Johns Creek gears up to celebrate history, heritage

Two days full of family fun at Autrey Mill Nature Preserve



JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Johns Creek’s history will take the spotlight at the 10th annual Heritage Day/Hoe Down at the Mill at Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center on Sept. 14 and Sept. 15.

Each year, the event includes activities on Saturday.

This year, the celebration begins Friday night, Sept. 14, with a hoe down that features line dancing, trivia, children’s crafts and games. The line dancing will be taught from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the hoe down.

Tours of the heritage buildings and music will also be featured Friday night.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, the Weekend Gold Panners will do demonstrations.

This year as in years past, the Toli team from the University of Georgia will demonstrate this Native American sport that was the precursor to lacrosse.

“Kids really enjoy watching and playing the game,” said Claudette Lopez, Autrey Mills’ heritage and event coordinator.

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve encompasses 46 acres of forest, two miles of hiking trails and several historic buildings that have been moved to the property.

A Native American teepee and replica hunting lodge, a 1940s general store, the Warsaw Church and the Summerour House, which belonged to a local farming family in the 1860s, are all at Autrey Mill.

The event is important because “it showcases our local history,” Lopez said. “We try to depict the span of local history from the Native Americans to the early 1900s.”

Autrey Mill hosts summer camps, field trips, exhibits and special events. Historic buildings can be rented for weddings, meetings and other events.

“[It] is the natural and historical center of Johns Creek,” Lopez said.

Admission each day is $5, and children 3 and under are free. Proceeds benefit expenses at the facility.

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