|The mill and Potato Creek Dam in the 1960s|
Although the grist mill hasn't stood for 30 years or more, the site of the old mill and dam at Potato Creek in Thomaston, Georgia has fascinated me ever since I was a young child. I recall stories of the old mill told by mother, grandmother, and Aunt Anne as far back as I can remember. What fun they must have all had at Potato Creek Beach, as they called it.
I'm not entirely sure when the old mill was built, but I'm going to assume the late 1800s. I've heard it referred to as the old Reeves Mill as well as the Potato Creek Mill, but I'm not sure which is correct. My great grandparents, Thomas Alton Franklin and Ida Boggs Franklin, as well as their six children, lived in the mill from 1934 to 1937. Those six children were Wilmoth (my grandmother), Anne (my great aunt), Percy, Joe, Fred, and Andy. Thankfully Aunt Anne is still alive and she was able to tell me her first-hand account of what life at the mill was like. She informed me that they lived at the old mill itself until there was a big fire in 1936. The Franklin family had to live in the storage building, which was attached to the mill, for 3 months until the damage was repaired.
|The site of the mill and what's left of Potato Creek Dam in May 2016|
|The mill in 1945.|
|A drawing by Sandra Herring depicting what the mill looked like historically (2000).|