Regional Commission Success Stories: Praters’ Mill Local Historic Designation

Georgia’s 12 regional commissions are public agencies created and established by the Georgia Planning Act (O.C.G.A. 50-8-32) to assist local governments on a regional basis and to develop, promote, and assist in establishing coordinated and comprehensive planning in the state. The Department of Community Affairs contracts annually with the Regional Commissions to primarily foster effective local and regional planning and implementation of those plans. Our Regional Commissions “Success Story” series highlights these regions by sharing their incredible achievements. You can view all of the communities on our Story Map

The 2018 Whitfield County Comprehensive Plan lists key historic preservation projects that reflect the community’s desire to preserve and improve access to key heritage sites as a Quality Community Objective. 

On the site is Praters’ Mill, a historic grist mill powered by Coahulla Creek and built-in 1855. It is listed on the National Register with connections to both African American and Native American communities, which is a Regionally Important Resource for Northwest Georgia. 

The 2018 Joint Comprehensive Plan work program for Whitfield County states the county would designate the entire Praters’ Mill site as a local historic site with assistance from the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission. In addition, the site will be recorded as preserved on its Future Development Map. 

Whitfield County awarded a local historic designation to the site at its October 2020 meeting, allowing the Whitfield County Historic Preservation Commission to locally approve any changes to the site working with the Praters’ Mill Foundation. 

Praters’ Mill Country Fair, first held Mothers’ Day Weekend of 1971, will be held again with a demonstration of music, artisan craft, and the grist mill itself. Local designation depended on close cooperation between Whitfield County, the Historic Preservation Commission, and the Praters’ Mill Foundation. This is a significant step toward National Register listing for the entire site, including connecting outbuildings for the successful preservation and operation of this mill for future generations.