William Shivers arrived in this area of Georgia from Virginia for a visit with his uncle in the early 1800's. He fell in love with the area as well as a local woman named Virginia Pitt, and decided to remain. He purchased 6,600 acres of land on the west side of the Ogeechee River and built a grist mill. After marrying Ms. Pitt, he built his home - a federal style house, with both front, back, left and right sides equal. For the architects to achieve this proved challenging and resulted in some very creative features. He then built two more mills - one for cotton carding and one for wool carding. Part of the original mill still remains, including some of the granite rock wall for which the mill and house were named. The mill was lost to a fire in 1927.
All materials used to build the house and mill were procured from the land. This includes the twelve by six foot granite blocks that make up the foyer in the first floor of the house. Rock Mill has managed to remain in much of it's original state, surviving wars, squatters and many owners. The house was placed on the National Registry in the 1960's by one of William Shivers direct descendants, Olin Shivers. Olin Shivers along with the historian, Edward Jones worked diligently to collect and document many sources of information, including the original diary kept by William himself. The diary contains such information as how many head of pig were kept on the property. Also, listed is the kind of china used and how many slaves were kept. When the house was "reclaimed" by Mr. Shivers in the 1960's, it had undergone a few face-lifts, one of which was a porch being added to the front of the house. When the porch was removed, he was delighted to find the outline of what proved to be the original porch and pillars, which he recreated.
Rock Mill Plantaion
The history of this home started in the 1800's, with love.