Latitude / Longitude:
33° 43′ 42 N, 83° 17′ 34 W
Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Scull Shoals is a ghost town in northwestern Greene County, Georgia, United States.
The Scull Shoals Mill ruins are located halfway between Athens and Greensboro on the Oconee River, just northeast of where Georgia State Route 15 crosses the river. Recent archaeological findings and historical documents point to prehistoric Indian occupation. Captain John C. Fielder was the commander of the fort that bore his name on the Oconee River in Greene County as early as 1788 or 1789 when it was attacked by Creek Indians. <Georgia Indian Depredation Claims, 1823> Later it was the site of Ft. Clarke, built in 1793 during the Oconee Indian War with the Creek Indians. It was settled by pioneers rewarded for military service with headright grants for land. A sawmill and grist mill were built and operated by Zachariah Sims and partner Thos. Ligon circa 1800. Soon they built and operated the first paper mill in Georgia from 1810-1814 when the end of the War of 1812 and drought stopped paper production. Scull Shoals was a thriving agri-industrial community with a regional presence by owner Thos. N. Poullain processing cotton into osnaburg cloth during the early to mid 19th century. After the Civil War, Scull Shoals suffered from outdated water-powered textile processing equipment, lack of funding to replace aging equipment, and fewer workers available. Naive cotton farming in the area caused massive soil erosion resulting in disastrous flooding in 1841 and 1887 that sent the town into further decline.
In the 20th century, Scull Shoals had become part of the Oconee National Forest and is a ghost town of ruins, including the foundations and walls of several buildings. The Friends of Scull Shoals organization maintains the site in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and conducts tours and festivals at the site.
Additional information can be found in the book “Scull Shoals: The Mill Village That Vanished in Old Georgia”, by author and tour guide Robert Skarda.