Poole’s Mill Covered Bridge is a fun destination for many families, friends, and sweethearts in the warm months of the year in Georgia. This park is away from the beaten path on some winding back roads in Forsyth County, not too far from the Cherokee County line, off of Highway 369. There is a nice playground, swings, picnic tables here and there, plus a pavilion (with decent restrooms) for family get-togethers. However, those amenities are not the reason that people are drawn to this location. Beyond the covered bridge that spans across Settendown Creek, there is a series of shallow pools and water falls that meander down a rocky water scape that beckon children, adults, and even dogs to splash and play with delight. This is a natural water park that doesn’t require hefty fees, is laid back, and it even has a haunted history!
The park is centered around the Poole’s Mill Covered Bridge, which was built in the 1820’s near a gristmill and sawmill on the property owned by Dr. D. L. Pool (no one knows why the “e” was added to Poole’s Mill). One of the builders unfortunately drilled the holes into the lattice incorrectly, and it eventually was corrected in the late 1990’s when the bridge was refurbished after years of neglect and disrepair. There is a fence that blocks entry to the “private property” that housed the old mill, but some of the park visitors wander down the edge of the creek to try to get a peek of the area.
The mill was said to have been owned by a Cherokee native by the name of George Welch. He built the mill and ran it until the historic Trail of Tears, when he, along with many other Native Americans, were forced to abandon their properties and head west. There were rumors that the property was “cursed”, and some people complained about accidents and bad luck on and off through the following years. There were no tales that provided very specific information about these said unfortunate events to give them more substance, other than a fire that burned the mill to the ground. No one knew what caused the fire, so it was blamed on the curse. After that, the Poole’s Mill bridge fell into severe neglect.
One story that seems to stand the test of time has been about “The Blue Girl”. She was a nine year old girl that was said to have traveled to Settendown Creek with her parents in the 1930’s. When they arrived, the heat was unbearable, so the girl decided to cool off in the creek. Although her parents warned her to be careful, she stepped into a creek swollen from recent rains. It pulled her from her feet, and the current drove her towards the operating grist mill. Her screams got the attention of her parents and the mill workers, but no one was able to get to her in time before the large water wheel pulled her under. She was wearing a dress with a big blue bow, and the pretty young girl was just as blue when she was pulled out from under the wheel that pinned her to the bottom of the creek.
Her parents took her body away, and no one ever saw that poor family again. Even though no one even found out any of their names, the little girl was dubbed “The Blue Girl” due to the blue hue cast upon her after she drowned. The devastating story was told and re-told by the town’s people over the years, so it was not surprising when stories emerged about people seeing a girl in a pretty dress with a blue bow – with dripping wet hair and a blue face. She was seen only at night around the covered bridge, and she would then vanish into thin air.
It was popular for a while for people to go to Settendown Creek and look for gold in its waters near the covered bridge. Due to the stories of “The Blue Girl”, no one went at night. Those that did go at night told tales of seeing her blue visage with the wet hair, and they would run away in horror. A story emerged years later about a Vietnam Veteran who wanted to make some extra money by looking for gold in the creek. Chuck Morse heard about the tales of “The Blue Girl”, but he didn’t take them seriously. He was said to have come across her after he fell into the creek and found an old locket on the creek bottom with pictures of a man and woman within it. She came to him, and he handed her the locket. She smiled and disappeared, never to return again. It was speculated that the locket held pictures of her parents, which put her soul to rest and reunited her with her family beyond the grave. There were no further reported sightings of “The Blue Girl” after this event.
So far, the investigative team has seen no hauntings during the daytime hours. There will be future trips to Poole’s Mill Covered Bridge to investigate further, including during night time hours. Everyone will be kept posted of the results. The park feels relaxed and not creepy at all. That seems to be the consensus of the families and friends that populate the park regularly for their enjoyment.