JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Long before it became a place to explore history and enjoy nature, Johns Creek’s Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center was home to families living and working on the land. And the fascinating story of those families will take center stage at a festival coming up next month.
Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center is joining forces with the Johns Creek Historical Society for the Autrey Mill Farm Festival on Saturday, September 14th, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The family-friendly festival will celebrate the heritage of the property, highlighting the community that once lived and worked on the land.
That history stretches back to the time when Autrey Mill was the southern end of Cherokee territory; according to local historians, it was taken away from the Native Americans and given to Georgian settlers in the 1832 land lottery, at which point it became farmland for several families over the next century. It was owned by the Autrey family from 1877 to 1907, and was eventually saved from development in the late 1980s.
The actual mill, by the way, was owned and operated by the Autrey family and was built for grinding wheat flour.
The upcoming Farm Festival will feature actual descendants of people who lived and worked on the property, and will feature heritage crafts and cooking as a way to bring the property’s story to life.
There will also be live music from Sasan Ahovan, a native of western Iran who now studies traditional American music and will be performing Bluegrass during the festival.
Admission to the Farm Festival is free, and concessions will be available for sale.
We’ve spent plenty of time exploring Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage in the past, but it’s been a few years – so the upcoming festival seemed like a perfect reason to make a return trip and learn a little more about the area’s fascinating history.
Click the video player above to check out our morning exploring this “hidden gem” of Metro Atlanta.