Once a prospering dairy and cotton farm, the Williams-Mitchell farm sits on the edge of the growing city of Villa Rica, in northern Carroll County. The family hopes to preserve this farm to tell the story of Carroll County’s rich rural history. With its well-preserved 1892 house and an excellent collection of farm buildings, this farm tells important stories about cotton farming and the emergence of more progressive agricultural practices in the Georgia Piedmont in the early twentieth century. In addition, the property contains a CCC camp established here in 1937 to help struggling farmers conserve their old cotton fields by terracing cotton fields and planting kudzu. The Center for Public History has assisted the family in documenting the farm’s history and considering how it could be presented to the public.
In the summer of 2002, Center Director Ann McCleary and research assistants Mark Barron and Rebecca Glasgow recorded this farmstead and family history through oral interviews, historical research, and architectural analysis of the extant buildings. Graduate student Terri Lotti developed a GIS map and description of the farm property in the spring of 2003 and documented the Civilian Conservation Corps camp that once stood on the property for her M.A. thesis project. The Center staff has archived a collection of family papers and historical photographs, available for researchers to use.
In December 2009 Carla Ledgerwood completed her award-winning thesis project on the farm, which included an essay interpreting the farmhouse and an interpretive plan for the farm to be transformed into a park.
Most recently, in 2010, graduate students Matt Harris and Jennifer Teeter and undergraduate intern Chuck Lott have been inventorying the family artifacts preserved in the house and are helping to conduct additional research to nominate the CCC camp to the National Register of Historic Places.