Also Known as Swann's Mill or Alcovy River Gristmill
This mill is located on Alcovy Rd. in Lawrenceville, GA. This structure is a superb example of a typical rural gristmill found along rivers throughout Georgia in the mid 19th century. Gwinnett is preserving this property with the help of the Georgia Greenspace Program. The Alcovy River Gristmill, also known to long-time residents as Swann's or Freeman's Mill, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996 for its significance in architecture, engineering, industry and social history. The mill was originally constructed between 1868 and 1879. The site is currently being master planned, with future opportunities for historic educational programming on the drawing board.
It was built by the Loveless brothers, then owned by the Freeman family, by Newt Pharr & son in 1915, then purchased by Lewis Swann in 1946.
The 1880 manufactoring census found that the Alcovy Road Mill, running 10 hrs/day/year produced 40 barrel of wheat flour, 14.5 thousand pounds of corn meal and flour, and 54,000 pounds of animal feed annually.
The mill was powered by a large overshot wheel that was changed to a breast or pitchback wheel sometime prior to 1986, when the mill closed.
This is a three story frame mill, the main body of which measures about 35'X 40'. Several additions, a 12-15' two-story with a 10' one-story further addition, extend on the south side of the mill.
Below is the dam. Water no longer travels to the mill through the concrete trough partly due to parts of the dam which have broken away.
In Sept. 2001, the Gwinnett County Commisioners purchased the mill and 12 adjoining acres from Dr. & Mrs. Julian Swann using $350,000 of Georgia Greenspace Program monies. Mr. Swann stated that the mill had been in and out of both sides of his families ownership since the Civil War.
Notice the work done to raise the mill. Recent 500-year floods would surely have destroyed the mill if this work had not been done in the last year. I, for one, am most pleased that this historical landmark is being preserved for future generations.
Below is a picture taken before the mill was raised five-feet higher to prevent damage from flooding.