Mississippi GenWeb Project State Logo
US GenWeb Project National Logo

W. P. A. History of Pontotoc County, Mississippi


Old Landmarks

D'ARTAGUETTE'S BATTLE GROUND is four miles southeast of Pontotoc, but there was nothing but natural environment to mark that fateful episode until a marker was erected by the Columbus Chapter of the Children of the American Revolution in the spring of 1934.

There are two other important landmarks seven miles southeast of Pontotoc. These are the TREATY GROUNDS where the Jackson Purchase was made in 1816, and the Treaty of Pontotoc was signed in 1832. Within recent years the old Barr site, where the Treaty of 1816 was made, has disappeared, and the grounds are occupied by the Zion Consolidated School. The spot that was occupied by Topulkah, host for the Treaty of Pontotoc, is today the home of Mrs. Cal Cates.

ROSALBA, A Memorial Site was the title of an article written by C. W. Bolton and published in the Pontotoc Sentinel, May 13, 1926:

"The Rustic Inn, at Rosalba Lake, now stands on the spot where old Rosalba Mills originally stood, and the little mound in front of it is the one used as a driveway up to the front door of the mill for unloading sacks of grain to be ground. That is still being kept as a monument, to mark where the old mill once stood, proud of the distinction of being the only flour mill for fifty miles in every direction, excepting a few little water mills. The patronage was so heavy at one time that people coming to the mill would have to camp out and wait for days for their turn to have their wheat ground into flour, seconds, shorts and bran. In fact, it was necessary for farmers wishing wheat ground to register a week or ten days ahead to be able to get their grain unloaded into the mill. The mill had a capacity of 700 bushels daily and ran day and night, from one o'clock Monday morning to noon Saturdays, when the machinery was stopped for repairs and to enable the miller to sharpen the French bull millstones, which were 4 and 1/2 feet in diameter with three sets to be sharpened weekly.

The engine for running the mill was first used to run a cotton gin in Georgia, which was owned and operated by Colonel Richard Bolton's father, Edwin H. Bolton, and a partner. In 1830 this gin was dismantled, the engine bought by Colonel Richard Bolton, and moved to Pontotoc County. It was used to run what at that time was considered a big sawmill. with Edwin C. Bolton, Colonel Richard Bolton's brother, as manager of the plant.

In the 1850s the machinery was moved to the Bolton plantation, 2 miles east of Pontotoc, and established as a combination sawmill and flouring mill. Here it received the "Rosalba" name which means white rose, the name being suggested to Colonel Richard Bolton, by the profusion of beautiful white roses that grew on his estate. This mill was operated until the surrounding country quit raising wheat in sufficient quantities to make it profitable. A modern ginnery was then installed and operated for many years; later when this too became unprofitable it was dismantled and the timbers used to build tenant houses on the farm.

The mill supplied the merchants in many of the nearby towns with flour for their customers. The flour was sacked in half and quarter barrels; sacks made of domestic and branded with the name of the mill and the grade of flour. Flour was shipped as far as Mobile, Alabama, and Cairo, Illinois. Ox teams hauled the product from the mill to the railroad and other points, being the surest mode of hauling, due to poor roads." (1)

Rosalba is still in possession of the Bolton family and is now used for recreational purposes. It is a matter of pride to the town that this playground has remained in the same family since pioneer days, and that it has been directly connected with local history.

Clarence Bolton, government meteorologist, has built slides and swings for children, placed canoes on one of the lakes, and cleared the larger for swimming purposes; there is a caretaker's lodge on the grounds where picnickers may buy cold drinks and confections.

The land surrounding the lake is of interest to botanists, as an unusually large variety of wild flowers has received protection there. Here, squirrels and other wild animals are safe.

Photograph: Rosalba Mills, Rosalba Lake 3 miles east of Pontotoc

(1) C. W. Bolton, Pontotoc, Miss.

Pontotoc Sentinel, May 13, 1926

Back Contents Next

MSGenWeb USGenWeb Pontotoc County Home Page