Porterdale Mill on the Yellow River
NAMED for: Oliver S. Porter, Mill Owner

 

 

My father was Robert Hodges and he worked in the "Old Mill" for the Bibb for at least 20 years, up to 1967 when he passed away.  He was a maintenance man on all the machinery, repaired, fixed and performed periodic care.  My Mother was Mattie Bell (Head) Hodges, she worked in the new "Osprey Mill", till she retired, after almost 30 years.  I played Little League Ball for Porterdale.  I pitched the first recorded, "no" hitter in baseball, where all the batters were struck out.  It is not in the Guinness World Record, since they do not record on minors in their book of records.

Porterdale always insured the people of the community had sports recreation, softball was big, Sid Hodges, pitched for the team, he was offered a contract with the Atlanta Crackers, at the age of 18, but Bibb offered him a full time job for life if he stayed and pitched for the "town" team.  Sid eventually retired or quit, not sure. He was a Police Officer with the rank of Sergeant.  Sid had a brother named Jack, their father was Johnny Hodges and a first cousin to my Dad.  Sid was my Little League Coach when I pitched the "no" hitter. I pitched two "no" hitters that year.

Porterdale was a community, that was great to live in.  They had recreation of all kinds for the people who lived there from baseball, softball, basketball, golf, official gym, swimming pool, little league baseball, a movie theater located in the school house and had movies on the week-ends and Wednesday nights.  A Company Christmas Party for the employees and their families every year in the "town" gym, and gave the children Christmas boxes of fruit, candy, and stuff.  There were Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cubs, and Brownies, all of this was sponsored by the Bibb and the Mill.  They had a country Store, that had groceries, a meat market, a place to cash your checks and a bar and grill for eating and to this day they had the best hamburgers in the world.  For fifty cents you could get a hamburger, chips, coke, and fries.  Next door was a Drug Store, with an Ice Cream and Soda Fountain, where I, believe the first Cherry Coke was invented.  One block down was Whites Department Clothing Store. Between the Stores was the Post Office, Barber Shop, and Police Station.  There was a huge club house behind all the stores, and behind the Grocery Store was the Nursery at one time.  If I can of any help please let me know.  This is a jewel of a town that has been over looked for it's value in history.  There are no more Company owned Towns like this left except in the movies.  It is still as it was with two things missing: (1) The Swimming Pool, (2) and the Old School House.  And I might mention it had it's own Hospital. The Doctor at that time was Doctor Mitchell, can't remember his first name, but will find out.  His son is Bob Mitchell.  Doctor Mitchell tended everyone in that town, made house calls, and delivered all of us.  This town should be preserved as is, hope we can.

Sincerely,

Ralph Hodges
December 22, 2003

God must had intervened, These last couple of years have been rough, you must be acting for a Christmas angel, because you have made a lot of us happy and smiling this year. It is a great thing you are doing for this old town and it's people. People traveled from Monroe, Athens, Conyers, McDonough, Jonesboro, Madison, and many more just to work at this mill in the older days. You did not get rich, but it guaranteed everyone in this area for at least 50 years, a home and food on the table. I worked in the Osprey Mill for a year myself before joining the military, running the Kiddie Machines, The Mill was hard steady, no time to mess around job. We all hated it, but Thank God for It!.

Ralph Hodges
December 24, 2003