Moving northward and then turning west, Little River is joined by Mill Creek and Rubes Creek, a short distance before Main Street crosses overhead, north of town. The water is zipping along now. Before the river empties into Allatoona Lake near Bells Ferry Road, it passes a section called Rope Mill, famous in our town as a small settlement of grist mills and cotton mills that can be documented as early as 1842. There is speculation of prior mills. The Cherokee Indians may have taken advantage of the location earlier. In 1900, when Woodstock city population was 276, Rope Mill had about 15 employees. These workers and their families lived in mill housing. The enterprise was certainly the largest employer in town. Hardscrabble times. The people are gone, but the foundation footprint of Rope Mill remains.
Maybe seventeen years ago, my son, a teenager on his mountain-bike, traveled the rickety remains of the old bridge at the site. He told me about the uncommon area, but I did not have a clue about the place. Since then, I've learned a lot. Eventually, Olde Rope Mill Park sprang up and, lately, a new bridge was built, taking you to walking trails. Preservation Woodstock has been busy gathering research and preparing informative signage. For a rewarding outing, put on a pair of hiking shoes and come read the signs for yourself. You will then know the true significance of Little River, and you'll be richer for it--like Jennifer and Tracy Snyder, local residents, who on one occasion gathered their adventurous kids and tubed down the lazy length of Little River. . . . Fun!
(The photos, below, show the river site and mill foundation ruins at Rope Mill Park.)
To the left is the new bridge going to the mill site, seen from park side.
A metal sign designates the former entrance to the Rope Mill. The concrete steps and platform, enveloped by greenery, are next to the sign.
(Patti Brady is a member of Preservation Woodstock and the author of the Woodstock series.)