COSTLEY MILL PARK
in Conyers, Georgia
Costley Mill Park has a rich history. Long ago, the area was first settled by the Cherokee and Creek Indians. A worn sundial still exists even today. As white settlers began to move into Georgia, a small group of white men settled along the Big Haynes Creek. This settlement grew to include the first school, a gristmill, a sawmill, a planing mill, and eventually a cotton gin. The area's Salem Baptist Church still performs baptisms in the sparkling waters of the old millpond. This area became known as Rockdale County and Costley Mill. The name came from the owner, James Luther Thomas Costley, who paid for it with crops of cotton.
The Mill was threatened by the Creek Indians, then survived Sherman’s march to the sea during the Civil War. It burned in 1901, was rebuilt in 1904, only to burn a final death in 1973. This was a tragic close to an era that had begun in the early 19th century.
After the property had become overgrown and unkept for many years, Syl and Beverly Bowman purchased it in May, 1982. They had a vision of the beauty it could be and worked hard to make it what it is today ... Costley Mill Park. They have invested much time, effort and resources to renovating the land and preserve the historical significance to bring us not only natural beauty but a glimpse into a rich history as well.
Above picture is of the old mill and surrounding buildings after they were rebuilt in 1904. The buildings are where the pavillion now sets. This is the original Costley Mill Road.
Below picture is of a community BBQ in the mid 1800's. This original mill burned in 1901.