Friday, February 1, 2008

Irwin's Mill Creek - Northeast Jackson County

This image, taken just a few yards across the Alabama line from Jackson County, shows Irwin's Mill Creek, a clear and cold stream that flows into the northeast corner of Jackson County not far from Neal's Landing.
This stream was an important water resource to early settlers, who dammed it to provide power for a watermill built by Col. Joseph Irwin during the 1820s.
The exact construction date of the mill is not clear. Col. Irwin and his partner, Farish Carter, acquired 160 acres on the creek from the Federal government on September 1, 1827, but this is not necessarily the date they settled there. Early settlers often "squatted" on land before actually filing for ownership of the property.
The mill served residents of Jackson County for more than one hundred years and remained an important landmark and industry well into the 20th century. Untold thousands of bushels of corn were ground on its stones.
The mill itself no longer stands, but its foundations remain and can be seen in the distance by looking downstream from the dam at Chattahoochee State Park just across the Alabama line. They are believed to be the oldest standing structural remains in Jackson County.


William Ted McKenzie said...

Is Col. Irwin's the same as Gen. Irwin who is buried across the river from Ft. Gaines, GA, in Henry Co., AL? I think he is the same, but not sure. My family was living in the house on the state park when I was born. My father, William Eugene McKenzie, who was the first park ranger said there was an old cemetery above the mill on the northwest side in the park(Irwin?). He was also a member of the CCC who developed the park. My Great Uncle Walker Beatrice Watford was killed in an accident at the mill on 27 Jul 1920. I can remember my mother getting our corn ground at the mill. I am William Ted McKenzie.

Dale said...

Thank you for your fascinating comment! The Col. Irwin who built the mill was Col. Joseph Irwin, who I think was a relative of the Gen. Jared Irwin you mentioned as being buried in Henry County.

Dale Cox