very large triangular area extending from Alabama on the west to the Chattahoochee River on the east and south. The northern boundary of the county was the Cherokee Nation, just north of present-day Interstate 20.

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The county seat was originally located at Old Carrollton, in the eastern part of the county near the community of Sand Hill. In 1829 the current site was selected, and the name Troupsville was suggested by the inhabitants. The legislature was controlled by opponents of former Georgia governor George Troup however, and they gave the county seat the name Carrollton.

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As population increased, this County was divided into Carroll, Douglas, and Heard counties, and parts of Haralson and Troup counties. The portion that became Douglas County was once Campbell County which no longer exists (it was divided between Douglas and Fulton counties).

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Because the county had few slaves compared to counties developed for cotton plantations, it was called the Free State of Carroll during the 1850s. Even before the cession of territory by the Cherokee in the late 1830s, some white settlers lived in the northern part of the county in the area of Villa Rica.

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Vintage Carroll County images.

During its first few years Carroll County was truly frontier territory. A band of horse thieves called the Pony Club for a time dominated local affairs through both fear and control of local government. Honest citizens, known locally as “Slicks,” were finally able to band together and drive the Pony Club out of the county. Carroll County was the site of Georgia's first Gold Rush. (GNW #176).

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In 1830 gold was discovered at Pine Mountain, a short distance north of the future site of Villa Rica. By 1832 several hundred men were employed annually in the mines, and mining contributed greatly to the local economy. By 1860, however, the gold had largely played out, and mining no longer plays a role in the economy of the county.

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See how gold vein came down into Carroll County and Villa Rica.

Heavy manufacturing came to Carroll County in the 1840s, when the Bowen brothers established a textile mill on Snake Creek at Banning, near what is now the town of Whitesburg. Under the Bowens and later owners William Amis and Arthur Hutcheson, this factory offered an alternative to agricultural employment. (See Above)

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The town of Bowdon early led the county in higher education. In 1857 the Georgia legislature chartered Bowdon College, which operated until 1936.

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By  1860 Carroll County was beginning to leave the frontier period behind. A new brick courthouse had just been completed and grading had begun for a railroad connecting the county with Newnan, in Coweta County. Also, with the seventh-largest white population in the state, Carroll County was starting to exert some influence in state politics. Ezekiel S. Candler from Villa Rica had earlier served as Georgia’s comptroller general, and in 1860 Ahaz Boggess was elected surveyor general of Georgia.

[Image: niYNGLZ.jpg] Old Courthouse Carrollton.

During the Civil War (1861-65) Carroll County sent more men into the Confederate army than any other county in the state except Chatham County (according to the records of salt rations distributed to soldiers’ families), despite the strong Unionist leanings of many of the county’s residents. During the American Civil War, the county provided the Bowdon Volunteers and the Carroll Boys, which were a part of Cobb's Legion. Although there was no significant fighting in Carroll County, many soldiers never returned, dying from disease or wounds on battlefields as far away as Kentucky and Virginia. At home the war left many widows and orphans, and a lot of farms had fallen into disrepair.

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For a time Carroll County was the home of Horace King (architect). King helped build Moore's Bridge over the Chattahoochee River at Whitesburg. Moores Bridge was burned by Union soldiers during the Civil War.

Carroll County recovered, and by the end of the century it was one of the leading cotton-producing counties in the state. During the early twentieth century Carroll County led the state in cotton production on several occasions, including 1928, 1929, 1932, and 1938. During most of the twentieth century Carroll County, always the domain of the yeoman farmer, also led the state in number of farms. In 1954 Carroll County had 3,155 farms, its closest rival being Colquitt County, with 2,678 farms.

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By 1890 Mandeville Mills (See Below) at Carrollton was also offering textile work to local residents and soon eclipsed the older mill at Banning.

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Mandeville Mills and College Street School Carrollton Georgia.

Mandeville Mills closed in 1953, but by that time Southwire Company had been created to manufacture copper wire and wire-related products.

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In 1906 Carrollton became the site of the Fourth District A & M School. In 1933 the A & M became a junior college, called West Georgia College. In 1957 the institution attained senior college status and in 1996 became the State University of West Georgia. And in 2005 the name of the school changed once again, becoming the University of West Georgia.

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From 1978 until 2001 Sony Music (originally CBS Records) operated the largest recorded-music manufacturing plant in the world at Carrollton. Although the company ceased its manufacturing operations in the county in 2001, its warehousing and distribution operations are still active. In 2002 Wal-Mart opened a huge distribution center just north of Carrollton as headquarters for its online ordering business.

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On August 21, 1995, Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight 529 crashed in a field near Carrollton, Georgia. Nine of the 29 passengers and crew were killed in the crash.

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In February 2008 several tornadoes hit Carroll County, destroying several homes and damaging many more. On May 11, 2008 (Mother's Day) some of the same areas were hit by more tornadoes. The Mother's Day tornadoes destroyed and damaged many homes and businesses.

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On September 21, 2009, portions of Carroll County were flooded after eight days of heavy rainfall, resulting in multiple deaths. The flooding initially closed more than 60 highways and roads, and it destroyed a number of bridges. Early estimates of the damage totaled $22 million.

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National Register of Historic Places listings in Carroll County, Georgia

We got a message too large, so we present a first list of Historic Places, to conclude this post.

Bonner-Sharp-Gunn House

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The house, constructed c. 1844, has served many functions in its long history. Built as a residence for Thomas Bonner, Carroll County planter, it was raided by federal cavalry during the War Between the States, but spared from the torch.

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In 1907 the land on which it stood, land lot 99, was bought as the site of the 4th District A & M School. The house served as the first women's dormitory for the school. In 1913 it was moved, with the chimneys on it, to it's present site, approximately 300 yards to the east of its original location. 

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Mantle detail upstairs, Wainscot detail upstairs.

Upon the closing of the A & M schools in 1932, the campus became the site of West Georgia College, a junior unit of the University System. During the period from 1933 to 1970, the Bonner House served as a residence for the Dean, a faculty residence, a women's dormitory and offices for various departments of the college.

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Up until its renovation for offices in 1966, the house had remained relatively unchanged. Bonner House is one of the few surviving examples of ante-bellum dwellings in Carroll County. None of the others seem to offer much hope for restoration/ either because of severe deterioration or alteration or because of lack of interest on the part of the owners. In short, Bonner
House offers the best and perhaps only possibility of ante-bellum preservation in Carroll County.

Bowdon Historic District
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The city of Bowdon is located in western Carroll County, approximately 14 miles west of Carrollton, the county seat. The Bowdon Historic District encompasses historic residential, commercial, industrial, and community landmark resources associated with the development of the town. The district is generally centered along College and Wedowee streets, the main east-west and north- south roads through town, respectively. The historic houses in the district date from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century. Architectural styles include Queen Anne, Folk Victorian, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, and English Vernacular Revival. House types include Queen Anne House, New South Cottage, Georgian Cottage, Georgian House, English Cottage, Gabled-wing Cottage, Bungalow, American Small House, and Ranch House.

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Commercial buildings in the district are located at the intersection of College and Wedowee streets and are generally one- and two-story, attached and freestanding, brick buildings with decorative and corbeled brickwork. There are historic automobile-related buildings, including a historic gas station and auto dealership in the district. Also within the district is the Sewell clothing plant complex, which was established in 1933 by brothers Warren, Robert, and Roy Sewell. The complex includes numerous one-story brick warehouse buildings built in the 1930s and 1940s associated with the clothing company that along with the Sewell plant in nearby Breman became one of the ten largest manufacturers of men's clothing in the country. 

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Lunch at the Sewell Mill.

Historic community landmark buildings include the 1909 Gothic Revival-style Methodist Episcopal Church South, the 1938 Methodist Protestant Church, the 1948 Modern-style Bowdon City Hall.

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Other historic community landmark buildings are the 1930s agricultural shop and 1955 gymnasium on the high school campus, and the 1960 International-Style United States Post Office. There are four historic cemeteries in the district. In the early 19th century, the first settlers in the area that would become Bowdon named the town "Cerro Gordo" (large hill) after the site of a battle won by Carroll County troops during the Mexican-American war. In 1846, the residents sought the help of Alabama congressman Franklin Boudoin to help them establish a post office (the residents were under the belief that the area was in Alabama). In 1848, the community renamed itself Bowdon in honor of the congressman. With the exception of modern development outside of the historic district boundaries, Bowdon has changed little since the 1960s.

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Bowdon College was established in Bowdon in 1857 but closed in 1936.

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Burns Quarry

Address restricted.  All information and images are not downloaded. The Burns Rock Quarry is an Aboriginal source of soapstone in Carroll County Georgia.

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Burns Road Soapstone Bowl Quarry, Carroll County, Georgia, Prehistoric cultural affiliation(s) include Early Woodland and Late Archaic dating back to 4999 BC.

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Carroll County Courthouse

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The Carroll County Courthouse in Carrollton, Georgia was built in 1928. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It is located at Newnan and Dixie Streets in Carrollton. It was designed by architect William J.J. Chase and was built by the Carr Construction Co. 

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It has an unusually large courtroom. The courtroom has a 25' high ceiling. A plain judge's bench is backed by a tall rounded arch with coupled Corinthian pilasters on each side. The spacious room contains approximately 3720 square feet.

This is a two story, over basement," rusticated central rectangular block flanked by a wing on each side. The main entrance has one story doric columns topped by a broken pediment with a clock in the center. Square and round arched steel and glass windows are used. The second story center block (courtroom) features an engaged doric hexastyle design. The columns are alternated with round arches and medallions. 

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Inside, the building there are painted acoustical tile designs in ochre, red, black and green. Marble flooring is in the corridors.

Carrollton Downtown Historic District

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Carrollton is a county seat town located in Carroll County in west central Georgia. The Carrollton Downtown Historic District consists of the courthouse and surrounding commercial and community landmark buildings. Carroll County was established in 1826 and Carrollton was incorporated and designated the county seat in 1829. Layout of the streets and lots began that same year, including Adamson Square, located in the center of the downtown business district. 

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The original town plan reflected the Sparta-type plan with the central courthouse square given prominence by aligning major streets to run directly towards its center. A fire destroyed the 1893 courthouse and the building constructed to replace it in 1928 was located two blocks from the downtown commercial square. 

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Today the Carrollton plan resembles the Augusta-type county seat plan in which the courthouse is placed by a major street, and the courthouse square is not as prominent as in other plans. 

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However, the original square and street layout is still clearly evident in the current plan. Adamson Square lies at the intersection of Newnan (east), Alabama (west), Bradley (south), and Rome (north) streets. The square features four small landscaped islands near the intersection of the district's main arteries. The buildings surrounding the square include one- and two-story attached and one- and two-story freestanding brick buildings that date from the late 19th century through the early 20th century and reflect the Commercial style of architecture. The buildings were constructed along front lot lines and are flush with the sidewalks. The rows of attached stores feature one- to two-story height, decorative brick detailing along the cornices and above doors and windows, flat- arched windows, recessed storefronts, and large display windows.

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Some buildings of note around the square include the Mandeville Building (1873), the Boykin Building (1894), and the Bradley Building, which was constructed in two phases and completed in 1891. These buildings exhibit typical characteristics of the Commercial style including large display windows, second floor arched windows, and decorative brickwork. Businesses in the downtown during the historic period included hardware stores, grocery stores, general stores, barbershops, doctor's and lawyer's offices, and restaurants. The proposed district is significant in the area of architecture for its collection of good, representative examples of commercial building styles and types typical of small Georgia towns in the late 19th and early to mid-20th centuries and for the community landmark buildings typical of small Georgia towns.

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The Carrollton Downtown Historic District is significant in the area of commerce as the historic commercial center of Carrollton and Carroll County during the historic period. Typically the county seat was also the principal commercial center in the county. Such commercial centers generally featured a range of retail stores, offices and professional services, warehouses, artisans, mechanics, entertainment and related services, and communications-related businesses.

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The Carrollton Downtown Historic District is significant in the area of community planning and development for its historic and intact town plan, a variation of the Augusta-type county seat plan. Carrollton was originally laid out using the Sparta plan, which features a central courthouse square with major streets running directly towards the center.  

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Lot of Churches Carrollton.

The Carrollton Downtown Historic District is significant in the area of politics and government as the county seat of Carroll County and because of the presence of buildings and structures directly related to activities and events associated with local county government. 

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Government Buildings.

The only Civil War action in Carroll County took place at Moore's Bridge on the Chattahoochee River near Bowensville in July 1864, but Union raiders made off with provisions, fodder and livestock in the eastern and northern parts of the county during the Atlanta Campaign. By order of U.S. General John Croxton, cavalry raiders torched the northwest quadrant of the square on April 27,1865, a few days after Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Croxton's men fled when they heard a rumor that Confederate forces were on the way, thus allowing the local citizens and militia to extinguish the flames.

Dorough Round Barn and Farm

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The Dorough Round Barn and Farm near Hickory Level, Georgia in Villa Rica, Georgia is a 196-acre property that includes a round barn built in 1917. The barn is actually 14-sided, which approximates round.

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The two-story structure has a diameter of ninety feet and is forty feet tall. The foundation is of reinforced, poured concrete. A circular monitor is located on the roof. A nail pattern appears over the double doors on the first floor. The Round Barn contains a 150-ton silo, located in the center-of the barn. It is held together with Steel rods. On the first floor, feed bins circle the silo and stalls for dairy cattle are located on the outer wall.

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Returning from a trip to Arkansas in 1917, E.W. Dorough was encouraged by the county agent of Carroll County to engage in the dairy business. Deciding to establish a dairy operation, Dorough determined to achieve the easiest method of tending a herd of dairy cattle. He chose to build a round barn, patterned after a round barn he had seen in Arkansas. Although the idea of a "round barn" was scoffed at by his neighbors, Borough employed Floyd Lovell to construct his barn. According to Borough family tradition, Lovell cut each piece of wood before the actual construction began. He used thirteen kegs of nails and approximately 53,000 wooden shingles to construct the original roof. The cost of the barn was $7,500; the silo was built at an additional cost.

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The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The listing included five contributing buildings and another contributing structure.

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Rough shape now days.

The property was deemed significant in the agricultural history of Georgia, as the round barn was an attempt to introduce new methods to increase productivity. The farm had remained in the Dorough family for generations. Its round barn was one of just four known to survive in Georgia in 1979.

Eric Vernon Folds House

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The Eric Vernon Folds House is the country estate of Eric Vernon and Inez Arnold Folds. Designed by Atlanta architect Clement J. Ford in 1948, the house is a high-style Colonial Revival-style
residence in the early to mid^O^-century "Williamsburg" mode. The house is located one-and-one-half miles southeast of Carrollton on U.S 27. An unpaved drive leads past the guesthouse to the sprawling two-story brick house, which is located at the crest of a small rise. The house faces an expansive lawn to the south and is framed by mature trees.

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The house is laid out in a five-part Palladian plan with a center block and east and west wings. The one-and-one-half-story main block features floor-to-ceiling bays on the main fagade and a projecting portico at the rear. True to Georgian architecture, the walls are laid in Flemish bond with flat arches of rubbed brick above the windows. The gable roof is covered with slate tiles.

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The Georgian-plan features four principal rooms divided by a center hall. The dining room and living room are the largest rooms. Bedrooms are located in the west wing and the three-car garage forms the east wing. An apartment is located in the half-story above the garage. The hyphen that joins the main block with the garage includes the kitchen and a glazed porch. The second hall, which joins the main block to the bedroom wing, runs east to west along the main facade.

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Most of the historic interior finishes survive including hardwood floors and plaster walls and ceilings. Architectural details include extensive wood moldings, dentil cornices, paneled doors, and Colonial Revival-style fireplaces with ornamental mantels. The kitchen fireplace is lined with a Delft-tile surround.

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The Folds house exemplifies high-style Colonial Revival design in its early to mid^O^-century Wiliiamsburg mode. The Folds House is significant in the area of commerce for its association with Eric Vemon Folds, a prominent local businessman and automobile dealer His four automobile dealerships and a Texaco franchise in Carrollton established him as civic leader and prominent local businessman.

Lawler Hosiery Mill

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The Lawler Hosiery Mill is a small one- and two-story mill located in downtown Carrollton, adjacent to city hall and one block south of the town square. Built in 1934, the main mill is a two-story, steel-framed brick building built with the "slow-burn" construction method that had become standard for mill buildings by the first decades of the 20th century. The six-bay main facade is crowned with a triangular pediment that mirrors the shallow pitch of the gable roof. The north and south walls are lined with large, steel factory windows. Although the original 1933 plans called for cast-iron columns, the interior is supported by two rows of steel posts bolted to steel beams, which are corbeled into the load-bearing brick walls. The roof is formed of wood planks and the floors are made of durable maple tongue-and-groove boards laid over splined planks of yellow pine. The building is protected from fire by an overhead sprinkler system.

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The Lawler Hosiery Mill is an excellent example of an early 20th-century textile mill in Georgia. Although rehabilitated to loft apartments in 2002, the mill retains sufficient historic integrity to be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Because the Lawler Hosiery Mill retains a high level of historic integrity, it possesses the feeling and associations of an early 20th-century textile mill in Georgia.

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The Lawler Hosiery Mill is significant in the area of industry because it represents one of Carrollton's leading industries for most of the 20th century.

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The Lawler Hosiery Mill is significant in the area of architecture because its materials and method of construction are representative of industrial buildings in Georgia during the early 20th century. 

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Innovations in fireproofing required by insurance companies shaped mill buildings and resulted in greater standardization in mill design during this period.

Dr. James L. Lovvorn House

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The Dr. James L. Lovvorn House, built about 1895, is on a corner lot, at 113 East College Street, Bowdon, Carroll County, Georgia, at the intersections of GA 100 and GA 166. The owner, Dr. James Lewis Lovvorn (1862–1926), was a graduate of Bowdon College; Medical College of Georgia, Augusta; and University of Georgia Medical Department, 1886. He was the son of Edward M. and Nancy C. Lovvorn, of Randolph Co, AL.

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On December 30, 1888, he married Miss Carrie M. Johnson (1867–1959), the daughter of Thomas P. and Milly Ann King Johnson. Having bought their lot from John Shelnutt in 1888, Dr. Lovvorn and his wife planned the house with gas lights and a fireplace in every room. The architect was George F. Barber, of Knoxville, Tennessee, a well known mail order house for plans.  Dr. Lovvorn's medical office was on the first floor. The Queen Anne style house has East Lake-style woodwork throughout and was privately owned and occupied in 2010. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

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Exterior Queen Anne style features of house include the corner bay window, steeply pitched hipped roof with projecting gables, three irregularly placed chimneys which replaced more ornamental originals, a prominent front porch, and a small inset front porch on the second floor.

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The original plan of the house has all six rooms on each floor coming off the front and rear halls. The front hall expands into a reception area at the front of the house. In this reception hall there is a fireplace with an impressive mirrored mantel and the main staircase leading to the bay window (actually part of a stair landing) and then the second floor. A second, back stair also leads to the second floor. The walls are plaster over lathe, while the ceilings, floors, wainscoting, and moldings are heart pine. The mantels are all pine with the exception of the one in the library which is mahogany. The raised, double-faced doors are all five panel. Interior details include four mantels with large mirrors attached, mother-of-pearl push plate light switches, white rectangular tile around the fireplaces in two rooms, original electric brass chandeliers and wall fixtures, original tub and other fixtures in an upstairs bath, and original bull's-eye molding.

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The house was built on a balloon frame upon brick pillars. Many features remain of previous lighting and heating systems, including the coal grates. The land around the house is essentially flat. There are two pecan trees'on the north side of the property that are said to be at least seventy five years old Several English boxwoods planted by the original owner can be found outside the library window.

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The house is significant in terms of social history because it was the home of Dr. James L. Lovvorn 1862-1926, a major figure in many aspects of the town of Bowdon population 354 in 1900 during his thirty years of residing in this house. Active in the administration of the local Bowdon College, he served on the Board of Trustees and served as President of the Board from the time it became a state institution until his death, 1919-1926. Many of the college's professors boarded at the Lovvorn House, as did distinguished speakers. Dr. Lovvorn was also involved in almost every other major activity within the town, including founding the Bank of Bowdon 1905, and founding and owning both the Bowdon Oil Mills and the Bowdon Railway 1909-1910, the first rail link for the town, as well as being a physician for nearly forty years and operating a pharmacy.

Mandeville Mills and Mill Village Historic District

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Lofts Now.

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Mandeville Mills and Mill Village Historic District is located west of downtown Carrollton in Carroll County in west central Georgia. The district consists of a mill complex surrounded by a mill village. The mill complex, which began to develop in 1900, consists of several buildings and structures that were constructed over time to adapt to the evolving nature of the mill. The cotton mill produced cotton yarn for many different uses. During World War II, the mill was converted to the production of military goods.

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The main mill building, was constructed in 1900. It is a rectangular, two-story brick building with a basement. It housed the spinning and weaving operations of the mill. A four-story stair tower is located on the south facade and a three-story bathroom tower on the north facade of the building. The structural system is wood post-and-beam construction with load bearing brick walls and the roof is flat.

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The mill village was constructed during two periods that correspond to the construction dates of the two main mill buildings. The houses in the mill village, which housed white workers, are one-story, single and multi-family, wood-framed buildings with brick or concrete foundations, front porches, and asphalt roofs. The houses are situated on tree-lined streets and share common setbacks. The mill employed African-American workers in the oil department but did not construct separate housing for them.

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The district is significant in the area of industry for the mill's function as manufacturing facilities. Mandeville Cotton Mills, Inc. produced cottonseed oil and cotton yarns for braids, upholstery fabrics, lace materials, bedspreads, rugs, wire insulation, specialty twines, powder puffs, casket decorations, dishcloths, laundry textiles, Venetian blind cord and tapes, chenille products, and knitted garments.

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The mill also encouraged worker's participation in activities outside the workplace. The mill sponsored a bowling team, baseball team, library, recreation center, and a clubhouse.

McDaniel-Huie Place

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The McDaniel-Huie Place consists of a one-and-one-half story, frame, Victorian-era house, fourteen historic outbuildings, a historic spring and a pond of unknown origin. It is located in a rural setting just west of the small town of Bowdon, in west central Georgia. The main house includes a central block with two rooms and a central hall on each floor, and a long, one-story rear addition which contains a bedroom, dining room and kitchen. The house has a tin roof,  brick end chimneys, three dormer windows, and a full-length front porch which has been screened. On the interior, the house has little ornamentation, retaining its beaded-board walls and ceilings, original doors, staircase, and mantels.

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Note the zig-zag pattern in the gable-end chimneys achieved by interspersing headers into the common bond method of brickwork. A chevron is worked into the juncture at the shoulder of each chimney. A shallow pedimenthas been applied above each original window and door reflecting the Gothic style.

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There is heart-of-pine flooring throughout and beaded ceiling and painted wall paneling in most of the main floor rooms. The upstairs bedrooms and hall contain stained beaded paneling. French doors partition the central hall. Mantels are wooden, painted, and of Federal rather than Victorian influence.

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The house is significant in politics and government because of the involvement of Mr. D. B. Huie, the second owner, in funding the creation in 1890 of the Farmer's Alliance Store of Bowdon, a farmers cooperative that was part of the Populist movement of the late 1890s.

North Villa Rica Commercial Historic District

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The North Villa Rica Commercial Historic District in Villa Rica, Georgia, was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 31, 2002. The original application included eighteen buildings spread out over several blocks. The buildings were built in the early commercial style and date from the early to mid-20th century. This area houses the City of Villa Rica Police Department along with several antique stores, restaurants, and other commercial businesses. The boundary is basically North Avenue, East Gordon St, West Church St, and the Southern Railroad line.

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The district lost two significant buildings contributing to the National Register on the east in July 2009. The city demolished the old Villa Rica Electric & Light and E.L. Esterwood mill (later known as Golden City Hosiery) for greenspace, amphitheater and future new city hall. The Villa Rica Electric & Light made ice and also was the local bottler for Coca-Cola from 1903 to 1923 in the hometown of Asa Candler.

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The district is also referred to as Hixtown, the original name of Villa Rica. However, this can cause confusion since this is not where Hixtown was originally located. Hixtown was first settled about a mile and a half up Georgia State Route 61 near where Tanner Medical Center Villa Rica currently sits. When the railroad came through in 1882, many of the buildings from Hixtown were moved to what is now the North Villa Rica Commercial Historic District and thus the reference to Hixtown. Local lore states the last of these moved buildings was demolished for a parking lot in the 1990s beside the Lofts.

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The south side of the commercial area has sustained many alterations including an explosion in the 1950s that damaged and destroyed numerous buildings. Many buildings on the south side of the tracks have been rebuilt or altered so that they are no longer eligible for the National Register. We covered this explosion and a lot of Villa Rica history in our 4th post on Douglas County. (GNW #176)

OK - Message too large so we move on, we found another somewhat Natural Wonder in Carroll County so we can finish our exploration. Today's Georgia Natural Wonder Girls are famous Carols.

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Carol Burnett, Carole King, Carol Kirkwood, Scottish weather presenter BBC

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