Rowan (Alapaha, Georgia)
Alton Rowan lets no
grass grow under his feet. He also must have followed the
frequent admonition of my grandmother ("An idle mind
is a devil's workshop.") Thus, it takes but a few
seconds to appreciate that he is a doer and a thinker, as
the slides below will demonstrate. I also have a special
connection to Mr. Rowan. He lived on the farm as a
teenager during the tumultuous WWII years, and he and his
stepfather, Saran Parr, built the last tobacco barn there.
The tobacco barn is gone and so are all reminders of the
military airplane that crashed at that time about 60 yards
from the house. (By the farm, I refer, of course, to the
Buck Sutton Place, which my great-grandfather purchased
from Steve Lewis in '78. My great-grandfather did not
inherit land as my great-great grandfather was lost in the
war in Virginia and left a widow with children but no
means of support.)
show Alton's Columbus No.18 cane mill. Note the interesting way that
the mill is powered. A tractor pto drives a pneumatic tire
that engages the mill pulley. This system works well,
except in rain, when it slips.
The kettle is in an
enclosed area with rustic cypress-log benches for invited
3) Mr. Rowan fashions his own burners (Slide
4), using a design
found on propane weed burners. Slide
5 is a spare mill, a Chattanooga No.12 mill.
show a Golden No.1. This is a very handsome little mill.
Alton also owns a
Golden No.2 fitted for an electric motor (Slides 8