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Cumming, GA

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Tuesday, September 01, 2015    
You are here :     Attractions   »   Pooles Mill Bridge and Park
 
 

Poole’s Mill Bridge and Poole’s Mill Park

7725 Poole's Mill Road
In Forsyth County

Open from spring through late November
Park closes at dark

Free parking
Free admission

Poole’s Mill Bridge

Reflect on the sights and sounds of a simpler time in the tranquil countryside of Cumming, Georgia. Pack a picnic lunch, take a leisurely stroll, and sit beside a picturesque, bygone-era, covered bridge.

Located on 10 acres of Forsyth County’s Department of Parks and Recreation’s passive parkland property, Poole’s Mill Bridge is one of Georgia’s 16 scenic covered bridges, and the only historical structure in Forsyth County that is included in the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, in 2000, the Georgia Historical Society awarded a Historical Marker on the Poole’s Mill Bridge site.

The weatherworn wooden members of Poole’s Mill Bridge are a part of the rich cultural resources that reflect the settlement history of Forsyth County’s first citizens, who laid the foundations for their homes, churches, farms, and mills along the rugged natural landscape of the sprawling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in north Georgia. 

Named for the site of a gristmill, constructed with slave labor by its original owner—Cherokee Chief George Welch in 1820—Poole’s Mill (also known as Welch’s Mill and Scudder’s Mill) was the center of the county’s agrarian activity for over a century. However, when the lands of the Cherokee nation were awarded to white settlers in the Gold Lottery of 1832, the lot on which the mill stood was awarded to John Maynard of Jackson County. 

Then in 1833, Jacob Scudder, a brother-in-law of Chief George Welch, purchased the property from Maynard for $250.00. Scudder owned and operated the mill, then known as Scudder’s Mill, from 1833 until 1868, when he conveyed the title to his grandsons. Following Scudder’s death in 1870, Dr. M.L. Pool purchased the mill and it came to be known as Poole’s Mill. 

Once used as a means to cross Settingdown Creek and gain access from the mill to the communities of Heardsville and Frogtown, the present 96-foot covered bridge structure, with its hint of a sagging middle—despite incremental jacking— is the second bridge structure built on the same land lot site. The first structure was washed away by a flash flood in 1899.

Then in 1901, John Wofford, a millwright, who incorrectly drilled all the holes in the lattice members, started the reconstruction of the present bridge. Upon discovering his mistake, he departed the county with a gallon of corn whiskey. The bridges Town lattice construction was then completed by Bud Gentry. Nevertheless, the misplaced holes drilled by John Woffard are still visible today in the poplar members, offering visitors the opportunity to conduct a fun, and anecdotal, archeological search.

Later, in the mid 1990’s, through the concerns and efforts of dedicated citizens of Forsyth County, the County Commissioners, and the Parks and Recreation Department, the entire Poole’s Bridge area was converted from private ownership to county-owned property. The initial restorative actions undertaken on the bridge included the addition of a new pier, weatherboarding, and restoration of the shingled roof.

Poole’s Mill Park

Dedicated on April 3, 1997, Poole’s Bridge Park offers county residents and visitors the opportunity to picnic, hike, and reminisce in a tranquil, country setting with a rich cultural history.

The park’s family friendly amenities feature free parking, a picnic pavilion with stationary picnic tables, two grills, electricity, and an attached restroom area. In the area adjacent to the pavilion is a memorial garden dedicated to noted Forsyth County commissioner and city councilman, Charles F. Welch.  The garden was created in 1998 by Cumming Garden Club (along with Forsyth County Master Gardeners) and continues to be expanded and maintained by the Club. Online Brochure 

There is also a playground area, horseshoe pits, and walking paths, which can be enjoyed during the park’s open season from spring through late November-closing each day at dark. 

Rentals space for the picnic area is available for $50.00 

For more information, contact the Forsyth County Parks & Recreation, 770-781-2215

Directions: From GA400 take GA Highway 20 west to Heardsville Road. Turn right on Heardsville Road. Poole’s Mill Road is 1 mile north on the right. The entrance to the Poole’s Mill Park, which houses Poole’s Mill Bridge, is at the corner of Poole’s Mill and Heardsville Road.

 

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