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Water Mills of Cherokee County in 1886

Alabama As It Is - by Benjamin F. Riley - 1887

Cherokee County History - by Smith and DeLand - 1888

Cherokee County: Reminiscence of Early Settlement by J. D. Anthony


 CHEROKEE COUNTY


Cherokee county derives its name from the Indian tribe which formerly inhabited it. The county was constituted in 1836. It is a border county lying alongside Georgia upon the east. Its natural advantages are very great, especially those relating to its mineral richness. Its agricultural capabilities are also good. Considerable enterprise has existed in the county for many years, and great progress has been made in the development of its resources, as its numerous mining interests will attest.

The area of Cherokee is 660 square miles.

Population in 1870, 11,132 ; population in 1880, 19,108. White, 16,418 ; colored, 2,690.

Tilled Land: 88,819 acres.—Area planted in cotton, 24,388 acres; in corn, 33,373 acres ; in oats, 7,477 acres; in wheat, 10,085 acres; in rye, 163 acres; in tobacco, 82 acres; in sweet potatoes, 335 acres.

Cotton Production : 10,777 bales.

As will be seen from the statistics furnished, within ten years extending from 1870 to 1880, the population of Cherokee was almost doubled. There has been a steady influx of population into the county which has increased with the years. More and more its numerous advantages in soil, climate, mineral wealth, and location are being appreciated.

The face of the country is generally uneven and sometimes mountainous, and like all the counties of this region, the upper lands are thin with very fertile valleys lying between.

The cultivated soils of Cherokee are composed of red and brown loams which belong to the caves and valleys, and skirt the principal streams. Upon these lands most of the cotton of the county is produced. Then along the ridges and hills are found the thinner soils, which have a grayish cast and are mixed with a flinty gravel. The character of both these classes of lands varies very greatly with the different localities. Then there are what are called "the flatwoods," which form a considerable belt in the county. Though this soil, when analyzed, shows that it has fine productive capabilities, it is but rarely cultivated, because care has not been taken to drain it. No doubt it can be brought into profitable cultivation. Perhaps in no county in the State can there be found a greater diversity of soil than in Cherokee.

The valley lands are almost entirely devoted to the production of corn, cotton, wheat, and oats. Upon the higher or tablelands are produced excellent fruits, chief among which are apples, pears, peaches, and plums. Fruit trees are but seldom disturbed by frost. With proper care and cultivation orchards growing upon these elevated lands become very profitable. The vine is cultivated with wonderful success along the mountains.

Stock-raising in Cherokee is on the increase because of the revenue derived from the experiments already made. Herbage grows with such readiness, and in such profusion, as to encourage the greater production of stock.

The growth of the forests comprises oaks (of the several varieties), hickory, chestnut, short and long-leaf pines. There is quite an extensive prevalence of pine forests in the county, which have given rise to many mills and log-yards, which are established at convenient bluffs along the Coosa river, giving employment to many laborers.

In several portions of Cherokee there are extensive and valuable deposits of iron ore, much of which is worked up in the furnaces along the East Teunesse, Virginia and Georgia railroad. The following iron works arc in successful operation in the county: The Stone-wall Iron Company, Tccumsch Iron Company, Rock Run Furnace. Alabama Iron Company, Cornwall Iron Works, and Round Mountain Furnace. There is a fine cotton factory at Spring Garden. Rich coal deposits also exist in the county.

Cherokee has an abundant water supply, being traversed by the Coosa, Chattooga, Yellow, and Little rivers, and Cowan's, Ball Play, Wolf, Spring, Terrapin, Yellow, and Mill creeks. All these are valuable streams, which are fed by numerous tributaries. This is the only county the heart of which is penetrated by the beautiful river Coosa. With the exception of Etowah, near whose eastern boundary the river runs, it forms the border line of all the other counties which it waters. But Cherokee, it divides in twain, imparting fertility and beauty from limit to limit of the county. The waterways already named have almost without exception immense capabilities of water-power adapted to the planting of vast enterprises.

The line between Cherokee and DeKalb counties runs along the summit of Lookout Mountain.

The Broomtown Valley in the northwest corner of Cherokee is worthy of special mention by reason of its fertility and romantic beauty. The grandeur of this section is enhanced by its bold and clear streams, which ramify it throughout.

Transportation is afforded the county by the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia railroad, and the Coosa river.

Center, the county-seat, and Cedar Bluff are the leading towns. Together with other centers of population, these possess good educational and religious advantages. At Gaylesville there is a high school of note.

Lands range in price from $2.50 to $35 per acre. The government owns 20,720 acres of land in Cherokee county.

Source: Alabama As It Is by Benjamin Franklin Riley, D. D., 1887 , Transcribed by C. Anthony


CHEROKEE COUNTY.

Population: White, 18,800; colored, 2,000. Area, 660 square miles. Woodland, all. Coal measures of Lookout Mountain, 150 square miles. Coosa Valley, etc., 510 square miles.

Acres - In cotton (approximately), 24,390; in corn, 33,375; in oats, 7,475; in wheat, 10,085; in rye, 160; in tobacco, 80; in sweet potatoes, 335.

Approximate number of bales of cotton, 11,000.

County Seat - Centre; population 650: on Coosa river, 140 miles north by east of Montgomery, 20 miles north of Jacksonville.

Newspapers published at County Seat - Cherokee Advertiser, Coosa River News, and the Telephone (all Democratic).

Post offices in the County - Alexis, Ball Flat, Blaine, Broomtown, Cedar Bluff, Cedar Spring, Centre, Chance, Colma, Davis' Cross-roads, Farill, Firestone, Forney, Fullerton, Gaylesville, Gnatville, Grantville, Hancock, Howel's Cross-roads, Hurley, Key, Kirk's Grove, Lay, Leesburgh, Maple Grove, Moshat, New Goshen, New Moon, Plano, Ricks, Ringgold, Rock Run, Rock Run Station, Round Mountain, Sand Rock, Slackland, Spring Garden, Sterling, Stock's Mills, Taff, Tecumseh.

Cherokee County derives its name from the Indian tribe which formerly inhabited it. The county was constituted in 1836. It is a border county, lying alongside Georgia upon the east. Its natural advantages are very great, especially those relating to its mineral richness. Its agricultural capabilities are also good. Considerable enterprise has existed in the county for many years, and great progress has been made in the development of its resources, as its numerous mining interests will attest.

In 1880 the population was almost doubled. There has been a steady influx of population into the county, which has increased with the years. More and more its numerous advantages in soil, climate, mineral wealth and location are being appreciated. The face of the county is generally uneven, and sometimes mountainous, and, like all the counties of this region, the upper lands are thin, with very fertile valleys lying between.

The cultivated soils of Cherokee are composed of red and brown loams, which belong to the coves and valleys, and skirt the principal streams. Upon these lands most of the cotton of the county is produced. Then along the ridges and hills are found the thinner soils, which have a grayish cast and are mixed with a flinty gravel. The character of both these classes of land varies very greatly with the different localities. Then there are what are called "the flatwoods," which form a considerable belt in the county. Though this soil, when analyzed, shows that it has fine productive capabilities, it is but rarely cultivated, because care has not been taken to drain it. No doubt it can be brought into profitable cultivation. Perhaps in no county in the State can there be found a greater diversity of soil than in Cherokee.

The valley lands are almost entirely devoted to the production of corn, cotton, wheat and oats. Upon the higher or table lands are produced excellent fruits, chief among which are apples, pears, peaches and plums. Fruit trees are seldom disturbed by frost. With proper care and cultivation orchards growing upon these elevated lands become very profitable. The vine is cultivated with wonderful success along the mountains.

Stock-raising in Cherokee is on the increase because of the revenue derived from the experiments already made. Herbage grows with such readiness and in such profusion as to encourage the greater production of stock.

The growths of the forests comprise oaks (of the several varieties), hickory, chestnut, short- and long-leaf pines. There is quite an extensive prevalence of pine forests in the county, which have given rise to many mills and log yards, which are established at convenient bluffs along the Coosa River, giving employment to many laborers.

In several portions of Cherokee there are extensive and valuable deposits of iron ore, much of which is worked up in furnaces along the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad. The following iron works are in successful operation in the county: The Stonewall Iron Company, Tecumseh Iron Company, Rock Run Furnace, Alabama Iron Company, Cornwall Iron Works and Round Mountain Furnace. There is a fine cotton factory at Spring Garden. Rich coal deposits also exist in the county.

Cherokee has an abundant water supply, being traversed by the Coosa, Chattanooga, Yellow and Little Rivers, and Cowan's, Ball Play, Wolf Spring, Terrapin, Yellow and Mill Creeks. All these are valuable streams, which are fed by numerous tributaries. This is the only county the heart of which is penetrated by the beautiful Coosa River. With the exception of Etowah, near whose eastern boundary the river runs, it forms the border line of all the other counties which it waters. But Cherokee it divides in twain, imparting fertility and beauty from limit to limit of the county. The waterways already named have, almost without exception, immense capabilities of water-power adapted to the planting of vast enterprises.

The line between Cherokee and DeKalb Counties runs along the summit of Lookout Mountain.

The Broomtown Valley, in the northwest corner of Cherokee, is worthy of special mention by reason of its fertility and romantic beauty. The grandeur of this section is enhanced by its bold and clear streams which ramify it throughout.

Transportation is afforded the county by the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad, and the Coosa River.

Centre, the county seat, and Cedar Bluff are the leading towns. Together with other centers of population, these possess good educational and religious advantages. At Gaylesville there is a high school of note.

Lands range in price from $2.50 to $35 per acre. The Government owns 20,720 acres of land in Cherokee County.

Source: Northern Alabama - Historical and Biographical by Smith & De Land, Birmingham, Ala 1888 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney


 WATER MILLS OF CHEROKEE COUNTY IN 1886 

Source: Bulletin, Geological Survey of Alabama, by Truman H. Aldrich, 1886 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney

 

The following is a list of the water powers that are utilized.  The most of these powers are small, but they make a

large aggregate, and they represent only an insignificant part of the power that is capable of development.

 

CHEROKEE COUNTY.............................................................................. ....... H.P.

Shamblin & Toles Mill. Broomtown, flour and grist mill .............................................. 8

Chandler & Stinson, Center, flour and grist mill ........................................................ 20

Shamblin & Toles Mill, Broomtown, flour and grist mill ............................................ 20

J. A. Lumpkin, Forney, flour and grist mill............................................................... 13

Hurleys Mill, Hurley, flour and grist mill................................................................... 12

Tyre G. Craig, Grover, flour and grist mill ................................................................ 12

Rush Mill. Lawrence, flour and grist mill.................................................................. 10

E. W. Ragdale, Spring Garden, flour and grist mill ................................................... 30

W. F. Timmerman, Round Mountain, flour and grist mill.... ......................................... 8

M. E. Cohia, Cedar Bluff, flour and grist mill ........................................................... 24

M. J. Abernathy. Pleasant Gap. lumber and timber mill ............................................ 15

Hurricane Creek Mfg. & Min. Co., Spring Garden, cotton goods ............................ 65

W. A. Stinson, (Terrapin Creek), Center, gin, flour and grist .................................... 60

J. J. Scroggin, (Terrapin Creek). Coloma. gin, flour and grist ................................... 60

T. F. Stewart, (Terrapin Creek). Spring Garden, flour and grist ................................ 60

J. M. Adderhold, (Mill Creek). Piedmont, flour, grist and gin ................................... 40

M. L. "Braswell, (Hurricane Creek). Pleasant Gap, flour & grist .............................. 40

B. F. Newberry, (Yellow Creek), Round Mountain, flour, grist and gin mill .............. 40

E. Cobia, (Chattooga River-). Cedar Bluff, flour, grist, and gin ................................. 60

R. A. Russell & Co. (Chattooga River), Gaylesville, flour, grist and gin mill ............... 60

W. F. Henderson, (Mill Creek). Fullerton, flour, grist and gin ................................... 40

Rush & Rinehart, (Chattooga River), Fullerton, flour, grist, gin ................................. 60

J. G. Toles. (Mill Creek). Broomtown. grist and gin mill........................................... 40

Elliott Bros., (North Spring Creek). Grassland, grist and gin ..................................... 40

J. T. Webb & Bros., (Spring Creek). Hurley, grist and gin mill ................................. 40

J. D. Jordan, (South Spring Creek). Noah, grist and gin mill. .................................... 20


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