Old Mills of Mystery: Henry's Mill, Wortham's Mill, Owen Cochran Mill, Wilkerson Mill
By: Lila (Hargis) Rhyne, June 7, 1988
Chatt Hills History thanks resident Lila (Hargis) Rhyne for sharing the project she undertook while she was a high school student in 1988 to document the Mills in Chattahoochee Hills.
This project offers many perspectives on old mills and on history projects. From a cultural perspective, it documents mills that were once an important part of daily life in the community. Many residents who grew up in the Friendship Community can still recall visiting the mills with their parents or playing near the mill ponds on hot summer days. From a historical perspective, it shows the last remaining artifacts of four mills that have long since been destroyed, and the efforts of Gene Griffith & Elizabeth Dean to restore Wilkerson Mill. And from the perspective of the heart, it illustrates how a mother’s passion for history was passed down to her daughter, who in turned, passed the family passion for history down to her son.
Introduction: by Lila (Hargis) Rhyne - June 7, 1988
Local history has been one of my favorite interests since I was a young girl. Even before I took Coach Munn’s local history class, I enjoyed learning about the history of the area in which I grew up.
When Coach Munn presented our options for points, I immediately thought about doing a project on the mill sites in my neighborhood. These mills have always interested me and I thought that doing a report on the mill sites in a three-mile radius of my home would make an excellent project.
The next thing I knew I was wading through a three-foot deep creek with my neighbor, Butch Jones and my brother, Howie. Every Sunday afternoon for about a month I hiked to all the mill sites to take pictures and explore.
After many afternoons of taking my own photographs, I set out to find other pictures of the mills as well as history about them. I was able to acquire pictures of the Owen Cochran Mill from Jennie Cook Bentley who had lived with her parents at the mill. Her father, Bill Cook, was a miller there for many years.
Also, I borrowed Atlanta Newspaper clippings and photographs from the Old Campbell County Historical Society. I spent two of our Friday holidays going to Meisel, a professional photography company to have these pictures copied.
The map of the previous page (pictured at right) was copied from an original 1864 Civil War map which belongs to the Old Campbell County Historical Society. It shows the definite location of two of the mills in my report which were in existence in 1864.
This report could not have been possible without the help of many special people. I give many thanks to my mother, Betty Ann Hattaway Hargis, for her encouragement and help. Special thanks to Butch Jones for hiking with me to all of the sites; Jennie Cook Bentley and the Old Campbell County Historical Society for allowing me to use their pictures; and my brother, Howie, for doing the Calligraphy in my report.