A walk through his­tory

Por­terdale de­vel­op­ing new his­toric walk­ing tour

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­news.com

As Por­terdale of­fi­cials try to re­vi­tal­ize the town, they’re lean­ing on its his­tory and the rem­nants of a clas­sic mill town that are still a ma­jor part of the area.

Of­fi­cials are de­vel­op­ing a walk­ing tour of the town’s most prom­i­nent sites, in­clud­ing its mul­ti­ple tex­tile mills and mill hous­ing, old train de­pot and his­toric stage­coach house, among oth­ers.

Ge­or­gia Col­lege stu­dent Cameron

Kline spent the sum­mer re­search­ing the town’s his­tory and de­vel­op­ing a list of its most in­ter­est­ing land­marks. Un­sur­pris­ingly, the Por­terdale Mill caught his at­ten­tion.

“Per­son­ally I found the most in­ter­est­ing part of Por­terdale’s his­tory to be how sig­nif­i­cant the Por­terdale Mill was at the peak of its size. It was the largest twine mill in the world at one time,” Kline said in an email to The News.

He re­searched Por­terdale’s old­est home, the stage­coach house be­lieved to have been built in the 1820s, the for­mer train de­pot, the Por­terdale Gym, the var­i­ous mills, the black mill com­mu­nity of Rose Hill, and the town’s his­toric churches and schools.

The idea to de­velop a walk­ing tour came from the His­toric Preser­va­tion Com­mis­sion, as a way to give a “quick and easy yet in­sight­ful look at a his­toric place,” said Travis Byrd, com­mis­sion ad­viser and past chair.

“Por­terdale rep­re­sents a near-per­fect mid-20th cen­tury mill town. Be­cause it is small and lies well out­side the bound­aries of a larger city like At­lanta, the town and its struc­tures have been well-pre­served, and only a few struc­tures have been lost, such as the lo­cal school.

This al­lows vis­i­tors to see ex­actly what it would have looked like 50 years ago, and it pro­vides his­to­ri­ans with a case study of mill-town growth,” Byrd said.

Kline’s brief his­to­ries of lo­ca­tions will pro­vide the back­bone for an even­tual walk­ing tour brochure. The goal is to share his­tory but also spur a move­ment to se­cure “even more of Por­terdale’s her­itage through ac­tive preser­va­tion,” Byrd said.

City Man­ager Bob Thom­son said the work was ex­cel­lent and Byrd will try to get more Ge­or­gia Col­lege in­terns to con­tinue work on de­vel­op­ing the brochure in the fu­ture. “I think per­son­ally that Por­terdale is al­ready on the right track to mar­ket­ing a walk­ing tour for its tourism ef­forts through its many projects to re­pur­pose all the old im­por­tant build­ings of the city, such as the Por­terdale Mill and the Por­terdale Gym­na­sium,’’ Kline said. “Once peo­ple be­come aware of the rich his­tory of Por­terdale, a walk­ing tour will be easy to mar­ket,” Kline said.

“I hope in the not-tood­is­tant fu­ture sig­nage will be placed at all his­tor­i­cal points of in­ter­est in Por­terdale to as­sist with the walk­ing tour as well.”

To read the his­to­ries of the his­toric build­ings, go to Cov­News.com.

Dar­rell Everidge /The Cov­ing­ton News

Por­terdale’s his­toric churches, like the one above, and its mills, be­low, are part of a walk­ing his­tory tour de­signed by Ge­or­gia Col­lege stu­dent Cameron Kline.

Dar­rell Everidge /The Cov­ing­ton News

The Por­terdale Mill and Por­terdale Gym­na­sium could be on a pro­posed tour of the his­toric mill town.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.