- Mitchell Northam The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
It’s an easy mistake folks living in metro Atlanta have made dozens of times.
They’ll click over to the maps app on their phone, and type in a destination for Roswell — perhaps Bulloch Hall or the 1920 Tavern — and the app will calculate a trip that takes them out of the state of Georgia, some 1,300 miles west.
Georgia: Roswell was founded in 1839 by a man named Roswell King, who moved to the area and built a mill. It officially became a city on Feb. 16, 1854. King’s mill was damaged by a fire started by Union soldiers in 1864. Telephone service came to Roswell in 1901.
New Mexico: According to the city’s website, pioneers from Missouri settled southwest of Roswell in 1865, but abandoned the site due to a lack of water. Van C. Smith and Aaron Wilburn built two buildings in Roswell in 1869 that became the settlement’s general store and post office. In 1891, Roswell became home to the New Mexico Military Institute. Two years later, in 1893, a railroad was built through the city.
Landmarks and history
Georgia: Bulloch Hall in Roswell, Georgia, was the childhood home of Mittie Roosevelt, the mother of the 26th President of the United States. In 1905, Theodore Roosevelt visited his mother’s home and made an appearance at Bulloch Hall and Roswell Town Square. The square is where, in 1864, some 400 mill workers — mostly women and children — were held overnight and charged with treason by General Sherman. They were sent by wagons to Marietta, and then forced to board trains to the north. A monument dedicated to them — “the Lost Mill Workers of Roswell” — sits in the park on Sloan Street.
New Mexico: There’s plenty to see in Roswell, New Mexico, such as the Goddard Planetarium, the Walker Aviation Museum, Bottomless Lakes State Park and Joe Bauman Stadium — home to the Roswell Invaders baseball team. But most tourists go to the New Mexico city in search of one thing: UFOs.
According to the History Channel, in July of 1947, a man discovered “unidentifiable debris” in his sheep pasture. Many pieces of glossy and paper-like metal were found nearby. The Army told local radio and newspapers that “a flying disk” had been found and was in possession of the Army. Later, officials claimed it was a crashed weather balloon. Decades later, there is still debate over whether it was a balloon, or if it was a government cover-up. The city has capitalized on the mystery, and built the International UFO Museum and Research Center, along with other UFO-related shops and stops. It is also home to an annual UFO festival.
According to the 2010 census, Roswell, Georgia, had 88,346 residents. According to data on the city’s website from 2016, Roswell, New Mexico, is home to 48,754 people.
Georgia: Aside from Theodore Roosevelt’s mother, a handful of famous folks grew up in Roswell, Georgia: Tyler Flowers (Atlanta Braves catcher), Jermaine Phillips (Super Bowl XXXVII champion) Jeff Bower (longtime college football coach), Christine Lakin (actress), David Yankey (Carolina Panthers guard) and Jim Powell (Atlanta Braves radio voice).
New Mexico: There are fewer famous people who were born in or grew up in Roswell, New Mexico, but these names carry a bit more weight: Demi Moore (actress), John Denver (singer, songwriter), Tom Brookshier (NFL Pro-Bowler, broadcaster) and Nancy Lopez (professional golfer).
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