Friday, June 14, 2013

Seven Springs Museum Part 3

Looking across the railroad tracks at downtown Powder Springs from the Seven Springs Museum at Powder Springs Park
Following the Civil War, Powder Springs rebuilt and settled into an agricultural economy based on cotton. Cotton was king on the surrounding farmland until the arrival of the boll weevil in 1915.

Between 1870 and 1920, Powder Springs flourished with the typical businesses supporting a small farming town:
  • 2 Cotton Gins
  • Warehouses
  • Seed and Fertilizer Stores
  • General Merchandise and Grocery Stores
  • Blacksmith Shops
  • Barbershops
  • Millinery Shops
  • a Hardware and Lumber Company
  • an Icehouse
  • a Livery Stable
  • a Grist Mill

McTyre's Cotton Gin

Clark Threadmill and Village 1932
Even after the devastation of the cotton crop by the boll weevil, cotton resurged as an important commodity when the Clark Threadmill was built a few miles down the road, employing many workers from Powder Springs. The mill village of Clarkdale sprang up as an instant town between Powder Springs and Austell.

A Cotton Sliver Tester from the late 1930s, used for quality control in a cotton mill.
The framed picture is of the Lewis Cotton Gin.

Steelyard used as a scale for weighing cotton and other farm products.

Powder Springs became a railroad town in 1882 when the Southern Railroad came through town. The Seaboard Railroad was completed in 1905. The railroads boosted the economy, transporting freight, passengers, and mail.

A Southern Railway steam engine at the Brownsville Road crossing in downtown Powder Springs in 1950.
I found it ironic that as I was taking this picture, another train rattled beside the Seven Springs Museum at the same crossing.

A northbound train crosses Sweetwater Creek just south of Powder Springs.

The Seaboard line became part of CSX, and rail traffic was discontinued in 1989. In 1998, construction began on the Silver Comet Trail, a multi-use non-motorized trail popular with bicyclists, walkers, runners, and skaters. The completed trail stretches 61.5 miles from Smyrna to the Georgia-Alabama state line, where it connects to the Chief Ladiga Trail.

Downtown Powder Springs 1940s

Lonnie Mattox stands in front of his service station on Austell-Powder Springs Road.

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