This artifact can be found in the Atlanta History Museum exhibit which traces Atlanta’s amazing history from its early days as a railroad frontier to its current emergence of an international metropolis of over 4 million people. This artifact is made of stone and in some ways resembles a cartoon of the early caveman’s wheel that was shaped out of stone. It represents a period when the first European settlers and Africans came into the region. This period occurred a lot later than some people think. Many think that Atlanta is an old city like Charleston, South Carolina or New Orleans, Louisiana, when in fact; Atlanta came into existence approximately 100 years after Savannah, Georgia. Early settlers considered the presence of Native Americans to be a major obstacle. The state and federal governments forced Native Americans to relocate west of the Mississippi. More white settlers began settling in the Atlanta region during the 1820’s and 1830’s. This artifact is from that time period.
This object has an opening in the center that an axle could go through and resembles a primitive stone wheel used for transportation; but it’s actually a millstone. A stone used by the early settlers to grind corn and wheat into cornmeal and flour. This was a very important industry for early settlers. This particular millstone came from Moore’s Mill. Thomas Moore established this mill along the Peachtree River in 1828. It remained in operation until the 20th century. This particular mill is still known in Atlanta today because of Moores Mill Road. In fact if you examine some of the “place names” around Atlanta; you will get some interesting glimpses and clues about who settled here in the 1820’s and ‘30’s and what they were involved in.
Along with Moores Mill Road, there’s Howell Mill Road. There are also a number of “Ferry Roads” such as ” Johnson Ferry Road”, and ” Powers Ferry Road”. These all indicate just how important these early tributaries, streams and creeks were to the city.
So this millstone, an artifact from Atlanta’s early history, is from Moore’s Mill.
Research and background provided by
Atlanta History Center
130 West Paces Ferry Road, N.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30305
Contact: Hillary Hardwick, Public Relations Manager