The Rome Area Heritage Foundation (RAHF) will host a special lecture featuring Rome native Barry Wright, who will present on the history of the original Lindale Mill from a collection of family papers that deliver a firsthand account. The event will take place on Thursday, March 31, from 6-8 p.m. at the newly renovated Daniel Hall of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

Speaker Barry Wright

The lecture is open to all RAHF members and new/returning members that sign up at the event, and includes a light dinner and refreshments. The evening will officially celebrate the completion of the annual membership drive currently underway.
While going through old boxes, Barry Wright discovered notes, letters and other primary sources from a bygone era that discussed the need for a mill in Lindale, and what it would take to make it a reality. The collection details the local businessmen involved in the structure’s founding and the different factors that had to be taken into account in the aftermath of the Civil War.
One of the main highlights of RAHF’s programming last year was an informative step-on guided tour of the mill town, done in partnership with Restoration Lindale, that featured an extensive history of the local industry and community’s development.
“It has been a great year for the Rome Area Heritage Foundation being able to focus on our county’s rich mill history, and Barry’s lecture is the perfect way to wrap up this celebration,” said Paula Blalock, RAHF board president. “It has been very exciting to help coordinate tours we’ve never done before, and to get into these areas that haven’t received the attention they deserve.”

Original Lindale Mill, 1993 (Courtesy of Restoration Lindale)

The lecture will be the focus of a membership party that will include a report on the progress of different RAHF initiatives from the previous year (like the historic Lindale tours), including the funding of three grants that supported the City Clocktower’s restoration fund; exterior maintenance at the Chieftains Museum/Major Ridge Home; and the commissioning of a bronze statue in the likeness of First Lady Ellen Axson Wilson. Last year the foundation also presented a three-day open house at the Clocktower to solicit donations, co-hosted tours of historic Downtown Rome homes to benefit the historic Fairview-E.S. Brown School, and presented the City of Rome with a certificate officially recognizing the 100th birthday of the Rome City Hall and Auditorium.
Additionally, members of the organization’s executive committee met with South Broad Baptist Church personnel to explore options for saving an old fire station from demise at the corner of South Broad Street and Butler Street.
Over the course of the next year, RAHF will continue to support the City Clocktower’s renovation as the project’s fiscal agent; work closely with local citizens to help with the advocacy, awareness and the restoration of the Myra H., an antique paddleboat that once sailed Rome’s rivers; host its first major fundraising event in conjunction with Heritage Holidays in October; and continue to identify opportunities for historic preservation and outreach in Floyd County.
Memberships can be renewed and/or initiated at the event, or by sending a check payable to RAHF at P.O. Box 1265, Rome, Ga. 30162. Memberships begin at $20 annually for full-time students; $35 for individuals; $65 for families; and $100 at the sustainer level. A business category is also available for $150. The organization is open to all individuals, families, businesses and organizations that have an interest in identifying, preserving and celebrating the rich heritage of the area.
All members enjoy fellowship and educational opportunities through special events and programming that feature tours, lectures and reports of recent restoration and renovation efforts. Proceeds from memberships help fund the organization’s grants program, which provides support to different preservation initiatives and projects across Floyd County that meet certain criteria. For more information about membership opportunities and contribution levels, please contact Donna Chambers at 706-295-5784.