Preserve America Community:
Roswell, Georgia (pop. 82,500) is located north of Atlanta on the northern banks of the Chattahoochee River, in an area the Cherokee Indians once called "Enchanted Land." A trading post, a Baptist mission, and a ferry on the Chattahoochee were established in the area by the early 19th century. Then gold was discovered on Cherokee land in 1828.
Georgia declared the Cherokee Nation illegal and took possession of their land, dividing it into counties and giving the land to white settlers through a land lottery. It was this activity that prompted Roswell King of Darien, Georgia to investigate the sites.
Traveling on horseback, King followed Indian trails to the Chattahoochee River near what is now Roswell. Following the river, King discovered vast forests and the rushing waters of Vickery Creek. These natural resources inspired him to begin developing mills and homesites in 1838, the same year that the Cherokee were removed from the area and sent to Oklahoma on the "Trail of Tears."
By the time of the Civil War, a prominent community had grown up at Roswell. Although the mills were destroyed during the Civil War, the magnificent homes and church were not. After the war, families returned to Roswell and began to pick up the pieces of their lives. The mills were rebuilt and the textile industry once again became a strong part of Roswell's economy, until it declined in the mid-1970s.
In the last 30 years, Roswell has again revived as a part of greater metropolitan Atlanta. Today, historic buildings and sites tell the stories of a community that has stood the test of time.
From its Cherokee Indian heritage, to the gold rush and later the beginnings of a mill town ravaged by the Civil War, Roswell is now home to an array of fine shops, museums and restaurants- many of which are housed in the very buildings that formed Roswell's history.
Roswell was incorporated in 1854, and in 2004 the city is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a year-long series of events and celebrations.
For more information
City of Roswell: www.roswellgov.com
Historic Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau: www.cvb.roswell.ga.us
Roswell Historical Society: www.roswellhs.org
Posted April 21, 2009