“A piece of Georgia plantation history”
In the 1830s Roswell founder, Roswell King, encouraged fellow Presbyterians living along the Georgia Coast to follow him inland to establish a mill town along Vickery Creek and the Chattahoochee River. In 1838, the Smiths heeded King’s call and left two struggling plantations along the coast. They gathered approximately 30 of their slaves and made the journey to over 300 acres of land situated north of the town square that would become their new plantation. Archibald and Anne raised four children in their Roswell home, Elizabeth, William, Helen, and Archibald Jr. Both of their sons fought in the Confederate Army, and Willie, the eldest enlisted with the Signal Corps at the outbreak of the war. The family’s letters from the Civil War period were collected into a book in 1988, by Dr. Lister Skinner and Arthur Skinner, entitled The Death of a Confederate. Willie’s life was lost to disease not a month after the Confederates surrender. The war also had tragic consequences for the mill town of Roswell, though the homes were not destroyed, Sherman’s Army would occupy the town. The Smiths along with the other founding families fled to other points in Georgia, not to return until after the war. In 1985 the Skinner family sold the house and grounds to the city of Roswell in order that the home would become a house museum. The city also used the Smith property to construct a new municipal complex. The sale was completed in the 1985 the stipulation that Mamie Cotton would be able to live out the rest of her life here. Tours of the home began in 1992, and Mamie was still a resident until her death in1994. Many of the artifacts of the Smith estate are still on the property, including the original furnishings, clothing, and personal items belonging to the Smith family. Others are housed at the Atlanta History Center, and many documents are preserved in the second largest collection at the Georgia State Archives.
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Archibald Smith Plantation Home
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