covered bridge in roswell, georgia

In northern Fulton County sits a city that has a rich history in cotton. Built around the notion that cotton processing should be near cotton production, the city, named Roswell, saw the creation of its first cotton mill in the 1830s. Developed by Roswell King, the mill was the starting ground of a great city. It is located on the northern banks of the Chattahoochee River in an area the Cherokee Indians once called Enchanted Land.

Through hard times, such as the burning of the mill during the Civil War, the citizens of Roswell were bound together under the leadership of founding families, the Kings, the Smiths and the Bullochs. Now, the small mill village is a bustling suburb and is the eighth largest in Georgia with a 108,798 population.

The City of Roswell has 22 parks with 918 acres of active and passive parkland and facilities. The city has also been chosen twice by Atlanta Magazine as the best place to live in the Metro-Atlanta area. It has also been ranked as one of the safest cities to live in the United States.

According to Forbes, Roswell is mostly white-collar. Many of its residents are college graduates and make a median household income of $113,074.

With a high cost of living and median home sale price of $298,000, most residents stay in their homes for five or more years. On Trulia, 237 homes are listed for sale. Prices range from $199,999 to almost $7 million. If looking to rent, Trulia has 102 rentals with prices from $1,240 to $4,200 per month.

About 23 percent of family households have children. Sought after schools include Village Montessori School, Mountain Park Elementary, Hillside Elementary, Porter Academy, Queen of Angels Catholic School, St. Francis School, Crabapple Middle, Roswell High, Blessed Trinity Catholic High, Eaton Academy and Centennial High.

Along with an interesting history, gorgeous real estate opportunities and prestigious schools, Roswell offers activities for the whole family.

Shopping

  • Canton Street. With period-storefront buildings, Canton Street offers a wide selection of antiques, art galleries, gifts, apparel and dining. Stores include the Canton Street Antique Market, Belle Mode and Roswell Provisions. Tasty restaurants include Ceviche, 1920 Tavern, Roux on Canton and Canton St. Social.
  • Historic Roswell Antique Market. Offering a unique selection of antiques, vintage interiors, garden finds and exceptional jewelry, the Market is 15,000 square feet. After shopping, take a break at the café, which serves homemade fare.

Dining & Bars

  • Lucky’s. Inspired by the owners’ dog, Lucky’s offers delicious burgers and ice-cold beverages. They only serve the finest 80/20 ground beef in their burgers and the freshest produce delivered daily. Be sure to check out their lunch specials online. Then, visit for a great meal with your family and canine!
  • Bistro VG. Here, you’ll find timeless European touches and scrumptious food. Menu items include white truffle parmesan fries, gnocchi, margherita pizza, roast chicken, lasagna, sea scallops, lamb chops, tiramisu and molten chocolate fritters.
  • Gate City Brewing Company. As the first craft brewery in Roswell, Gate City has many unique brews waiting for you to try. Located on the corner of Canton and Magnolia, this central location is perfect to enjoy the downtown area and the offerings it has. Enjoy live music, community-based events, and a 6-pack of beer every weekend.
  • The Peach & the Porkshop. Located in Sweet Apple Village this is an upscale pub featuring Southern comfort food and ‘Northern-style’ sandwiches plus boozy milkshakes.
  • Salt Factory Pub. This upbeat, vintage, industrial gastropub offers craft beers and a creative menu of American food and pizzas.
  • Roux on Canton. Southern comfort food complemented by daily beers and frequent live music.
  • Table & Main. A restored cottage showcasing inspired seasonal Southern cuisine, a bourbon bar and a garden patio.

Entertainment and Recreation

  • Red Door Playhouse. Celebrating more than 16 years, the Red Door Playhouse provides arts educational programs, performances and services to all children and adults in the North Atlanta community. Check out the events calendar for more information. Be sure to stay up to date with COVID-19 guidelines.
  • Leita Thompson Memorial. This park features two off-leash dog parks with benches and water spigots as well as miles of winding walking trails and an arts center. Located at 1355 Woodstock Road in Roswell, the park has top ratings.
  • Area 51. As Roswell’s family fun center, Area 51 features the Aurora Cineplex and The Fringe miniature golf. The Aurora Cineplex has 10 screens, digital sound, 3D capabilities and stadium-style seating. The Fringe has two courses, 36 holes and amusing surprises.
  • Chattahoochee Nature Center. This 127-acre natural science venue on the Chattahoochee River features a Gold LEED-certified discovery center that interprets the Chattahoochee River watershed. Additionally, visitors can explore freshwater ponds, wooded upland trails and river marshes, native wildlife and a butterfly garden.
  • Bike Friendly Community. Roswell happily offers two locations in the city as the best places to ride: Big Creek Park and Greenway and Roswell Riverwalk.
  • Alive in Roswell. A family-friendly festival that happens every third Thursday from July to October. The festival features music, food trucks, hundreds of vendors, and enjoys the participation from many local businesses. This event is hosted by the City of Roswell and is made possible by Gate City Brewing and Carl Black Buick GMC.

Historical Attractions

  •  Old Roswell Mill. Fully operative in 1839, the Old Roswell Mill was the largest one in north Georgia. Started by Roswell King with the help of one of his sons, Barrington, it served as a leading manufacturer of materials used for the Confederacy. The mill standing today was built in 1882.
  • Barrington Hall. Built in 1842, Barrington Hall is the home of Roswell King’s son, Barrington. The home is one of the best examples of Greek Revival Temple architecture in the U.S. Open for tours, and the home is on the National Register.
  • Bulloch Hall. Built for James Stephens Bulloch and Martha Stewart Elliott Bulloch in 1839, Bulloch Hall is located at 180 Bulloch Avenue. Major Bulloch was a stockholder in the Roswell Manufacturing Company owned by Roswell King. Mittie, the couple’s second daughter is the mother of President Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, and grandmother of Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady from 1934 to 1945.

See what this mill town turned modern city has to offer. Visit www.visitroswellga.com for more information.

Roswell History

In the mid 1830s, Roswell King established a mill on Big Creek. He brought with him 78 slaves, who constucted a cotton mill along with a small industrial complex. Roswell and his mill attracted other southern industrialists and Roswell quickly became a small hub for the cotton industry. In 1839, the community was recognized by the state of Georgia. It is possible that the same slaves who built the structures in Roswell were also the first workers of the mills there. However, in 1864 the mill was worked by around 400 free workers, mostly women and immigrants. Throughout the operation of the mill, local plantations were able to bring or ship their cotton harvest to the mill, where it could be spun for use elsewhere in Georgia or shipped elsewhere. At some point in the 1850s or 60s, a textile mill was set up alongside the cotton mill and was used during the Civil War to produce cloth for the Confederate Army. 

In 1864, Brigadier General Kenner Garrard took Roswell as a part of Major General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Atlanta campaign. Upon arriving at the mill, he was met by a male French national claiming to be the owner of the mill, and with the mill flying a French flag over it. Southern renditions of the story claim this was an attempt by the workers to save the mill from destruction. Correspondence between Maj. Gen. Sherman, Maj. Gen. Henry Wager Halleck and Brig. Gen. Garrard shows that the union army was at first somewhat confused by the confederate attempt at subversion, but as General Sherman reasoned: “They had been for years engaged exclusively at work for the Confederate Government, and the owner of the woolen factory displayed the French flag; but as he failed also to show the United States flag, General Garrard burned it also.” (source) By Sherman’s order, Gerrard arrested the workers at the mill for treason and had them sent to Marietta, from where the workers were sent either to Louisville, Kentucky or Southern Indiana. At this point the ultimate fate of the workers, mostly women and accompanied by their children, is uncertain. It does not appear that they ever appeared in court or were sentenced for Treason and there are few reputable sources which attempt to discern what happened to them after the war. The United Daughters of the Confederacy, in the name of shining light on this event, seem to have mixed both rumors and historic facts to create a story which feeds into a lost cause mythos surrounding the antebellum south. Some versions of the story claim grave mistreatment suffered by the workers, such as starvation or dying to exposure while being held in Indiana. 

After the war the Mill was rebuilt and operated until 1926 when it was struck by lightning, resulting in its destruction once again. Despite the mill’s continued operation, during the late 19th century the town’s image began to shift away from being that of a suburban bedroom community. During the Second World War the Mill was reopened but was closed again in 1975 and has since become a historic site and museum. Roswell has in the last fifty years become a major suburban community. Roswell is also known for having President Jimmy Carter’s Roswell White House, which is the former home of President Carter’s Aunt Emily Dolvin, who played an active role in her nephew’s campaign for presidency.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.