The Bulloch County Historical Society unveiled its 15th historical marker on Thursday afternoon, May 22, 2014. The marker commemorates the historic Akins’ Mill Pond. Located next to the site of the old mill on Akins Pond Road, the two-sided marker tells the history of Akins’ Mill Pond on one side and honors The Families of Akins’ Mill Pond on the other.
Akins’ Mill Pond
“About 1883, using a narrow gauge railroad with mule drawn hopper cars, Green Barnes built a dam on the headwaters of Mill Creek, creating a 300-acre pond, which soon came into the possession of Barnes’ son-in-law, Welcome Amos Akins. Amos Akins built the mill house in 1907, and in 1910, he opened a pavilion for dances and public gatherings, lighted by one of the first Delco light plants in the area. The pond was a popular swimming place and local churches conducted baptisms in its waters. A large turbine turned by waters released from the pond powered the mill. The top millstones weighed one ton and could be adjusted to grind corn into fine or coarse particles. The mill ground grain, ginned cotton and sawed timber. Tuesdays and Saturdays were grinding days. The great stones crushed grain into grits, meal or chicken feed. The gin could clean a bale of short staple cotton in an hour, but it could clean only four bales of long staple Sea Island cotton in a day. Akins’ Mill ginned its last bale of cotton in 1930. Eventually a second saw mill, turpentine still and community store were opened in the area. When Amos Akins died in 1945, his son, Fred M. Akins, operated the mill until 1948.
The Families of Akins’ Mill Pond
The families associated with the Akins’ Mill Pond are among the oldest in Bulloch County. Green Berry Barnes (1838-1891), who built the dam creating the large pond, was a former Confederate soldier who served in the 9th Ga. Regt. Severely wounded at the Battle of 2nd Manassas in 1862, he was sent home as an invalid. He married Missouri Beasley (1843-1925) in March 1864. A product of this union was Missouri Magnolia “Maggie” Barnes (1877-1959), who married Welcome Amos Akins (1877-1945) in 1901. Amos Akins’ parents were William Robert Akins (1844-1902) and Frances Hart (1848-1905). Amos Akins was a Master farmer who won awards for his progressive farming methods. He operated the mill until his death in 1945. Amos’ son, Fred Morgan Akins (1905-1984), operated the mill until 1948. Fred Akins married Rubye Clyde Deal (1906-1993), the daughter of Melton Deal (1884-1942) and Alma Bland (1888-1965). Fred and Rubye bore two sons, Paul S. Akins and Donald Wayne Akins. Paul, an engineer, converted the old mill into a private residence. Many other old Bulloch County families are associated with the mill, including the Edenfields, Cannons and Mallards.”
The Bulloch County Historical Markers are possible due to the generous support of the Jack N. and Addie D. Averitt Foundation.