Category Archives: Bowens Mill GA

Ruins of Bowen’s Mill, Ben Hill County

Having grown up swimming and exploring House Creek, I always wondered about the history of Bowen’s Mill. A few days ago, I got a message from Mike Hudson that a new bridge over House Creek was about to be constructed and he expressed concern that these ruins would likely be swept up in the debris of the construction project. Mike Carlok of the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Office of Environmental Services notes:  these ruins will not be swept up from GDOT construction. Our Office of Environmental Services (OES) has taken extraordinary steps to make sure that this history will not be erased by our projects. This site has been recommended Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places…and it deserves that recommendation…and I myself will be there to monitor construction…

A large grist mill was constructed here by R. V. Bowen, Sr., in 1836 and was in operation here into the 20th century. A water-powered sawmill was also part of the operation. This was one of the first industrial sites in this section of the state.

A wooden dam, which contained a 100-acre lake, failed at some point in the 1940s and swept away most of the mill.

 

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Bowen’s Mill Court & Cafe, Circa 1955, Ben Hill County

Bowen's Mill GA Ben Hill County Old Motor Court Cafe House Creek Real Photo Postcard Collection of Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The structures seen above are still standing and largely unchanged in appearance, but it’s been many years since they served the purpose indicated here. The sign on the Cafe reads: Specializing in KC Steaks, Chops, Seafood, Frog Legs & Channel Catfish Dinners, while the back of the card notes the presence of a swimming pool, bowling, fishing, a mineral well 673 feet in depth and a Camellia & Azalea nursery.

Today, they’re used as a school for a nearby Christian community.

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