Category Archives: –ROCKDALE COUNTY GA–

Dial Mill, Circa 1830, Rockdale County

Allen Summers built the three-story hand-hewn structure known today as Dial Mill after purchasing three fractional lots at a public auction in the 1820s. It was one of the first commercial mills to be built in this region. The property is bounded by the historic Hightower (Etowah) Trail to the north and Little Haynes Creek to the east. Though the traditional date of construction is believed to be circa 1830, Summers may have begun construction of the mill earlier. Oral tradition has suggested that the dam for the mill was complete before 1830. Summers died in 1845 and the property was deeded to his son, James M. Summers, by his wife. The younger Summers leased the property to John Wells and William Puckett, with later assistance in the operation of the mill being provided by William’s brother, Pleasant Puckett. Pleasant’s wife Winnie is said to have protected the mill from Union troops during the Civil War.

In 1875, James M. Summers sold the mill to E. B. Rosser, who made a great success of the operation. In 1898, metal rollers replaced the grinding stones and the mill became known as Princeton Roller Mills [Princeton was in reference to the community which grew up around the mill]. In 1909, the mill was sold to George Dial and Sons, and though they only owned it for nine years, the name Dial Mill remains in use to this day. The Fowler family owned it from 1918-1942, and it was sold to the Costley Brothers , who owned it until 1964.

The mill is presently in need of stabilization.

National Register of Historic Places

Granite-Clad Commercial Block, 1930, Conyers

Conyers Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Rockdale County Jail, 1897, Conyers

This jail was built in 1897 to replace the first jail in Rockdale County and served the county until 1968. It was designed by Georgia’s most prolific courthouse architect, J. W. Golucke, while he was in partnership with G. W. Stewart. The interior was outfitted by the Pauly Jail Building and Manufacturing Company of St. Louis. F. P. Heifner was the contractor.

The old jail was restored by the Rockdale County Historical Society in 1975 and serves as their headquarters and a museum today.

National Register of Historic Places

Almand-O’Kelley-Walker House, 1870, Conyers

This highly stylized Folk Victorian cottage was built for John Henry Almand (4 January 1846-29 July 1918) in the year of Rockdale County’s creation and the designation of Conyers as its county seat. John Henry Almand was the treasurer of the first county board of education, a county commissioner, and a founder of the Bank of Rockdale. His cousin, and the builder of the house, John Floyd Almand, lived here for several years, after John Henry Almand moved to another house “closer to town”. Thomas Dean O’ Kelley purchased the home in 1884, and his descendants, the Walkers, lived here until 1992.

National Register of Historic Places

Eclectic House, 1882, Conyers

This recently restored Conyers landmark features distinct styles. The street entrance, seen above, has a Greek Revival appearance, while the rear wing has Folk Victorian elements.

Conyers Residential Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Georgian Cottage, Circa 1890, Conyers

The overall form of this home is unmistakably Georgian Cottage, but the Folk Victorian element is quite dominant. Like many homes throughout the area, it has a yard boundary of local granite or similar stone.

Conyers Residential Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Aaron & Margaret Parker, Jr., House, Circa 1830, Rockdale County

Aaron Parker, Sr. (1758-1831), and his family migrated from Caswell County, North Carolina, to Georgia in the 1820s. His son, Aaron Parker, Jr. (12 November 1788-5 January 1881), and his wife Margaret Browning Parker* (30 June 1789-6 August 1871), bought three land lots on the east side of Panola Mountain in what was then known as the Brushy Knob District. It was part of Henry County until 1870.

*-I have learned that I am a cousin of Margaret Browning Parker.

Aaron, Jr., and Margaret were successful in Franklin County (now Clarke County) and were eager to invest their capital in the Georgia frontier. The Plantation Plain house they built circa 1830 became the center of a 2700 acre cotton farm, worked by as many as 24 slaves, and represents the first wave of white settlement into newly opened Native American lands.

The house was restored in 2016 and is part of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area. It is among the oldest standing structures in Rockdale County.

National Register of Historic Places