Starr's Mill is on Whitewater Creek about nine miles south of Fayetteville, Georgia, From the town square, take GA Hwy. 85 south. The mill will be on the right side of the highway.
The first mill at this site was built by Hananiah Gilcoat sometime before 1825, but it was Hilliard Starr, who owned the property from 1866 to 1879, whose name stuck. The first two mills were of logs, both of which burned. The current mill, built by William T. Glower in 1907, was in service until 1959 and at one time included a cotton gin and a dynamo that generated electricity for Senoia. There are some beautiful old mills in Georgia, but I rate this as one of the top two or three.
Not as well known, but in a beautiful setting, is the Ragsdale Mill.
From the town of Homer, north of Gainesville, Georgia, take GA Hwy. 51 for two miles and turn left on Damascus Road. Go a half-mile and slant right on Mt. Olivet Road. In a bit over a mile, you will pass the Mt. Olivet Methodist Church, built c. 1868. Continue past the church for 0.2 miles. Mt. Olivet Road becomes gravel and goes down a steep hill. Near the bottom of the hill, on the right, is the entrance to the mill. This is private property, so please observe the sign on the gate and call the owners before entering.
The first mill on Nail's Creek was built sometime before 1837. The Reverend Francis Marion Ragsdale, who founded the Mt. Olivet Church as an anti-slavery congregation and pastored it for many years, bought the mill site from his father in 1853 and built the mill in 1863. The millstones were imported from France and brought into Savannah by blockade runners slipping past U.S. Navy ships guarding the port.
Sit a bit and enjoy. This is one of the most serene and beautiful places to which my Georgia travels have taken me.
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(Photographs copyright David B. Jenkins 2020)
Soli Gloria Deo
To the glory of God alone