Although the mills along hatchet itself are now gone beyond recognition, an impressive example can still be seen on one of its tributaries. Located on Baker’s Creek near Kellyton, the Bradford Cotton Factory was probably the most ambitious industrial undertaking in the area. During the late 1830’s John Bradford, a native of Tennessee, settled in Coosa County and built this textile mill for making cotton cloth, The factory building itself was a massive three story structure of native stone. By means of a dam and diversional channel, the entire flow of Baker’s Creek could be diverted through a stone flume to turn the great water wheel. Although the mill has now been abandoned for over 100 years, a good portion of the stone walls remain intact and show the massive scale of the building and engineering works.
The early settlers of the area were vigorous men and they took respite from their labors, their recreation was often as rough as their work. According to Brewer’s History of Coosa County one of the best known spots on Hatchet during the early days of the county was a holstery known as Traveler’s Rest. Situated in a remote area on the lower reaches of the creek, this combination blacksmith shop, distillery and barroom became a rather dubious light shining in the wilderness. Because of the incessant rioting, drinking and fighting which took place there, it became commonly known as The Devil’s Half Acre, and in time, the official name was all but forgotten. In churches up and down the county, many a fiery sermon was no doubt inspired by the riotous activities carried on at Traveler’s Rest.
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