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1 GazettE SANDY SPRINGS The Stories of Sandy Springs Dear Friend Welcome to the Sandy Springs Gazette published by Heritage Sandy Springs. For years the stories you will read and listen to in this interactive publication sat on shelves in our library waiting for researchers genealogists or interested readers to explore them. As Heritage Sandy Springs updates our mission we are also updating our approach to sharing the history of Sandy Springs with the public. History at Heritage will no longer be relegated to a library shelf. We have created this interactive publication for those of you who remember these stories events and locations and want to share our unique history with the next generation. Here is what you can expect from the Sandy Springs Gazette Each Thursday Heritage Sandy Springs (HSS) will publish a new article based on oral histories from Sandy Springs residents. EachweekHSSwilladdthesestoriestotheGazette accumulatingafirsthandaccountof historic people places events and happenings in our community. Researchers and fans will have the opportunity to view and study the written transcripts and listen to the audio of actual interviews. YoucanreceivenotificationsviaFacebookandTwitterwhenthenewarticleshavebeen published. Look for hashtag TBT (throwback Thursday). Or you can sign up for our email list to get the latest information. (http heritagesandysprings.org ) We look forward to welcoming you into the fascinating history of our community. Sincerely Melissa Swindell Director of Historic Resources P.S. If these stories spark memories or if you know of someone who would like to share an oral history of our community please feel free to contact Heritage Sandy Springs at curator heritagesandysprings.org or 404-851-9111 ext. 2 so we can arrange an interview for you. Table From Ferries to Ford Roadsters.....................4 Making The Grade ............................................6 Praying Playing and Panthers ...................10 Developer with Sandy Springs Roots ......... 12 Footprint on Sandy Springs History ..........14 L Chaim Sandy Springs ................................16 Mule and Wagon Rides into Town ..............18 The First Residents of Sandy Springs ....... 20 Parks and Recreation ....................................22 Preserving Sandy Springs ............................24 The Teasure of a New Home ........................26 Johnston Ferry River Crossing ....................30 Post Office Romance Leads to Home..........34 The Lost Corner Nature Preserve ................36 Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church........... 40 The Oldest House in Sandy Springs ...........42 Saddling Up to Aging ....................................48 Rise of Historic Glenridge Hall....................52 A Nurse on Horse Back..................................54 Women s Devotion Sisters of Mercy .........58 Early Sandy Springs by the River .............. 60 Just Skimming Off The Ground ..................68 The Family Behind the Burdett Legacy .....70 Water Water Everywhere........................... 72 Work Work Baseball Work ........................74 Shopping Takes Center Stage ......................76 Living Off The Land ...................................... 80 The Sandy Springs Garden Club .................82 Contributors Lesley Nash Clarke Otten Coy Wilson Melissa Swindell Garnett Cobb Rhonda Lopatin Burt Terrell Dorothy Knight HeritageSandySprings.org The Sandy Springs Gazette is published weekly by Heritage Sandy Springs Copyright 2017 R2R Media Inc. All rights reserved. Reproductions in whole or part without express written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. This magazine is available by digital download. Article ideas are welcome. Email inquiries to mswindell heritagesandysprings.org Heritage Sandy Springs 6110 Bluestone Rd. Sandy Springs GA 30328 404-851-9111 of Contents 3 Sandy Springs Gazette October 2017 Volume 2 Issue 41 Publisher Chip Emerson Editor Melissa Swindell Production and Design FourWindsAgency.us Multi-Media Editor Melissa Swindell FourWindsAgency.us From Ferries to Ford Roadsters An Interview with Aubrey Thompson B Interviewer Garnett Cobb B Date of Interview February 20 1996 Sandy Springs looks completely different than it did 153 years ago spinal meningitis--a more common serious affliction in those days when General William T. Sherman and the Union Army marched than today. His young son was raised by his mother and grandfather through the area to reach Atlanta. What is now the burgeoning city of John S. Heard who was born in the Sandy Springs community in Sandy Springs was once dotted with small family farms and marked 1835. As Aubrey remembers him Now my grandfather Heard only by unpaved roads. At that time the only ways for residents to down at Heard s Ferry he d run a ferry down there across the cross the Chattahoochee River and its neighboring creeks were via river. He had a little grocery store down there and people would one of the major ferries that come in boat from across served the area. Power s the river on this side... Ferry Isom s Ferry and John Heard was a part then Heard s Ferry were of the Confederate army the primary methods of within the 9th Battalion commuting in those early Georgia Ar tiller y. His Sandy Springs days. One family remembered him as Sandy Springer Aubrey a faithful and courageous Thompson was raised by soldier who ser ved his his grandfather who owned community proudly. After one of those ferries and the war he returned to remembers the exponential the Sandy Springs area growth and change the and took over Isom s Ferry Hardeman-Echols Grocery Store on a freshly paved Roswell Road circa 1920s community has seen over which James and Abby the last sixteen decades. Isom operated up until Aubrey witnessed firsthand 1868. Isom s Ferry crossed Sandy Springs transition from a rural suburb to an urban destination. the Chattahoochee River at the mouth of Sope Creek which began operating in the 1850s. James would take two horses and a wagon Aubrey Thompson was born March 17 1906 on the western side of across the river for 62 cents. John Heard Aubrey s grandfather took Sandy Springs. He grew up on the family farm in Sandy Springs and over the ferry s operation from the Isoms in 1868 and changed the spent his entire life watching the community grow. When Aubrey name to Heard s Ferry. Aubrey recalls [My grandfather] lived to be was just five weeks old his father succumbed to a severe case of 96 years old. And he lived in one place and he used to live downhill 5 from Johnson s Ferry Road rather. A fella lived out there one side of the road and the shop was on the other side of the road. That blacksmith shop where they had the election they had the polls there. And the [local black community] we d have a lot in them quart bottles them jugs. And I d sell that to them--people there that want it would drink half that quart bottle. Aubrey would help his uncle-- his mother s younger brother--cut wood for the wooden stoves and sell it by the armload bringing in seven or eight dollars per load of wood. The United States had just survived a brutal war in Europe and was entering the 1920s with a strong economy when Aubrey reached his late teens. This peacetime era afforded many new opportunities for Americans. Aubrey s family purchased its first car--a Ford Model T. Aubrey remembers Transport back in that day that was the best transportation they had. Later on when we got a T model Unidentified baby on the wheel of a Ford Roadster circa 1926. my grandfather was had to get up in the morning go in and snow and sleet and he had to get up early in the morning wrap his feet up in tow [burlap] sacks Aubrey Thompson with his wife Ann at their home circa 1996. and walk up there the election. Several years that happened but sometimes it wasn t sleet and snow all the time but several times... John Heard lived until 1931 and at one time was considered the oldest resident in Sandy Springs. Aubrey grew up in Sandy Springs when the town was just a rural blip on the map. None of the roads were paved and no one in town had a car--a horse and buggy being the primary mode of transportation for Aubrey and his family. The family was like so many in rural Sandy Springs surviving by raising meat fruit and vegetables on the family farm and using the wagon to transport and sell any excess for a little bit of additional income. Aubrey remembers taking the family wares over to Atlanta which was an all-day adventure when using a horse and buggy. He remembers [We] used to haul ourselves to Atlanta and whoever picked blackberries...We d take a load go to Atlanta and peddle it out. The wagon would leave about one o clock in the morning and go to town so we d be down there by [time] the people got up...I guess about all the way down to Atlanta take about three hours. You d start back when you sell the last of your load. Then you d start back and you get back about uh around sundown. In other words you d be coming in the highroad rode past their roads down they d be cooking. You could smell that that was any cooking. They had smoke coming out of the stack up there by that time. Better load better load time was rounding up apples and cider. The family routinely sold blackberries raspberries and corn but they made most of their money by selling apples and apple cider during the fall. He recalls We d take them down there and most of I had [bought] a little Ford Roadster and I d drive that car down in the creek and just wash it off Ford...Back in the in the teens early [1920s] they had the all the dirt roads...they had a creek where you go across there. And I had [bought] a little Ford Roadster and I d drive that car down in the creek and just wash it off For those young Sandy Springers who owned their own cars the 1920s brought many opportunity for clandestine activities. Aubrey remembers We d go out with a fella named Archie. That s right there close where that Hammond place is on Roswell Road just down below that. And he d go down to Buckhead on the weekend or Friday and get ice and then sell cold colas there. And we d go burn out on Sunday afternoon and get a cold Coca Cola back then... In time modernization would catch up with the dirt roads of Sandy Springs. The first major change to the area was the paving of Roswell Road which altered the landscape and brought Sandy Springs into its next stage of evolution. Aubrey recollects There s all dirt roads back in that time and we didn t have any paved roads. The first paved roads put down in Sandy Springs was Roswell Road. And right where Hammond Drive crosses Roswell Road the construction company set up a plant there--mixed concrete and all that. They had the big Mack trucks that would roll that was in 1923. The paving of and improvements to Roswell Road changed the environment of Sandy Springs giving the community a distinct business district. It also would later become one of the area s main commuter arteries into Atlanta and contribute to the monumental population growth after World War II. From wagons and ferries to Ford Roadsters and Roswell Road Sandy Springs has consistently changed and adapted itself to the community s needs and men like Aubrey Thompson and their families helped pave the way into the future. B Making the Grade Hammond Elementary School B An Interview with Francis Sewell White B For many early Sandy Springers rural life did not always provide many opportunities to pursue education and other extracurricular activities. In the early nineteenth century a young Sandy Springer possibly attended a subscription school but would have spent much of his or her time working on the family farm. Camp meetings would have been some of the few chances for socialization. The earliest schools in Sandy Springs date back as far as 1851 when a one-room schoolhouse operated across from the Methodist church. By the 1920s however nearly ever y Sandy Springs resident was educated at Hammond Ele me nt ar y Sc hool leaving summers to be filled with chores as well as ac tivities and clubs outside the familial circle. family moved to Sandy Springs in 1926 when she was five years old. According to Francis Sandy Springs was not a metropolitan area back then but just a community. Her family moved into a house about a mile north of the community s center on Mount Vernon Highway. Francis and her two siblings helped their father with the small family farm which provided for their family year-round. Francis and her family rarely went beyond their proper t y. One year when the school year was about to start Francis brother mentioned that the family should move closer to the business district. Francis recalls When I was six my brother David said Well we ve got t a move to Sandy Springs because Francis can t walk all that way to school. So Francis Students on the steps of Hammond Elementary School circa 1928. One Sandy Springs and her family of five resident Francis Sewell moved into a ver y White was born May 10 1921 just 100 miles north of small house near Hammond Elementary School. Francis Sandy Springs in Clarksville Georgia. Francis and her remembers For about a month [we lived] in a little house 7 across the street...until somebody got out of the house we were meant to move in. And um the the house was so small and we were five children. And I remember we brought our milk and put it in the spring to keep it cool. Soon after moving to their new home Francis began her educational career--like so many Sandy Springers--at Hammond Elementary. [The] principal Mrs. Patterson would stand up on the steps. There would be the first grade. We would all line up in in rows by our classes by grades and she would stand up on the top of the steps and shake her her pen and give the instructions for the day. [Then] we d all march in. We would march we couldn t go to the room in the mornings before [it was] time to start...We stood out in rows and said the Pledge of Allegiance and then we marched into our classes. We went [to school] all day and I remember the first grade when I was living in this little house mother said Come home for lunch. Because it wasn t far and so I came home and mother said It s just 10 o clock and I said Well we were out and so I had [accidentally] come home at recess. During its existence Hammond Elementary was destroyed twice by fire. The original schoolhouse which was built before 1900 was a one-room wooden structure. In its earliest days parents were required to pay a nominal fee in order to send their children to school to learn how to read and write--the most basic of educations. The original one-room schoolhouse was at the corner of Mount Vernon Highway and Johnson Ferry Road. The deed that allowed for the construction of the Methodist church dictated that part of the land Sandy Springs children be used for a school at tended Hammond Hammond School on Mt. Vernon Highway. The center and subsequently Elementar y from building was the main school that went until the Hammond Elementary 8 0 0am to 2 0 0 pm seventh grade. To the far right is the County Agent School was born. The Monday through Building that housed 4-H activities circa 1920. original building met Friday. In time the its fate in 1897 when school adopted a a fire burned it to nine-month schedule the ground leaving keeping Sandy Springs nothing of value in its c hil d r e n i n s c ho ol wake. However the from late August until residents immediately early May. Scores of recognized the need students attended the for a school within school until it once the Sandy Springs again caught fire and c o m m u n i t y. T h e y burned in 1959. The reconvened and school was rebuilt once rebuilt a bigger and more in the 1960s and bet ter schoolhouse operated until it was for the local children. sold and demolished By the time Francis in 1979 to make way for started attending school in 1927 she remembers We Mount Vernon Towers a complex for active seniors. went to Hammond Elementary one through seven. [The] first school was a two-story school a wooden school. With Like so many children Francis enjoyed her time at steps across the front. Like several families throughout Hammond Elementary but she always looked forward to the Sandy Springs community education was considered the summer months when she would help her father on of paramount importance. In fact Francis and her siblings the farm and her mother with the family s large garden. attended school during the Great Depression--a time She remembers Well during the summer of course my when many families were unable to continue educating dad always had like farming things to do...[In] my family their children. we would can berries and vegetables. I remember Jamie s aunt was in the 4-H...And we would learn how to can fruits Hammond operated like many schools throughout the and vegetables and my mother would have to get gardens rural United States. Initially the school operated on a and did a lot of things. shortened schedule of five months a year to allow the children of farmers to aid their parents with chores and the 4-H is a nationwide youth development organization harvest. Hammond would eventually elongate the school founded in 1902 in Clark County Ohio by a man named year to include a full seven months to ensure that every A.B. Graham. The club was initially called The Tomato child received an adequate education. Francis remembers Club or The Corn Growing Club and is considered to more so than anything that the school was uniquely strict be the founding 4-H organization in the United States. about its routine. She recollects Its primary goal was to promote practical and hands- Making The Grade Hammond Elementary School continued on learning and connect public school and education with the more day-to-day tasks of rural life. It instructed rural youth in improved farming and farm-homemaking practices that would subsequently inform and enrich their daily lives. Graham used his club to introduce youth to new developments in science and agriculture in hopes that the children would apply their new knowledge and experiences to real world applications including in their farming communities. The Lakewood Fairgrounds established in 1916 in an area known then as Lakewood Heights were situated around a lake and served as the home of the Southeastern Fair from 1916 through the 1970s. The regional fair usually hosted amusement park rides health programs and an opportunity to present students 4-H projects for a judge. Francis recalls They had a health program one time that our second grade was involved in. They had it was Mr. Toothbrush somebody had a big toothbrush and then it was like a maypole. We had streamers and then certain people well let s say certain girls would be part of the maypole dance. [My] mother made me a dress for 10 cents out of roll of crepe paper and sowed it on an old piece of sheet or something to make the dress. Ok the day we were supposed to go I got up with the measles and another girl wore my dress. And I was mad at her forever 4-H clubs hit an all-time high for enrollment in the 1970s due to their popular educational programs regarding nutrition and continued to be a guiding educational group for thousands of young people. Today Sandy Springs no longer has a local chapter of 4-H but many children can still join a nearby group and participate in activities that have long since surpassed canning and raising chickens. The day we were supposed to go I got up with the measles and another girl wore my dress. And I was mad at her forever In recalling a local 4-H club a friend of Francis remembers [The one] I was in you had a particular activity and mine was raising chickens and we had the hens and the roosters. And you learn how that they uh they d For over 100 years Hammond Elementary School educated the minds of young Sandy Springers and was an important View of Hammond Elementary on fire circa 1959. part of their lives. Francis Sewell White was fortunate enough to encounter the twolay the egg [and] then you d have the chickens hatch and story schoolhouse prior to its destruction in 1959. While the you you look after them. So that total program would be school was rebuilt for a third time and continued to serve someone from the 4-H clubs and you had certain things the community until 1979 the brick building of the earlyyou had to do. You had certain reports you had to make. to mid-twentieth century will always hold an extra special And then you were evaluated on how those came out. place for those who were lucky enough to have spent their The children involved in 4-H in Sandy Springs usually early years there. B participated in the state fair which took place every summer at the Lakewood Fairgrounds just south of Atlanta. Read The Stories You Missed Volume 1 9 Click Here Praying Playing and Panthers An Interview with Willard Smith B Interviewer Lesley Nash B Date of Interview July 29 2007 Sandy Springs has evolved over the last century from its humble roots as an in the early 1850s. The first camp meeting was held in 1848 and from that agricultural society to an energetic metropolis bustling with new residents time forward the gatherings became an August tradition in the community and a growing economy. Like so many small communities throughout the lasting well into the 20th century. The church used camp meetings to bring country the largest period of expansion came during the post-World War II together residents for revival-style preaching socialization food and spiritual era. Between the 1950s and 1960s a period of economic surplus stimulated renewal. Many families built their own tents near the camp grounds where by the war made it possible for an entire generation to buy houses go to the meetings took place--above the original site of the sandy springs. The college and open their own businesses. However one of the first and largest structures were simple lean-to cabins--sometimes including a second floor-introductions of new residents to Sandy Springs was actually after World built to house a family during the week of the camp meetings. However not War I as many all families could Atlantans flocked afford to build a to the northern second home suburbs of the for use only during city to purchase August revivals quaint homes with and thus had to considerably larger travel from their acreage. Willard homes each day to Smith--also known attend the camp as Doug to those meetings. Doug who knew him and his family well -- was bor n attended the camp i n D u n w o o d y meetings for nearly Georgia in 1928. 10 years but they Children at a Sandy Springs Methodist Church Camp Meeting c. 1940s The Smith family never did camp on moved to Sandy the actual grounds. Springs in 1934 amid the Great Depression renting different farm houses in They would make the four-mile hike every day during camp week to attend the community until 1948. While Doug s family was not one of those seeking daily services and activities. Doug recalls The year before we moved to a large farm at a cheap price Doug spent his formative years immersed in the Sandy Springs from Dunwoody we lived on Chamblee Dunwoody Road emergent culture of Sandy Springs which included camp meetings history which is about four miles from the camp grounds. But on the last Sunday and nature. of the meeting was always Homecoming Day and my mother dragged me and carried my two- or three-year-old sister and began walking. That long Camp meetings were some of the most prominent social events of Sandy four-mile distance and about a half mile from the church I think we got picked Springs history due to their ability to bring together a community as a single up so we could say this was a long walk. But she was that determined to get entity. The most famous of the meetings were held by the Sandy Springs there. United Methodist Church one of the first churches established in the area 11 D o u g s f a v o r i t e memories of Sandy Springs included the community s wideopen spaces and the times that he had to himself. The large tracts of land created a new world where he and his friends could play and explore. Jean Lloyd and Hazel Lloyd photographed with snow in Baseball baseball DeWald s Alley c. 1940s a n d b a s e b a l l says Doug rememb er ing his favorite pastime game a n d just playing with the different kids we played kickt he - c an and Tarzan climbed the trees Ante Over Pirates any made-up games that Young woman walking along Roswell Road covered in didn t require snow c. 1940s any fancy e q u i p m e n t . Like many Sandy Springs children in the early twentieth century toys were scarce and what many consider normal playthings today would ve been luxuries to Doug. He remembers Toys were pretty scarce back in my day. An apple and orange for Christmas is go [sic] hard candy. On my fifth Christmas Santa got me confused with some little rich kid because he put a little tagged hammer in my sock and I either pulled or drove every nail I could find for about the next five six years. When Doug wasn t playing with his friends or attending camp meetings with his family he was exploring the area s wooded acres where he encountered many of the native animal species. Doug recalls Well first of all I got real acquainted with a snake as first place with elk in Sandy Springs. There s a little spring bridge originated on the backside of our about a six-acre lot. It ran through a little swamp. And it s just full of tadpoles all kinda [sic] good things. And I was down there catching tadpoles one day. And suddenly I saw the a mighty squirrel come up on that opposite side of the branch which wasn t more than two feet wide. And I instinctively jerked my hand back outta the water just as a huge water moccasin made a pass at it. He thought there s something to eat over there and I wasn t edible. And the panthers came along later. A few years later we moved to a place on Johnson s Ferry Road which is kinda [sic] behind the what s now Arlington Cemetery. And uh there was an old abandoned rock quarry over there with a great little creek running from it and the panther patrolled that area between the creek and Chattahoochee River. We heard him screaming on many nights. The quaint offerings of Sandy Springs influenced many men and women throughout the years. From preserving memories of community gatherings and historical landmarks to remembering the typical lives of the area s children Sandy Springs residents know the importance of remembering the city s humble beginnings and passing those memories along to those who ve settled in the area years later. Many years ago Doug Smith recorded several of his memories in a book entitled My Birthplace Memories of Willard Nee Smith. The memoir was distributed throughout local communities. B Willard Smith s 2nd grade class picture at Hammond School. Front row left to right Charlotte Mabry Miriam Blackburn Sybil Johnson Sara Bagwell Kathryne Morris Virginia Reed Sue Stewart Christine Hester Ollie Ruth Barfield Second row left to right Bill Gravitt Ledlie Conger Furman Lee Willard Smith Cliff Webb Jr. Harold Bales Jimmy Thompson Don Woolen Hubert Stephens Third row left to right Travis Hudgins Lindbergh Reed Gene Hensley John Sewell Huey Cates Raymond Green Billy Reed Charles Lummus Dave Millwood Billy McCleskey Back row left to right Ruby Barfield Ruth Sams Dorothy Grey Mitchener Burma Wigley Martha Nell Rayner Lou Ella Lee Betty Hamrick Ollie Mae Cash Polly Niece Margaret Abernathy Marion McCleskey Doug spent 14 years growing up in Sandy Springs and remembers some of the older structures that many newer residents missed seeing before they were removed in the wake of development. Doug remembers one particular structure that marked his daily life in Sandy Springs as a child I guess one of the most famous places was the old Wagon Stop house at the corner of Glenridge Drive and Johnson s Ferry. It s where the farmers used to come down from the hills and stop and freshen up or maybe spend the night there. They had beautiful old trees a Goodwill and for the six years before I left Sandy Springs I lived just about 400 yards possibly behind that house and I passed it every day and every night. According to the 1854 tax digest the Wagon Stop house was believed to be built in 1835 by either John or Davis Wade. The house sat at the intersection of Johnson Ferry Road and Glenridge Drive which in the old days was the route many farmers and tradesmen from the north took to Atlanta. Jim Thornton purchased the house in 1945 and finished several of the remodeling projects started by previous owners. Today the house is only a shell of its former self retaining few of its initial features as the once popular stop on the way to Atlanta. Doug and his family rented several homes in the Sandy Springs area. None so famous as the Wagon Stop house but each with its own unique set of memories. Georgia is not particularly well known for its colder climate but many long-time Sandy Springs residents recall the worst snowfall in the state s history. As Doug remembers We lived in Sandy Springs a couple years I guess. And one night the gale went terrible. There was a thunderstorm and blizzard... all along through the night you could hear trees breaking and popping...and it sounded like a war was going on. And we lived among a lot of the trees so it was kinda [sic] scary. And the next morning when we looked out the whole world was covered by... It must have been at least two inches of ice [and snow]. The trees were down everywhere which solved our firewood problem for the few years more than we lived here because we could only allow... We were we were only allowed to cut down dead wood. And that gives [us] a good excuse. The worst snowfall on record for the Sandy Springs area occurred on January 23 1940. The community saw a record-breaking 8.3 inches of snow fall throughout the night. Sandy Springers are used to the area s heat and humidity however hail ice and snowstorms are another story. Winter weather surprises occasionally caught residents off guard and left lasting memories. Grand Atlanta Developer with Sandy Springs Roots An Interview with Tillie Womack Hindman about her grandfather Benjamin Franklin Burdett B Interviewer Lesley Nash Date of Interview November 1995 The family name that invariably comes up when talking about the history of Sandy Springs is that of the Burdett family. As one of the founding families of the community itself the Burdett family has produced generations of Sandy Springers--some of whom still reside in the area. It also has ties not only to the area s land and real estate but also to the birth of commerce along Mount Vernon Highway and Roswell Road. While the most well-known Burdett-- Frank Burdet t--is known for his grocery store that sustained residents throughout the 20th century he was not the first Burdett to bring development and sustainability to the Sandy Springs area. That title belongs to Tillie Womack Hindman s grandfather Benjamin Franklin Burdett. Benjamin Franklin Burdett was considered by many to be a pioneer realtor and landscape architect not only in Sandy Springs but in Atlanta as well. He was born January 23 1861 to Samuel Isaac Burdett and Sarah Jane Martin Burdett. Benjamin grew up in what is now Sandy Springs and in time married Jennie Reed of Cobb County on September 24 1885. Through industrious efforts and multifaceted business dealings Benjamin eventually acquired nearly 400 acres of land located in the heart of Sandy Springs. He developed a farm where he grew Hale peaches cotton corn and other vegetables. Granddaughter Tillie recollects Most people called him Mr. Ben. Ben and Jennie settled in a home on Abernathy Road located at the present site of Sandy Springs Crossing shopping center. There they had five children Arthur Ora Bertha Eunice and Leonard. Tillie was born to the Burdett s oldest daughter Ora Burdett Womack on October 13 1918 In 1900 Ben and Jennie built the first brick house in Sandy Springs at the present site of Mount Vernon Presby terian Church. Their lavish twostory Colonial-style brick house was constructed of red bricks that were made on the property. It was adorned with white columns four porches on the ground level and two on the upper level. Tillie remembers The house had eleven rooms--nine with identical mantles and mirrors. There they had three more children Lawrence Audrey and Lawton. In 1903 Benjamin Franklin Burdett purchased the spring for which Sandy Springs is named and the surrounding property--except for the rightof-way to the spring--from John Owens for 900. Grandfather held the land until 1924 when the Owens heirs bought it back. The Burdett s home 13 residents. This development enhanced his reputation in Atlanta as a skilled developer and a landscape architect [who] defined nobility. The Brookwood Hills Historic District is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. Brookwood Hills was developed between 1912 and 1922 mostly by Ben and his oldest son Arthur Burdett. Eventually Benjamin and Jennie combined parcels of their own property on Peachtree Road plus additional property purchased from the Collier estates to create what is now the Brookwood Hills neighborhood. The Roaring 20s flair that Ben and Arthur sought to include in the area can still be seen today in the neighborhood s design architecture and curvilinear streets. The development of Brookwood Hills was going to take several years and Ben and Jennie wanted to be close by in order to more easily supervise the project. They sold their original brick home and built a new house at 1857 Peachtree Road which is near the Palisades Road entrance to the new subdivision. The Burdetts hired O.F. Kauffman a well-known landscape architect and engineer to help them pioneer the development of Brookwood Hills. Kauffman included principles of natural terrain and large patches of greenery into his design which created wide curvilinear streets that wound through the neighborhood. Kauffman incorporated his design throughout all four stages of the project as Benjamin continued to purchase more land throughout the area. Tillie recollects Burdett Realty Company bought the Austin Farm property at 498 Johnson s [sic] Ferry Road. This purchase included the Austin House which was built in 1842 and which had survived the Civil War. The property encompassed the current subdivisions of Breakwater River North and North Harbor. Brookwood Hills was constructed in four distinct phases over several years. The first phase developed included lots on Palisades Road Woodcrest Avenue Northwood Avenue and Huntington Road. Most of these lots were sold by the end of 1924. Between 1924 to 1930 the remaining areas of Brighton Road Montclair Drive Wakefield Drive Parkdale Way Camden Road and the northern portion of Palisades Road were completed creating one of the area s largest and most complete subdivisions. In 1979 Brookwood Hills Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places. For many in Sandy Springs the Burdett name is a legacy of the area. Though Benjamin Franklin Burdett grew up in Sandy Springs he was not involved in the family store that was so vital to the area s development. Benjamin s first cousin Stephen Francis Burdett ran the popular store until 1924 when his nephew Frank Burdett took over the reins from him. Benjamin s wife Jennie Reed Burdett died on October 6 1927 and was laid to rest in Providence Cemetery which is now known as the historic cemetery of the First Baptist Church of Sandy Springs. Benjamin Franklin Burdett died February 20 1935 at the age of 74 and was buried next to Jennie shortly after completing his residential real estate masterpiece--Brookwood Hills. B was sold in 1916 to Mrs. William Fleming Winecoff wife of the illfated Winecof f Hotel hotelier. During its time the home hosted many immoderate events for both the Burdett and the Winecoff families. It changed hands many times throughout its tenure and eventually was demolished to make way for the construction of Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church in 1953. After acquiring large tracts of land in Sandy Springs Ben embarked on his career as a realtor and developer. The Burdett Realty Company was officially dedicated in 1910 and served the Atlanta community from The Candler Building in the heart of downtown Atlanta. The Candler Building was built by Coca-Cola magnate Asa Griggs Candler. It took nearly two years to construct and was completed in 1906. The seventeen-story high-rise was once the tallest building in the city. The Burdett Realty Company initially was located on the first floor and employed many Burdett family members. Tillie recalls In 1910 Grandfather formed the Burdett Realty Company with offices on the first floor of The Candler Building. His oldest son Arthur Burdett served as president and all other sons and son-in-laws [sic] worked for his company. Grandfather was one of the original commuters from Sandy Springs to downtown Atlanta. One of the largest and most prominent developments constructed by Benjamin began with the purchase of a large swath of property from the estates of George Washington Wash Collier and Andrew Jackson Collier in 1912. Tillie remembers Burdett Realty Company purchased property from the Collier estate and later developed Brookwood Hills subdivision which was the first community in Atlanta with a park and swimming facilities for Shoe Store Leaves Footprint on Sandy Springs History An Interview About Albert Swofford B Interviewees Teresa Garrett Bert Swofford B Date of Interview May 18 2000 When researching the origins of Sandy Springs it seems as if almost every One of Sandy Springs s longest running businesses was a children s shoe original Sandy Springs story begins at the corner of Roswell Road and Mount store Swofford Shoes located in the Sandy Springs Shopping Center. Ver non Highway. Albert Swofford was born in 1919 in Cowpens Sandy Springs South Carolina. After serving eight years in sprang from this busy the United States Navy during World War II intersection where he returned home in 1950 to marry a young some of the area s woman named Etta Daniel from the nearby town original founding of Gaffney South Carolina. The couple lived in f a milie s s e t u p Hendersonville North Carolina before moving to shop. For instance Sandy Springs in 1955 it was here where to take advantage the Burdett family of the abundance of opened its popular land in the area. The grocery store setting Swof fords bought the stage for this a house on Wright location to be a Road welcomed three center of commerce. Land developer George Ivey children to the family created shopping centers nearby that housed some and opened their own of Sandy Springs s longest-lived and most influential busines s -- a s hoe In the beginning when it opened it was in The Sandy Springs stores. In the 1950s Ivey developed even larger store catering to the Shopping Center (the old shopping center) Later Swofford tracts of land which helped pave the way for local needs of area children. Shoes moved to the Plaza (the new Shopping center) businesses to flourish throughout the latter half of the twentieth century. Prior to the completion of Interstate 285 in the late 1960s one of the most traveled 15 nearly 35 years. Sandy Springs Plaza was developed by Maurice Burdett Womack Sr. on land that had been in his family for more than 100 years. Womack originally got the idea for the center while on a crosscountry trip in 1956. In 1958 he developed what had been his parents land and eventually tore down his own home to make way for the expansion of his new development. Maur ice s s on Ron became the manager of Sandy Springs Plaza in 1977 and was the longtime landlord of Swofford Shoes. As Albert and Etta s three children grew up with the town Albert found ways to give back to the Sandy Springs community including sponsoring the local Little League team from the late 1950s to 1996. Albert s son Bert Swofford recalls [I] played baseball on the Swofford Shoes baseball team which was a lot of fun back when they played. [The] teams were BP and the Banks instead of the Pirates but that was a lot of fun. We won the national championship in the late six...early 60s and that s when they would close Roswell Road and have a parade down the middle of the road and the teams would march down the center of the road. Dad [Albert] got to ride in a convertible. We have a picture of him in a convertible at the corner of Roswell Road and Hilderbrand and the old Standard station is in that picture. Besides the Little League team Albert and his family sponsored a women s bowling league in the 1960s--a league that won trophies in 1967 and 1968. Swofford Shoes remained a family business until it closed its doors in 2000 due to declining sales. Albert and Etta s children Bert Teresa and Cindi worked at the store for many years. Bert explains I ve worked here since I was 16 so...been doing this all my life 23 years and it s been fun and it s I ve met a lot of people. It s been rewarding for us and we re sad that it s coming to an end but something new will come along and I m sure we ll conquer that too. For nearly 45 years Swofford Shoes provided Sandy Springs children with high-quality shoes and their parents with trusted customer service. As a treasured home-grown business Swofford Shoes will be remembered fondly as a loyal community business dedicated to the citizens of Sandy Springs. B Around mid-century many local Sandy Springs business sponsored youth baseball teams. routes into Sandy Springs and Buckhead was along Roswell Road. Before it was the major traffic thoroughfare that it is today Roswell Road began as a simple unpaved country road with a few businesses scattered alongside it. The land for the Sandy Springs Shopping Center--the area s first center--was bought and developed by George Ivey in 1954. Ivey purchased land lots consisting of eight homes facing Roswell Road and bordered by Hilderbrand Drive on the north and Boylston Drive on the east. The L -shaped Sandy Springs Shopping Center opened in 1955 Swofford Shoes was one of the center s first tenants. Albert Swofford s daughter Teresa Gifford recalls [My] dad started Swofford Shoes in 55 at Sandy Springs Shopping Center and then in 65 he moved to Sandy Springs Plaza...The only incident I remember that from the store affected us was when dad found a puppy. Someone had just dropped him off at the shopping center and so he put a sign in his window Pretty puppy lost. He brought that puppy home and that puppy never could leave...and she stayed with us for about 15 years. Sandy Springs Shopping Center offered an array of new stores for local residents. Besides the shoe store there was a hobby shop Mary Brewer s Lady Shop Fowler s Jewelry Store and even a post office in the newly-constructed center. By 1965 Albert had relocated Swofford Shoes to the new Sandy Springs Plaza located a little further north up Roswell Road where it remained for L Chaim Sandy Springs Heritage Sandy Springs Exhibit B Date of Interview August 25 2007 Atlanta Georgia--home of nearly 500 000 residents--was founded at the intersection of two crossroads and was reborn from the ashes of the Civil War. Initially founded in 1837 the city burned in the wake of Confederate loss to become the most populated area in the state of Georgia and one of the most eclectic and diverse groups of people in the country. Rising from the ashes a reborn Atlanta saw monumental shifts in both population and relocation of its residents. From the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865 Atlanta began to slowly rebuild itself as a major metropolitan center. The state capital was transferred from Milledgeville to Atlanta and many of the city s residents began looking to surrounding areas as places to build homes for themselves. In the early 20th century the population of Atlanta saw an unprecedented growth as residents flocked to streetcar suburbs. However it was not until the 1950s when the nation s newlyconstructed highway system was unveiled that surrounding suburbs such as Sandy Springs became major metropolitan destinations. One of the populations that saw its largest expansion during Atlanta s post war development was the area s Jewish community. Some of the area s earliest Jewish communities can be traced to the mid-1800s when Eastern European immigrants formed the Hebrew Benevolent Society to assist the area s Jewish poor. In 1867 this organization became The Temple a Reform Judaic house of worship and Atlanta s first official Jewish institution. Eastern European immigrants continued establishing Jewish congregations throughout the South including in Atlanta. The largest influxes of immigrants--many of them from a more Orthodox or traditional background-- arrived in 1896 1904 and 1910. Some Orthodox congregations began slowly redefining themselves and branching away from strict Orthodox conventions. In 1910 Rabbi Tobias Geffen a Lithuanian spiritual leader who arrived in Atlanta by way of New York and Ohio became head of Congregation Shearith Israel--a local synagogue that was seeking a rabbi with exceptional learning credentials and an inclination to blend Orthodox Judaism with modernism. In 1919 Rabbi Geffen met Emory University s chancellor Bishop Warren Candler. Together these two scholars helped educate the small number of Jewish students enrolled in Emory s medical school. During the 1950s Emory medical school graduates joined the many Atlantans using the newly-constructed highway system to move out towards the northern suburbs which offered large sprawling tracts of land. It was this move of Jewish physicians coupled with a massive increase in the local population that precipitated the need for new medical complexes in areas north of Atlanta. Thus Northside Hospital opened in 1970 and St. Joseph s Hospital followed eight years later. The combination of religion and medicine is one of the key components to the growth of the Jewish community throughout the Sandy Springs area. Around the time the medical complexes began construction the second reform synagogue in metro Atlanta Temple Sinai was founded in Sandy Springs. According to Temple Sinai s Rabbi Emeritus Philip Kranz and Martin Moran of Northside Hospital religious integration began on the hospital floors. It was there where clergy from respective faiths met with families throughout the hospital and worked together with doctors patients and families to achieve common goals. It was with these goals in mind that the Jewish community in Sandy Springs began to flourish. As a result multiple synagogues Jewish schools and community-based projects were founded and continue to bring Sandy Springs residents together . Sandy Springs is now the proud home of five Jewish day schools--each with its own philosophy and unique take on community and education. The Atlanta Jewish Academy The Davis Academy The Weber School The Epstein School and Chaya Mushka Children s House all aim to promote the welfare and advancement of the community s Jewish children . Though their Judaic approaches may be different--whether through modern Orthodox or progressive Judaism efforts--each school is able to incorporate family community and education. Rabbi Edward Harwitz head of The Weber School states We are a community high school without a particular Jewish affiliation 17 and charitable festivals. The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) was founded more than one hundred years ago when the Atlanta Jewish community established a multi-purpose facility in downtown Atlanta. With the support of the MJCCA popular annual festivals such as the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival and the Book Festival of the MJCCA help enhance the well-being and traditions of the Jewish community in Sandy Springs. The annual film festival--now the largest festival of its kind in the world--was founded in 2000 by the Atlanta Regional Office of American Jewish Committee. According to Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul The Jewish Film Festival has evolved into not only a cultural phenomenon for the m e t r o a r e a s J e w i s h community but into one of the annual artistic and entertainment highlights of the entire region. The festival spotlights the work of both established and emerging filmmakers bringing their work to a broad sophisticated and growing audience. In 2009 the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival was founded introducing patrons to new and not-so-new genres of musical entertainment. The Book Festival of the MJCCA is one of the South s premier literary events drawing authors as speakers from around the globe. Other organizations seek to preserve the collective history of the Jewish people by highlighting works that discuss communal struggles and suffering across history. Through the work of the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust the memory of the Holocaust and the public s understanding of its significance lives on throughout the Atlanta Jewish community. The commission is a secular non-partisan state agency originally established in 1986 but became a permanent state agency in 1998. The commission works on a multitude of projects including hosting exhibitions as well as bringing Holocaust survivors who live in the Atlanta area to speak to the community and engage in their shared identity. Current exhibits include Anne Frank in the World 1929-1945 and Witness to the Holocaust WWII Veteran William Alexander Scott III. Sally Levine executive director of the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust recounts [Sandy Springs] Mayor Eva Galambos was instrumental in bringing the exhibit Anne Frank in the World 1929-1945 to Sandy Springs. When she was just a child she and her family fled pre-World War II Europe. From this experience Eva Galambos understood and supported the mission of the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. Two years later Mayor Galambos received the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust Humanitarian Award for her civic achievements and for her work with the commission. The Jewish community has contributed to the sustainability and growth of Sandy Springs since the mid-twentieth century. Its commitment to community and art as well as incorporating its faith with all Sandy Springs residents is a solidifying factor of the community itself. Heritage Sandy Springs s new exhibit L Chaim Sandy Springs A Toast to Jewish Participation in Our City opens September 6 at the historic Williams-Payne House Museum in Sandy Springs. The exhibit will remain at the museum until October when it begins traveling to Jewish and non-Jewish institutions throughout Atlanta for three years. Visit the WilliamsPayne House for a more in-depth look at the Jewish community s contributions to Sandy Springs. B let alone a doctrinal concern. Being free of that our goal centers upon how one learns as opposed to requiring one to adopt specific beliefs or practices. At Weber our concern is that one can leverage learning to inform beliefs practices ethics and identity. Through education and religion the Jewish community began to increase its reach into Sandy Springs and the surrounding areas. Media organizations focused on the Jewish community expanded engagement among residents. The Atlanta Jewish Times (AJT) was created to enhance the sense of community throughout the geographically dispersed Jewish people of greater Atlanta. The weekly newspaper is distributed free throughout the community on the web and through social media outlets as well as by home delivery. The newspaper focuses its efforts on reporting local news and important national Jewish and Israeli news. Mark Stern a reader of the Atlanta Jewish Times explains Growing up in Sandy Springs the Atlanta Jewish Times has always been my connection for the milestones in our local Jewish community. Whether checking the births bar bat mitzvah section engagements marriage notices or obituaries I can check in on our communal lives... The AJT highlights our local Jewish leaders friends and events to help bring our community together. The Jewish Georgian another area newspaper has been around since 1990. The bi-monthly newspaper shares human interest stories and events that affect the Jewish community throughout Georgia. According to Editor Michael Jacobs Just about everything [included] is written by people who are in Georgia and Atlanta. We try to have many contributors in the community from a wide perspective age geographic religious observance. Despite being small publications both the AJT and The Jewish Georgian have many loyal readers in Sandy Springs and throughout the state of Georgia. The Jewish population of Sandy Springs continues to thrive through local activism and community involvement. Community events are both planned and sponsored by local synagogues and the Jewish newspaper organizations. One of the most significant pillars of Judaism is its dedication to helping others in the community. Communal Sabbath dinners as well as food drives help those in need in Sandy Springs and Atlanta. Operation Isaiah one of the area s longestrunning food drives is a communal Jewish effort for the Atlanta Community Food Bank and is sponsored by the Atlanta Jewish Times. Inspired by scripture from the prophet Isaiah to share your food with the hungry Atlanta s Jewish community holds its metro-wide food drive each year during the High Holy Days. In 2016 the Atlanta Jewish community marked the collection of its one-millionth pound of donated food. Operation Isaiah provides enough food to the Atlanta Community Food Bank for two full months. The community at large is also wholly committed to preserving its shared history and identity through local organizations community gathering places Mule and Wagon Rides into Town An Interview with Richard AdamsB Interviewer Lesley Nash B Date of Interview June 14 2007 Roswell Dunwoody and Sandy Springs all have at least one thing in faster to take the wagon down to Burdett s grocery store than the common--they all come from humble rural roots. Men and women time it took to get the family Chevrolet out of the garage and down who grew up in the community remember laid-back Fulton County the paved road. was the perfect place to grow up. They recall that traveling around the area was a rather leisurely activity as most residents used a horse or Richard Adams grew up as the youngest of twelve children on a small mule and a wagon although a few lucky individuals rode the Roswell family farm in Dunwoody. His parents Monroe and Beulah were trolley. The three far mers by trade. outlying communities Richard remembers around Atlanta grew that being the r apidly an d t he youngest of twelve increased number almost always had its of commuters and perks when it came to the expansion of traveling into town to commerce to Roswell restock on feed and Dunwoody and Sandy grain for the farm. Springs would change the way residents Of course we experienced the town had mule and into the late twentieth wagon and like c e n t u r y. D e s p i t e I said earlier that such rapid changes my father and I families throughout many times would Fulton County fondly take the wagon retell stories involving and the mule and taking a wagon to two mules to the In the early 1900s wagons like this one owned by Frank Britton were popular on rural g et s up plie s for wagon and go to farms north of Atlanta. This would be similar to the wagon that the Adams family owned. their households or Roswell or either the magic in taking go to Dunwoody the Roswell trolley and generally and the impact those experiences had on their lives. One long-time you can imagine when you made a trip like that in a mule Roswell resident Richard Adams remembers a period when it was and a wagon--it was nearly an all-day trip. So a lot of our 19 transportation was wagon and we would go to church in a wagon. And I can recall of course me being the smallest one in the family I d always ride in the wagon with my mother and father...And then if you can just visualize going up the dirt road going to the church--which is probably about a twomile ride in the wagon--that here you got nine or ten children behind the wagon. Richard s parents were committed to providing for their twelve children and gave them every opportunity they could afford. Family was first and foremost to Monroe and Beulah and they took great care to ensure that their children felt included both at home and in the larger Dunwoody community. While most of Richard s early memories involve time spent with his siblings there were many special occasions that brought the entire community together at the Adams farm. In addition to spending time at church as a social congregation the Adams family made its own contribution to the community by offering their neighbors the use of the family radio--a luxury not available to many other families. Richard remembers Well as we as I think about our family we all just describe it because we were always we were basically poor but we were rich also in a lot of ways. And I can recall we had a battery radio and the only person that was allowed to touch that radio was my father and he would always cut the radio on in the morning to get the weather report and then at night to get the late weather report and maybe a little bit of news and then of course it was cut off. But on Saturday nights there would be a lot of families and I would I can only imagine that they didn t have radios at that time that they would come to our house and of course the women would sit on the porch and the men would sit in the yard and they would chew their tobacco and the children would play in the yard and do their various things. But the purpose for coming was to listen to the Grand Ole Opry and that was really exciting and entertaining for the community at that time. During those early days in Dunwoody the opportunities to socialize were few and far between outside of school and church. Evenings spent at the Adams farm listening to the radio brought neighbors together and created a community within the sprawling system of farms that constituted Fulton County at that time. While growing up in a small town like Dunwoody Roswell or Sandy Springs a simple ride into town could be an adventurous highlight of the afternoon. Weekly rides to church and daily trips to school offered opportunities to break from daily chores but nothing was quite like taking the mule and wagon into town and stopping by the local shops. Commuting is not quite the easy-going experience it was during Richard Adams s childhood. Those lazy day trips into town not only encouraged bonding but also meant a quick ice cream and a dope between father and son--a special memory when the youngest of twelve was made to feel he was number one. B My father and I would take the wagon and the mule and go to Roswell or Dunwoody. A trip like that in a mule and a wagon - it was nearly an all-day trip. Richard was born on the family farm back when the local doctor made house calls to deliver babies. When Richard was a young teenager his family moved to Smyrna where Monroe owned 42 acres. Richard remembers his family moved because there were more transportation opportunities to and from Smyrna than in Dunwoody. More commuting options were important as the twelve children grew older and began seeking job opportunities beyond their farm. Some of Richard s earliest and fondest memories took place in the small burgeoning corners of uptown Roswell known today as Roswell s downtown area. Once Roswell Road was paved downtown Roswell grew rapidly as commuters entered the city daily for local goods. Richard remembers a Roswell store located downtown The thing that I remember as a child and going in there... course you d go and you could buy everything. You know from anything to do with your horses or mules or wagons or things like that. When you paid for what you had purchased they had a little money trellis type thing overhead and they would put the money into a cup and tighten that on there and send it up to the office. And it was spring loaded and I always remembered that. Richard remembers that he and his father Monroe routinely traveled by mule and wagon into Roswell to take their corn to the area gristmill for it to be ground into corn meal. Richard remembers one particular perk of being the youngest in the family during those trips with his father We would go to the pharmacy there which is right on the corner. And I m not sure how he afforded what he bought then but he would get a Coke which they called them at that time...he would always ask for a dope. [Because] Coca Cola at one time was recognized as a dope. He would turn around and buy me an ice cream and I thought at the time my dad was crazy for spending all that money. The First Residents of Sandy Springs An Interview with Jerry HightowerB Interviewer Clarke Otten B Date of Interview May 2 2017 The rolling banks of the Chattahoochee River were once the life source for many of the indigenous peoples who called Georgia home. According to some archaeologists Native Americans--the first inhabitants of the area now known as Sandy Springs--have lived along the banks of the Chattahoochee River for thousands of years. Archaeological digs aerial views and artifacts found along the river s banks reveal the histories of Native peoples long before the time of Christopher Columbus and well before the land lottery system split up the territory into lots and counties. The story of Native Americans in Sandy Springs weaves an intricate narrative involving the river the forest and wildlife. However despite thousands of years of residence Native Americ ans left the banks of the Chattahoochee by 1838 leaving behind scattered evidence of their culture. Archaeological evidence indicates that Native American tribes settled along the Chattahoochee River as early as 6 000 B.C. For centuries the river area was the mainstay of life for these tribes due to the plush forests the wildlife and the intricate river system that provided them with food and water. The Native Americans who settled and made their homes along the river were mainly the Cherokee Nation as well as tribes that made up the Creek Confederacy. These groups built their economies based on agriculture hunting and fishing. Going even further back in history the National Park Service has uncovered relics that indicate Native Americans from the Paleo to the Woodland Periods may also have settled near modern day Sandy Springs. According to Jerry Hightower a long time Sandy Springs resident and National Park Ranger the area is rich with history I think before the big epidemics came through I bet there was just a lot of people here. I bet there was just tons. Our archaeologists I think were a little surprised when they actually...like that East Palisades site they said this sight has been occupied on and off for 10 000 years. They were finding artifacts Paleo all the way up to the Woodland Period. He said around here that we kind of kept that Woodland culture right up until the end of it. Then they were finding Cherokee stuff that s absolutely Cherokee there too. Down at Standing Peachtree I have people say Oh no no no. That Indian village was Muskogean. I said Yes it was Muskogean until the Cherokee got here and kick the Muskogee out. I said In 1814 that was a Cherokee village. The Creek Confederacy tribes were comprised of several different groups 21 including the Coweta Abihka and the Coosa peoples. They incorporated the Mississippi Valley and the Chattahoochee River into their cultures along the waterways. Many of the members of the Cherokee Tribe--one of the largest American Indian tribes in North America--fought in the American Revolution--albeit for the British. Tribes used one particular trail along the river which was forged from herds of wildlife and used for both commerce and travel throughout the Sandy Springs area. Known as the Hightower Trail or Etowah Indian Trail it was once recognized as a dividing boundary for the Cherokee and Creek Indian Nations. The Hightower Trail had connections from Charleston via Augusta and was the main thoroughfare for travelers to the Indian camps. Eventually pioneers and settlers migrated to this area and began building their homes along the Hightower Trail subsequently destroying the local history of the area s Indian Nations. Before it was [a] state park when we were kids we dug there a little bit and we found some broken arrow points or projectile points and a little bit of pottery but not too much there. [My friend] Judy was very kind to let me go on her property in 1979 and collect a very small quantity of broken pottery shards that I can use for programs because they came out of the park and so I can hand them out and let people hold them and stuff like that. She said Don t ever tell anybody I let you do this so I never said this. I was sworn to secrecy. I ll tell you I was flabbergasted and I was thinking Boy if a National Park Service archaeologist had ever been allowed to walk this property they would just be bananas because there s areas where you re going crunch because there s just broken pottery everywhere. It was amazing. Native Americans in Georgia began losing their ancestral land to settlers during the 18th century. In the 19th century--between 1805 and 1833-- the state garnered more and more land from the Cherokee and Creek Nations through both trade and the outright taking of their territories and began dividing it amongst Georgia settlers based on a land lottery system. Roughly seventy-five percent of the land in Georgia was distributed by the land lottery system beginning in 1805. This system which was unique to the State of Georgia led to the establishment of the counties around Sandy Springs. During the Indian cessions of 1819 and 1821 the state parsed up land lots resulting in the current counties of Gwinnett Henry Fulton and DeKalb. The lots varied in size depending on any given year however most of Sandy Geological evidence that the tribes were so prolific for so many centuries is still visible today throughout the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Fishing weirs rock shelters and ceremonial mounds--or temples--can be seen while walking along the trails. Tribes created fishing weirs to make spearfishing easier. Men and women would pile stones up from the riverbanks toward the middle of the river creating a v shape which forced fish to a small area where they were easily speared and netted. Three weirs are still visible today where Sope and Mulberry Creeks meet the river. To the untrained eye ceremonial mounds may just look like steep embankments. However indigenous peoples used these mounds to elevate the temple or home of the tribe s chief. One Sandy Springer Clark Otten remembers I wandered all over it I found the concrete but I still didn t know... it was years before I found out what it was built for. I shot at that mound. I said... [This] is an Indian mound. I m betting this is an Indian mound. This is not a natural occurrence. This just didn t occur here. [My friend] didn t believe me for a while and then he finally got convinced after he went down saw some of the mounds in lower Alabama that were similar long ones. He finally chased some guy that was with the state that had retired and got him involved and they had a class come out from Kennesaw do a trench in it and yes it s definitely a mound. It s got the layered construction to it. Apparently no one s getting money or any interest in doing much more than saying Yes there it is. Keep going. Native American relics are still found in the Sandy Springs area and the National Park Service uses artifacts discovered in the islands along the Chattahoochee as part of its educational programming. Park Ranger Jerry Hightower grew up in Sandy Springs and hiked all through the area s hills and trails as a child collecting arrowheads and broken pieces of pottery. In 1979 Hightower had the opportunity to explore a friend s property along the Chattahoochee with the purpose of collecting relics and other items left behind by early Native peoples. As Hightower recollects Heritage Sandy Springs Outdoors Club hiked to Native American outcroppings. Springs was sold in the lottery of 1821 when the Cherokee Tribe ceded what was left of its native lands. In 1830 the U.S. Congress passed the Indian the Outdoors Club Online Removal Act which drove many Cherokee and other Nations to lands west of the Mississippi River. The tribes that initially called Georgia their home began a journey that would become known as the Trail of Tears. Traveling west from northwest Georgia approximately 100 000 indigenous peoples were brutally forced towards reservations in Oklahoma. Along the way roughly 15 000 indigenous peoples died from fatigue and starvation. By 1840 all land previously settled by Native Americans was owned by the state. Though they were driven from their homeland along the Chattahoochee River evidence of Sandy Springs first residents can still be observed and studied. Thanks to park professionals such as Jerry Hightower visitors to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area can discover Native American ceremonial mounds while hiking and hold shards of Native American pottery during educational programs. And while standing on the serene banks of the great Chattachoochee--admiring the varied flora and listening to the many bird calls in the treetops--it s not difficult at all to imagine why the area s first residents called it home. B Click Here to visit Parks and Recreation An Interview with Jerry HightowerB Interviewer Clarke Otten B Date of Interview May 2 2017 Propaganda aimed at settlers to head west for fine Indian land and annexation of Gold Country filtered through every major American publication in the early 19th century. Men and women were intoxicated by the idea of westward expansion past the Mississippi River and into the unknown of the Great Plains. During that time the United States was a proverbial grab all of private land consumption. Early explorers cartographers artists and journalists who discovered the beautiful landscape of the west were at times discouraged at what they found. The bounties they described to their families back on the East Coast were quickly being ruined by private land use. These men sought to protect America s most beautiful natural landscapes for future generations subsequently catalyzing the creation of national parks throughout the United States. established its first national park President Woodrow Wilson created the National Park Service on August 25 1916. In 1933 President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 6166 which placed the National Park Service under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior. Today the National Park Service oversees all national parks monuments cemeteries forests and memorials. In addition it maintains more than 84 million acres throughout the United States protecting the natural beauty of the country. A little closer to home the Chattahoochee River was in increasing dire need of protection from misuse and pollution yet this protection was not always a priority. That is until Sandy Springer Jerry Hightower and other concerned citizens brought the river s plight to the attention of President Jimmy Carter. The road to the river s eventual designation The first national as a National park designation Recreation came early in Area on August 1872 t h r o u g h 15 19 78 b y the creation President Carter of Yellowstone was a personal National Par k. challenge to Jerry. An artist George He remember s Catlin traveled t h e b a t t l e to the Great Plains encour age of the United Congress to States in 1832 and protect his lifebegan worrying long home t hat wes t ward which would take President Teddy Roosevelt expansion in eight years and t h e U. S . w a s national media destroying the attention before President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Act of the Preservation of American Antiquities in 1906. This gave the president the Native American the river would power to declare National Parks and Monuments. In 1907 Roosevelt established the Grand Canyon as a National Monument. civilization receive its historic culture wildlife designation. and wilderness. He began creating romanticized versions of art and literature depicting the beauty of the west in hopes of swaying the Jerry Hightower moved to Sandy Springs when he was just six months U.S. Government to seek ownership of specific landscapes to protect old. He grew up navigating the islands creeks and waterways of them from private use. This idea filtered throughout the west in places the Chattahoochee River which had a lasting impact on his life. I such as Denver Santa Fe Wyoming and California as local ranchers always wanted to be a naturalist but there were no mentors. There began protecting cliff dwellings and ruins until the government took was nobody to guide me in that direction. I had wonderful biology protective action. On June 8 1906 President Theodore Roosevelt-- teachers in high school but [they] were only teaching what was in the an avid outdoorsman--signed the American Antiquities Act which textbook and none of that related to the real world around me granted executive powers to declare historic landmarks and structures remembers Hightower. He made it a point to seek out any activity he for preservation and public use. Forty-four years after the U.S. could find that allowed him to explore the natural world around him. 23 Hightower graduated from Sandy Springs High School in 1967 followed his heart to art school and did a tour in Vietnam. Once he returned home he once again began to follow his passion for protecting the natural beauty of Sandy Springs. He became very active with the National Wildlife Federation the Georgia Conservancy and the Georgia Wildlife Federation. Even as a young platoon sergeant with the military police I began to actively champion preservation of the Chattahoochee River wilderness areas in North Georgia recalls Hightower. One of his first actions as a nature advocate was to place fliers around town that brought attention to the river s damage from local pollution. I had made up my own fliers. I was putting fliers on car windshields all up and down Powers Ferry Road recalls Hightower. When the state created the Chattahoochee the world for this event. Documentaries were being made about this event. It attracted this attention that helped us tremendously in moving forward a bill through Congress. It was a tough tough fight getting this bill through Congress because some of the Georgia delegation was absolutely opposed to a national park on the Chattahoochee River. We could not sway them in any shape form or fashion. We were getting people from every state in the union to write letters to the congressmen that represented them saying that they were in favor of a national recreation area on the Chattahoochee River. Mount McKinley - now Denali National Park became a National Park in 1917 in the Alaskan Territory. Former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter was elected the 39th president of the United States on November 2 1976. By 1977 Carter agreed to review the possibility of creating a national park in the Atlanta area and thus give Atlanta residents the sort of preserved green space similar to that of Central Park in New York City. Hightower remembers The state park was a holding action and we knew that. At that time the best areas were in Sandy Springs. The East Palisades the areas that really meant something and that we were using to showcase the Chattahoochee River was right here in Sandy Springs in areas that I d been familiar with my whole life. Then when we got a national park... [and I] became a National Park Ranger. That became my career with the National Park Service. Carter signed the National Parks and Recreation President Woodrow Wilson Act into law in August 1978. The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area originally was President Woodrow Wilson created the National Park Service in 1916. Under this new department authorized to purchase 6 300 acres of land along River State Park Hightower became its only volunteer. I did all the programs for the state park. I did trail maintenance. I did all sorts of great things--search and rescue. Again that was just a tremendous learning experience. When we ...began to develop a formula for a national recreation area working with the Department of the Interior that was a great experience. Hightower employed those early learning opportunities to create Friends of the River. The sole purpose of Friends of the River was to create a national recreation area along the Chattahoochee that wound through Sandy Springs. Jerry Hightower President Jimmy Carter In 1978 President Jimmy Carter signed the National Parks and Recreation Act. In Sandy Springs the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area falls under that act today. The fight to have the Chattahoochee River designated as a national park would need national media attention and the alliance of delegates from different states to sway stubborn Georgia statesmen at the state s capital building. Many of the volunteers and advocates believed they needed only one person from outside Georgia to recognize the historic beauty of the Chattahoochee and that recognition would sway the decision to have the river designated as a national park. Their opportunities came every year during the wildly popular Great Ramblin Raft Race when thousands of people would travel from all over the state to participate in the showy--and oftentimes bawdy--race down the Chattahoochee. Hightower recollects In fact even though these people were sometimes remembering the raft race through a haze they remember the extraordinary beauty of the Chattahoochee River corridor. Particularly in those times there were no large buildings you could see anywhere. It was just an extraordinarily beautiful area. People were coming from all over the Chattahoochee River. Subsequently a revisal of the Act on October 30 1984 allowed the park to increase its land to 6 800 acres and in 1999 the park expanded to its current 10 000 acres. The first piece of land the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area purchased was Island Ford--which still houses the headquarters for the park. Currently the park is comprised of 16 historic islands and bridges within the community including Bowmans Island Orrs Ferry Settles Bridge Abbotts Bridge Medlock Bridge Jones Bridge Holcomb Bridge Island Ford Johnson Ferry and Palisades. As this special national park marks its 39th anniversary in August 2017 Sandy Springers as well as thousands of area visitors continue to enjoy the park s meticulously maintained trails river and wildlife thanks to the hard work of environmentalists and naturalists such as Sandy Springs native son Jerry Hightower. B Preserving Sandy Springs An Interview with Jerry HightowerB Interviewer Clarke Otten B Date of Interview May 2 2017 The Chattahoochee River has always been a rich component of the natural landscape of Sandy Springs--from sustaining life and agriculture for early pioneers to its recreational use today for rafting kayaking canoeing and fishing. One of the river s greatest supporters is Jerry Hightower. Gerald (Jerry) Alton Hightower was one of the few members of his family not actually born in the state of Georgia. By the time Jerry was born his father had moved the family across the Georgia State line to Anderson South Carolina-- leaving behind life by the Chattahoochee. Newton Hamilton Hightower resettled his family in South Carolina to assist in setting up a brand-new Ford dealership that had recently opened there. Some of the Hightower relatives were naturally unhappy about the move because of [their] long history as Georgians. Six short months later however Newton and Jerry s mother Sarah moved their family back to Buckhead where they set up shop as landlords. When Jerry was four his younger brother was born and from that time forth the family remained close to the Chattahoochee River. Jerry has spent his entire life in Sandy Springs. He currently lives off Johnson Ferry Road on the Cobb County side of the river. He attended school in Sandy Springs throughout his formative years and attributes a great deal of his life s achievements to the opportunities that he had growing up in Fulton County. Jerry recalls That was just a great place to grow up in the 1950s and 1960s because it was surrounded by fields and forest...It was fields forests streams [and] magnificent places to explore. It was there...where I developed my extreme love for nature and also found out that the best classroom is in the outdoors. Those early developmental years brought Jerry close to nature in and around Sandy Springs. From early biology classes spent wandering in the forests behind his school to rafting down the Chattahoochee those experiences would inform both Jerry s understanding of the world around him and influence his career trajectory to preserve the natural beauty of Sandy Springs for generations to come. But first he needed to learn all about it. I started out at Liberty Guinn [Elementary School] remembers Jerry which today is a parochial school so the building still exists and it s still a school. However L ib er t y Guinn was very very crowded. First grade was actually spent in a Baptist church right down the street on Roswell Road... Second grade they did manage to squeeze us into the basement of the building. We were actually in [the] Liberty Guinn building and by third grade they had built Riley Elementary School which was a brand new school. Jer r y s tudied at Liberty Guinn then Island Ford Riley and eventually at Sandy Springs High School. It was his time at Riley Elementary however that had the most influence on Jerry s life as it was there that he was allowed to learn outside of the classroom While I learned a great deal at Riley and at Sandy Springs it was the time spent outdoors in these fields and forests and along the Chattahoochee River and its tributary streams that I probably learned the most. It was a phenomenal experience. Also I had great teachers at Riley. I love telling teachers today that in fourth 25 grade for instance we would be sent out in teams of five to the Riley Estate behind the school property which was a magnificent hardwood forest a beautiful natural area. We could spend an hour or so exploring nature in these teams of five without any other supervision whatsoever--we just had to be back in one hour. If we weren t then we d lose the privilege to do that again the next day. Since Jerry s father Newton was an avid outdoorsman and hunter Jerry combined his new-found love of nature for quality time with his father. Jerry and his father would hunt the forests John Muir--a noted environmental philosopher and glaciologist was an early advocate for the preservation of the western forests of the United States. Muir petitioned the United States Congress to pass a bill in 1890 that would establish Yosemite National Park. His work inspired many presidents and congressman to take action to preserve large natural areas throughout the United States. The state park system grew rapidly during the Great Depression as President Franklin Roosevelt--with the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration--expanded federal programs to protect preserve and restore naturally beautiful and historically significant areas of the country while simultaneously putting Americans back to work. The Chattahoochee River State Park was established in the 1970s and Jerry maintained the park mostly by himself. When we had a state park in Sandy Springs the Chattahoochee River State Park I was the first and I guess the only volunteer recollects Jerry. I did all the programs for the state park. I did trail maintenance. I did all sorts of great things--search and rescue. Again that was just tremendous learning experiences. When we developed and began to develop a formula for a national recreation area working with the Department of the around Sandy Springs with another local family the Burdetts. To spend even more time in the forest Jerry would routinely spend weekends with his best friend Stanley who lived in a tworoom log cabin parallel to Londonberry Road. Jerry remembers Stanley s mother would allow us to play in the creek. She [would] sit there and monitor us. There s a little stream that ran through my backyard in Long Island Creek that began to have a big influence on me and began to just really create a fascination for moving water for streams. Jerry learned a lot in those streams specifically how to read the currents. This skill helped him later when he would go kayaking and rafting but was especially helpful when Jerry and his friends would ride inner tubes down the river after large rains. When we get happy thunderstorms in summertime we get storm surges coming down to Long Island Creek and the water would rise and there d be big waves. We would get in inner tubes and ride that slow stream which was extraordinarily dangerous. Jerry and his friends would ride those waves just a little beyond Powers Ferry Road get out of the water hike back up the river and do it all over again. Growing up Jerry always wanted to be a naturalist for he had a specific interest in biology and herpetology (the study of amphibians). Unfortunately there were few mentors in the Sandy Springs area to help him break into the field. After graduating from high school in 1967 Jerry attended the Atlantis School of Art for two years before he volunteered with the U.S. Army Military Police Corps and was shipped to Vietnam. He served out his term and returned to Sandy Springs to finally pursue his calling. Jerry volunteered as a naturalist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Areas Council. When he was in his early 20s Jerry was assigned by Senior Natural Resources Planner Lou Greathouse to review the very area in Sandy Springs where he had grown up. It was kind of neat to come back to the place that had influenced me so greatly and to do that formal review which is now on file with the Department of Natural Resources remembers Jerry. Jerry became very active with the National Wildlife Federation the Georgia Conservancy and the Georgia Wildlife Federation. When Sandy Springs opened its state park--the Chattahoochee River State Park--Jerry was its first and only volunteer. The U.S. State Park System was instituted in the early 19th century. The country s oldest state park is Niagara Falls State Park which opened in 1885. Jerry Hightower with students Click Here to visit the Outdoors Club Online Interior that was a great experience. The state park was a holding action and we knew that...I had life experiences I could talk about. I had a knowledge of the plants and animals. About the spring of 1970 also was time when we all came together. We formed a coalition. This was individuals agencies organizations and even a couple of corporations. Georgia Power was included and we created Friends of the River. The Friends of the River organization s sole purpose was to create a national recreation area along the Chattahoochee River that wound through Sandy Springs. The park originally sought to purchase 6 300 acres along the river. The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area was created on August 15 1978 when President Jimmy Carter signed the National Parks and Recreation Bill into law. Jerry continued his work as a conservationist and activist and once the state park opened he began his career as a National Park Ranger with the National Park Service. Jerry still works for the National Park Service and routinely leads walks and presents programs to recreational area visitors. Throughout his career he has helped maintain the trails around the river and helped coordinate the once-popular Great Ramblin Raft Races. As Jerry recalls fondly I have so many friends here--they ll come up to me and say Do you realize how lucky we were to grow up in Sandy Springs when we grew up in Sandy Springs And it was true. We were able to have a great deal of independence and so our parents thought nothing of sending us off...and telling us to be back by dark. Indeed Jerry s earliest experiences helped cultivate his career as a conservationist of his beloved Sandy Springs. B To visit the National Park Service site on the Chattahoochee River click here https www.nps.gov chat index.htm The Treasure of a New Home An Interview with William Sunderland B Interviewer Melissa Swindell B Date of Interview April 2017 Following World War II scores of people settled in the town of Sandy Wade--a former minor league baseball player--to proof houses Springs which was becoming a hub of business and leisure for those against moths. William initially bought into the franchise in Baltimore moving away from the chaos of Atlanta. Many Sandy Springers have and opened a second location in Atlanta in 1960. He traveled back and genealogical ties to some of the area s founding families--Johnson forth for several years before committing to a move down south. William Austin Williams and more. operated his company in But others came to Sandy Atlanta for nearly 30 years. Springs because it offered He remembers There a quiet spot with a potential was a lot of stores along for business and familial Roswell Road that area. I growth. William Sunderland had an office downtown arrived in Sandy Springs in which was at 14th and uh the 1960s bought a house I had one that was just off on High Point Road with Collier Road at one time. his wife raised their seven And then I had a move children--all while running bought the building down a business in the heart of 14th Street. 14th and downtown Atlanta. While Northside Drive was there the Sunderland s may not until 1990 and sold the have a genealogical claim building. Well I rented it to Sandy Springs they ve out for years to people certainly given back to the that were there. And then I community while enjoying sold it a couple years ago. This decorated cart pulled by a mule and driven down Roswell Road by a man in period everything the area has to William grew the business costume ceremoniously transported gold from Dahlonega to the Georgia State Capitol offer. from a simple cleaning Building. This gold was used to cover the Capitol Building s iconic dome. The wagon left Dahlonega on August 4 1958 and the trip took three days. s er vice to eventually William Sunderland was including draper y and born Friday December 13 1929 in Baltimore Maryland to Pearson expanded janitorial services catering to both residential and commercial Sunderland and Lida Irwin-Sunderland. The Sunderland family had businesses. William s franchises in both Atlanta and Baltimore were emigrated from Sunderland England and established Sunderland considered master franchises. In addition he sold an additional 33 Maryland just south of Baltimore where William and his two brothers franchises throughout the state and country--many of which are still in grew up. William moved to Sandy Springs in 1962 to operate the operation today. ServiceMaster cleaning service in downtown Atlanta. ServiceMaster is a national cleaning service operating in both residential and commercial Sandy Springs has evolved over the last century from a rural blip on the areas. The company was originally founded in 1929 by Marion E. map to an energetic city. Like so many small communities throughout 27 The area around the Sunderland s house used to be covered in trees and forested foliage and like so many Sandy Springers William explored the area throughout his early years on horseback. William owned several horses before moving them to a larger farm north of the town. It was during one of his explorations of the area that William discovered the remnants of the Gold Creek Mine. William remembers A gentleman lived at the top of the street of High Point Road and the corner of Northland--in an old house which is now gone. There s a bunch of new houses up there. I don t remember his name. I think it was Johnson but I m not sure. But I was riding my horse up there one day. And uh I was riding met him and started talking. And then he told me about took me up and showed me the mine and told me about the story of the Gold Creek. The Georgia Gold Rush began in 1828 and was the second significant gold rush in United States history. No one knows for sure who was the first to discover gold in the state however many attribute the first find to Frank Logan who discovered gold on Dukes Creek--a tributary of Gold Prospector 1940s the country the largest period of expansion occurred during the postwar years of the 1950s and 1960s. Stimulated by World War II this was a period of economic grandeur making it possible for an entire generation to buy houses go to college and open its own businesses. When William first moved to Sandy Springs High Point Road which is now a much sought-after subdivision with high-end houses and amenities was nothing but trees and wooded areas. William recollects Well as I say the right side of High Point Road was all woods. No subdivisions. No no church no synagogue no nothing...except [Dr. Denmark s] house was on the corner up there. This big old it was a big old farmhouse this white farmhouse. And past that was all woods all the way up to the Georgia State Capitol Atlanta Georgia GA State Capitol Building 1954 corner. William purchased his first home the summer he moved to Sandy Springs--and he s lived in the same location ever since. William states a gentleman with C&S Bank Mr. B. Mills uh took me around when he... He was a friend of my father s or a friend of a friend of my father s and he knew I was moving down here and took me around to find a home. And uh went around all day and then finally came here to this house and said This is the one you re going to buy. And we decided that we loved it. The Sunderland s have lived in the same house for over 50 years and have seen many changes to the landscape but William also discovered some hidden treasures around his neighborhood...such as the site of a gold mine. the Chattahoochee River. After several stories of the discovery were published in local newspapers men flocked to the area to try their luck at panning gold. Eventually men women and children traveled down the Chattahoochee to open a mine in Sandy Springs. William recalls At the top of the hill over on the hill up on the right side of High Point Road and he showed me that. He told me that you know they d built a mine here. I don t know whether they found any gold or not. But that it had been closed up and the creek was named Gold Creek for the gold mine that was there. News of the California Gold Rush drove many miners west and out of the Georgia Gold Belt but for those who remained hydraulic mining increased until the Civil War brought most operations to a halt. Despite the gold mine closing panning for gold in the Chattahoochee and searching for hidden treasures while hiking through the area remains a hobby for many local residents. Despite not having deep familial roots in Sandy Springs or even in the south William Sunderland chose the area to build his business and raise his family in the burgeoning area of Sandy Springs. For more than 50 years he and his family have watched the area around their home grow but he s learned from exploring their neighborhood that Sandy Springs holds onto its hidden treasures--and they re still out there for the discovering. B Sandy Springs From the Ground Up An Interview with Bob Dowis B Interviewer Melissa Swindell B Date of Interview April 2 2016 The community of Sandy Springs started as nothing more than a few Bob s mother Nancy G. Dowis was a crossing guard for James L. Riley farmers who lucked into their own plots of land. When Sandy Springs Elementary School in Sandy Springs for 13 years. As one of the few settlers initially garnered land through the land lottery system from women on the Fulton County Police Force she enforced traffic rules the Cherokee and Creek to protect all the school s Indian tribes in the 1820s students including her they put down roots by children Bob Gordon and Image of the first Charles Dowis Family Reuinion planting crops building Patricia during their years held at the Dowis farm at 4824 Northside Drive. L-R Backrow Otis Acree Edna Dowis Arcree unknown Joyce Reeves Dowis Claude homes and forging roads at James L. Riley. Crossing Anderson Dowis Annie Lou Dowis Jones Seaborn Jones William Dowis Charles Dowis bet ween farms. Those guards have been a staple Ferdinand Dowis Jr. Kate Arie Tumlin Dowis L-R- Front row unknown Frances Dowis humble beginnings are in communities across the Seaborn Charles Jones Reubin Tillman Dowis Hanna Catherine (Kate) Dowis Middle Front Paul Eugene Jones now a busy metropolis United States since the early and one of Atlanta s most 1920s. Increased anxiety popular suburbs boasting a from parents about their population growing so fast children walking to school the census cannot keep up. with an increased number Robert (Bob) Sims Dowis of automobiles on the road was born April 27 1951 prompted a response from in Oceanside California. the states. The first crossing Bob s father was a Marine guard was employed in by trade and during the Omaha Nebraska in 1923. 1950s moved the family Most crossing guards have to Aug us t a Ge orgia no legal power and cannot and eventually to Sandy write tickets for violators Springs where Bob grew up. Bob s family tree was southern born and but they do enforce traffic regulations when it comes to the safety of raised. His grandparents had a house on Northside Drive that eventually children. By 1955 virtually every American city had a system of guards in became his family home. Bob s great-grandparents grandparents place to protect children when they traveled to and from school. Nancy parents and now his children have all participated in the city s evolution. took her job one step further during the 1960s by traveling around to Whether working in construction or for the county or in the police other area schools in an old Volkswagen van to discuss safety. Her van force Dowis family members have been laying the groundwork in this fondly became known as the Safety Bug. Bob remembers community for generations to come. From Roots to Routes 29 I m not sure if you re familiar with how the Volkswagen vans were but the back opened up like that anyway. And they had put curtains. It was done by the Fulton County school system. Uh curtains around block off...The kids would get around the back of it. They couldn t see her at all because there was a giant hood that she put over the front windshield and it had PA speakers front. And back and she would sit inside give a little speech about [safety.] Look in and they could see a safety movie...So she would go around to the different schools...and show this safety film in that safety bug. Robert Bob Dowis 1946 Nancy Dowis Besides Nancy many other members of the Dowis family dedicated their lives to the improvement of the community. Robert S. Dowis Sr.--Bob s father--lent his knowledge of concrete to area construction particularly along Georgia State Route 280 which runs from Georgia 139 in western Atlanta to Interstate 75 in Marietta. Bob recollects [Dad s] first [job] I recall was selling concrete saws. Clipper Manufacturing. They would cut the expansion joints in the highways. And back when 280 when 75 was being finished-- from Marietta to Chattanooga--...I remember when 75 ended. Had to get off and get over to 41 if you re wanting to go to Chattanooga. He was responsible because they had bought his equipment. The state [made him] responsible for going up and letting them know when it was time to cut the expansion joints. So he would go up the road feel the concrete because concrete heats up...As it cures and he could tell by the temperature if it was ready to cut. Now he would go up there and let them know Cut it or Wait a little bit you know. One of the most popular lasting contributions from the Dowis family was from Bob s grandfather who helped build Chastain Park. The park originally known as North Fulton Park is the largest city park in the Atlanta area encompassing more than 260 acres. The park is bordered on the east side by Lake Forrest Drive on the west-southwest side by Powers Ferry Road and on the north end by West Wieuca Road. The land was originally owned and occupied by Creek Indians where they had established a village near Nancy Creek--which still flows east to west through the park. In 1840 the land was acquired by DeKalb County through one of the Indian cessions of the 1820s and subsequently used as a site for town hall meetings. In 1909 the land was sold to Fulton County which operated segregated almshouses for the poor from 1909-1963 in what are now the Chastain Arts Center and a building of The Galloway School campus. In 1940 with the help of Fulton County Commissioner Troy Green Chastain and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) agency the new North Fulton neighborhood worked to build out the park to include a golf course clubhouse swimming pool tennis courts gymnasium bathhouse horse stables and a polo field. Granddad for a long time worked for Fulton County remembers Bob. In fact he helped build Chastain Park. You know the large stones that are at the corners of the roads He brought those from the quarry in North Georgia. He had convicts with him that would help you know load and unload the giant stones. Uh they d been here too where he went to North Georgia and got the logs...That used to be I don t think they re there anymore. But there used to be logs lining the roadways...through Chastain Park. The construction of the park was completed in September 1945. The Dowis family was an important part of Sandy Springs growth during an era when development was crucial. Through their dedication and hard work the area became a community where children could safely travel to school parents could travel to Atlanta for work and families could enjoy one of the largest parks in the area. The Dowis family continues to support the Atlanta-area community as Bob s oldest daughter is a Cherokee County firefighter and paramedic. The Dowis family history is one of engagement involvement and improvement to the city of Sandy Springs and beyond. B The Curse of the Johns(t)on Ferry River Crossing Is there a curse on crossing the river Many people have been victims of the curse of crossing the Chattahoochee River during rush hour traffic on Johnson s Ferry Road between Sandy Springs and Cobb County. More than a few have probably let go a few curses of their own during the years long project of widening the bridge and road leading into Sandy Springs. It seems that for one man there was a much more tragic outcome to his life after he crossed over the river. The author can remember driving across on the one lane metal framed Johnson Ferry bridge. At that time whoever reached the bridge first had the right of way. Often while waiting on an oncoming car to come off the bridge additional approaching cars seeing that someone had already established a prior claim joined in behind. Many were the times I cursed those who kept joining the queue while other cars stacked up behind me waiting for our turn to cross the river. was only a single layer of planks which were placed perpendicular across the bridge frame parallel with the flow of the river. When one of those broke it left a gap in the planking where you could look straight down to the water as you bumped across the missing section. In its original form it was considered a two lane bridge. Both fortune and curse have followed this river crossing since it was first established sometime in the mid 1840 s. The earliest indication of a river crossing here is seen on an 1845 map by H.S. Tanner found in the Birmingham Public Library Cartography Collection. If the map is accurate in showing a crossing here which seems likely despite the fact the road just fades away once it crosses into Cobb County then this ferry must have been established by someone who will remain nameless as no record exists of this ferry crossing ever being formalized then or later through legal recognition (and regulation) by the State of Georgia Cobb William Marion Johnston 1817-1879 or DeKalb (now Fulton) Counties. The earliest owner of record is one William Marion Johnston. That is Johnston with a t . He was known as Billy Johnston to his friends. Billy s dad Robert Dougan Johnston moved to Georgia from Newberry SC in the early 1800 s where he met and married Milda McKinney from Once the right of way was obtained you still couldn t hurry because steering those old 1960 s (and earlier cars) across the bridge was scary business. Sloppy steering made tricky business of keeping the car centered on the two raised tracks of planks that ran parallel with the bridge. The parallel planks were added in the mid 1950 s to meet the demand of heavier traffic. Prior to that there 31 had rich bottomlands on the west side of the river as well as prime level farmlands on the plateau above the river. It likely looked much like the 1938 aerial view below when most of this part of Cobb and Fulton Counties were still rural farm lands just as they were in the days of William Marion Johnston. The Road to and from the ferry became known as Johnston s Ferry Road. But over time the potent southern drawl slowly eroded the letter t from his name. The road connected the newly formed city of Marietta (1834) to the older city of Decatur (1823) via Cross Keys in DeKalb County. The route in Cobb County followed today s Paper Mill Road to Lower Roswell Road and then on to Marietta. 1845 H. S. Tanner map faint double line from Decatur passing to the left above the number 17 is Johns(t)on Ferry Rd the nearby Jackson County in 1808. Billy had an older sister who was born in 1810 in what is now Gwinnett County long before the Indian treaties of 1817-8 officially claimed this land. That was certainly before the land lottery of 1820 legally opened Gwinnett County to settlers. It clearly establishes the Johnstons as one of the early pioneer families who settled beyond the boundaries of Georgia inside Indian Territory. Life must have started off well for the Johnstons and the seven children they had brought from Gwinnett County. Their eighth child Mary Eveline Johnston was born in Cobb County on March 22nd 1852. The curse of Billy Johnston s river crossing was yet to strike. 1938 US Dept of Agriculture aerial shot of the same Johns(t)on lands Map of land belonging to Johns(t)on circa 1851 Just over two years later on July 24th 1854 tragedy finally struck. Their newly born infant son failed to live and ten days later the mother Mary died as well. Since Billy s crossing of the river he had lost a newborn son his wife and the mother of his eight other children. How Billy dealt with this loss is not known but he finally married again to a Mary E. McCollum on October 14th 1856. They would eventually have an additional four children together. By the 1860 census Billy lists the value of his personal estate at 9 450 with 200 acres in cultivation and an additional 200 acres uncultivated. By then even the census taker has dropped the t from his name. The Slave Census of 1860 shows a W.M. Johnson has 3 adult slaves and 7 child slaves from two to thirteen years of age. Life was finally going right for Billy once again or so it seemed. Billy married Mary McDaniel in 1835 at age of 18. The McDaniel family had moved to Gwinnet from Barnwell SC during the 1820 Land Lottery. Both the Johnstons and the McDaniels became well-to-do respected citizens of Gwinnett County during its earliest years. On December 19th 1851 Billy and Mary purchased 281 acres from Henry Cupp in Section One of Cobb County including all or part of land lots 71 72 73 80 148 149 151 & 152. On July 10th 1852 he bought an additional 40 acres in land lot 80 from Puemedeas Reynolds. This land Curse of the Johns(t)on Ferry River Crossing continued Things were not going so smoothly for the country the specter of Civil War was looming. In January of 1861 the South succeeded from the Union. Six months later Billy s oldest son William Jackson Johnston enlisted in the Confederate Army on June 25th 1861. He joined the Phillips Legion Infantry Company C known as the Habersham Volunteers or The Habersham Rifles. As originally organized in 1861 Phillip s Legion contained six infantry companies (A -F) and four cavalry companies. On August 9th 1861 the unit was ordered into the mountains of western Virginia (today s West Virginia) to serve in the Army of the Kanawha. In October 1861 the unit was engaged at Cotton Hill VA (now W.VA) after which they suffered through brutal winter weather conditions until December 16 1861 when they were ordered to South Carolina. At least now his oldest son was moving away from the war front. During the spring of 1862 three new infantry companies L M and O were recruited for Phillip s Legion in Cobb and Bartow counties and they were added to the Infantry Battalion. As if one son in the army was not enough Billy s next oldest son James (John) Thomas Wynne Johnston also decided to enlist and joined his brother in the Habersham Rifles on March 1st 1862. In late July of 1862 they were transported by rail to Lynchburg PA where their unit joined the Army of Northern Virginia under the command of General Robert E. Lee. The two boys saw heavy fighting in a number of battles together. One of them would not be coming home alive. On August 5 1862 they fought at Malvern Hill Virginia on August 23 1862 - Beverly s Ford Virginia then on August 25 1862 at Waterloo Bridge Virginia. From August 29th to the 30th 1862 they were in the Battle of Second Manassas. From September 6th through the 22nd 1862 they were in the Maryland Campaign. On September 14 1862 they were engaged at Fox s Gap Maryland (called Battle of Boonsboro by the south) and then on September 17 1862 they fought at the Battle of Antietam Maryland (called Battle of Sharpsburg by the south). William Jackson Johnston was killed in action on September 17 1862 at the Battle of Sharpsburg. Billy applied for William Jackson s back pay and bonuses and was paid 125 but as his luck would have it it was in Confederate money. His younger brother survived to fight again and again at Fredericksburg VA at Chancellorsville VA at Gettysburg PA then at Chattanooga TN until finally he was captured at Knoxville TN in December of 1863. He was transported to Rock Island IL where he was held as a prisoner for almost 18 months until he was surrendered By Gen. Lee in April of 1865. Back at home life for the Johnstons and the entire South was hard. The war was over and everyone North and South had lost in some way or another. By 1868 things were starting to look up again. Billy s last child Ella Johnston had turned two. His son John had married to Ella Groover after returning from the war. The state s Capitol had been moved to Atlanta. Billy along with several of his neighbor s decided it was time to found a church. Ironically they were all at a local tavern where on August 29th the decision was formally agreed to and the Baptist Church of Christ at Providence came into being. For the next 3 years the tavern where the devil s brew was made and sold six days a week became a house of worship on Sundays. In the meantime the congregants built a dedicated church house close by. In January 1871 the new building was completed. Billy was one of the first deacons. Even though by this point Billy had sold the ferry operation the curse of the river crossing was not yet done with Billy. The oldest marked gravestone in the New Providence Baptist graveyard turns out to be Picture courtesy of the Providence Baptist Church that of his second wife Mary Elizabeth McCullom Johnston. She died on June 9th 1875. Billy married a third time on December 14th 1875. His new wife was Margaret Maggie Aderholt. But this was to be a short marriage. On Tuesday December 9th 1879 at the age of 62 William Marion Johnston died suddenly after a short two day illness. He was buried late Thursday the 11th next to his wife in the churchyard but his ordeal was not over. On Saturday several of the churchmembers passing by the churchyard noticed that Billy s grave had been disturbed and was not as neat as they had left it after the burial on Thursday evening. Deciding to investigate they disenterred Billy s coffin only to find his torn clothes and no body. As reported in the Marietta Daily Journal on December 18th 1879 and the Atlanta Constitution on December 19th 1879 his body had been stolen by body-snatchers Subsequent investigations revealed that two men in a buggy had crossed the river on Friday evening asking directions from everyone they saw where to find the church. They asked the ferryman who now operated Billy s old ferry operation how to reach the church. They inquired at the first house they came to on the west side of the river Billy s own house His son and wife both testified at the ensuing trial that they had given directions to the two men. Several others attested to seeing or speaking to the two men. They were reported by a different ferryman to have crossed back towards Atlanta later that night with a very foul smelling bundle on their buggy. This ferryman claimed to know one of the men. He identified him as the janitor at one of the three medical colleges in Atlanta. It had already been assumed that the body had been stolen to supply the endless need for cadavers at one of the nearby medical schools. Although search warrants failed to turn up Billy s body at any of the schools an arrest was made of the janitor. The second man was never identified. As reported in the Weekly Constitution of December 30th 1879 the janitor was tried and convicted of the crime in Marietta on Tuesday December 23rd on circumstacial evidence. The penalty for this crime which was only deemed a misdemeanor was 1 000 or six months on the chain-gang or one year in jail. One or all of these punishments could be inflicted at the discretion of the presiding judge. The sentence given was not recorded. Billy s ferry was replaced by a steel bridge in the summer of 1907. At the same time James Power s ferry lower down the river was also replaced. (See the news listing from the Atlanta Georgian dated November 10th 33 1906.) For a time the name of the road was officially changed to Johnston s Bridge Road but the name never stuck and eventually it reverted Johnson s Ferry Road. This new bridge improved the crossing but did not end the curse. In 1948 the river flooded so heavily that the roadbed of the bridge was underwater. owning any land next to the ferry crossing. There is an 1851 deed registering a change of ownership for land lot 365 in district six of Milton County (formerly part of Gwinnett) from a Johnson Garwood to Jackson Gregor y and James M. Paine. This property is adjacent to the river at a place still known today as Island Ford. An aerial view of this location shows the remnants of a dam between the shore and an island in the middle of the river. Courtesy of Georgia Archive Vanishing Georgia Virtual Vault Collection Even later the curse continued not allowing Billy Johnston to rest in peace. In the Spring of 2007 128 years after Billy s death an inexperienced reporter was given the task of finding out all he could about the origins of Johnson s Ferry. That repor ter decided despite a State Historical Marker next to the bridge which memorializes Johnston as the as being the road s namesake that the ferry never belonged to William Johnston at all It was run by and named for a man known as Johnson Garwood. This was surmise was based on a single legislative act ACTS OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA 1849-50 1849 Vol. 1 -- Page 309 Sequential Number 369. The full Title was AN ACT to authorize Johnson Garwood to construct a dam across the Chattahoochee river on his own land. SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Georgia in General Assembly met and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same That Johnson Garwood be and he is hereby authorized to construct a dam across the Chattahoochee river at or near the Island Ford of said river on his own land in the counties of DeKalb and Cobb. Approved February 21 1850. There are numerous sticking points with this document. First it is an act to approve a dam and not a ferry. Second it is to be placed at or near Island Ford on Mr. Garwood s land. There is no record of Mr. Garwood Local couple on bridge. Notice bridge is a two lane bridge. Crica 1940 At the time of enactment the north bank of the river was part of Cobb County but has since been known as Milton County and then finally Fulton County. The reporter was no doubt frustrated as this writer has been that there is no legal records for Johnson s Ferry to be found in the state or county archives. Hopefully this article which is based on numerous pieces of anecdotal evidence will restore the legacy of Johnson s Ferry to William Marion Johnston once and for all. May he finally rest in peace. B Sources Marietta Daily Journal December 18th 1879 Atlanta Constitution December 19th 1879 Weekly Constitution December 30th 1879 Atlanta Georgian November 10th 1906 ACTS OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA 1849-50 1849 Vol. 1 -- Page 309 The Second Hundred Years of Providence Baptist Church The Search for Garwood Johnson at the Atlanta Historical Center Archives written by Joel Thomas the great great Grandson of William Marion Johnson Old Ferries and Ferry Roads the Atlanta Historical Bulletin Volume I Number 7 1933 page 41 Land deed records for Cobb and Milton Counties. U.S. Census Records History of Phillip s Georgia Legion - Infantry Battalion Birmingham Public Library Cartography Collection U.S. Department of Agriculture. A Post Office Romance Leads to Home An Interview with Herbert Daws B Interviewer Melissa Swindell B Date of Interview January 2017 The core of Sandy Springs always has been--and always will be--the individual residents that make up the community. From the founding families to newer residential transplants the history of Sandy Springs lives on in the hearts of the people who embrace all that the town embodies. During their early years in the town two such transplants Herb and Ruth Daws recognized Sandy Springs had a rich and vibrant history that was worth preserving and sharing. Edward Herbert Daws or Herb was born to William Alvin Daws and Louise Austin Daws on January 31 1928. He and his sister and two brothers grew up in Social Circle Georgia east of Atlanta. His father a seasoned World War I veteran was a farmer by trade in Social Circle but gave back to the small town by driving the school bus for the local children. Social Circle was not always the bustling community it is today. According to Herb The town had one block of businesses and you could go through it and blink--you had missed the city. That s not true today. While he was in high school Herb also worked two jobs One was I delivered the Constitution newspaper when it was in existence to the entire city. Of the five hundred-person population I think my subscribers represented only about twenty-five...The other job I had was in a meat market in one of the two grocery stores on the main street and that was on Saturday when all of the people came in and it was a busy day. Selling fish and other products from the pigs. Mullet was a big seller. Herb worked those two jobs until he was ready to leave the small town and try his luck in the larger metropolis to the west...Atlanta. Unlike so many youngsters who grew up during the Great Depression Herb s parents allowed him to continue his studies through high school. My family made the determination to let me go to school when I was five and a half so I graduated when I was sixteen recalls Herb. Immediately following graduation Herb decided to head to Atlanta in search of his future. As he remembers I graduated in May and of course caught a Greyhound bus from Social Circle to Atlanta alone. That was approximately July and of course I admittedly proved word of mouth and went to a boarding house...riding the streetcar and at that time World War II veterans were gone and houses were being rented out by the wives of the soldiers and it was a rooming house with approximately ten people. And I got to know them really well and started looking for a job. Herb arrived in Atlanta Herb Daws Home 1928 in the summer of 1944 in the midst of World War II granting him many job opportunities while the GI s were still overseas. The American involvement in World War II drastically changed the manufacturing industry in the 1940s. The federal government funded the development of several industries aimed at aiding and sustaining the Allied war effort. The Bell Bomber plant in Marietta Georgia opened March 30 1942 transforming job opportunities for many of the locals. The federal government provided 73 million dollars in federal aid for construction. The plant produced B-29 bombers covered more than 4.2 million square feet and employed more than 28 000 locals--including Herb. The Bell Bomber plant was the largest aircraft production facility to 35 date in the Deep South and created over 668 of the Boeing Corporation s B-29 Superfortress bombers during World War II. Herb recollects The first job I had was going to work for Bell Bomber and that was simply going downtown and going to an office where they did some framing and mostly riveting for the B-29. At that time what we referred to as the Bell Bomber but we were trained to use the riveting guns that allowed you to go into the plane and do the tough work for riveting the plane together. Herb worked with Bell Bomber at its downtown location for approximately three months until he found a position that offered him a lifetime career...and the opportunity to meet the love of his life. As World War II came to close and veterans began to return stateside the job market drastically changed--especially for those in the war industry. Herb remembers [Soon] thereafter the H bomb was dropped...then of course the job dropped off and I started looking for another job. And from that point I went to the postal service which you lines but filled the manpower needed in the Atlanta annex. Herb did his best to fill the position as a temporary indefinite substitute and took what work was available. He eventually gained a permanent position in the postal office and would go on to serve as Atlanta s postmaster. Perhaps more importantly however Herb met his future wife Ruth through his work in the Atlanta post office. Ruth Daws was a native of Washington D.C. and grew up in an area outside the Capital. Her father also was a veteran of the post office and had worked in the Washington D.C. office for nearly 30 years before he retired. Her father--having grown up in Georgia himself--thought Atlanta would be a nice place to retire so he moved his family back to Atlanta after his career ended. Through her father s tutelage Ruth gained a position with the post office in Washington D.C. and transferred down to the Atlanta postal system at her father s recommendation. [It] happened that her workplace was near where I was working in the federal annex and we saw each other and we didn t have many women working there. In fact I doubt if there was more than five in the whole system. But anyway I said that s an attractive lady and of course I got up enough nerve to ask her to what she was doing. I was talking to her and found out that we like each other and that s when I made the decision I wanted to marry her recalls Herb. Herb and Ruth married shortly thereafter and have been married for 67 years. The Daws have been involved in the Sandy Springs community since arriving here in 1984 after Herb retired from his 40 years with the postal service. Herb recollects After my retirement...we arranged to come back to my home area. In fact they allowed me to be the acting postmaster of the Atlanta post office for four months while I located myself in the area and of course she was back in Atlanta...we really lived in Lynwood which was a suburb. [Ruth] always said that when I transferred first to mine [home area] then to Was hi ng to n -- which was her ho me area -- that I left her at the house to pack up and get the place moved. Once they relocated to their new home in Sandy Springs they immediately got involved with several local organizations including the Kiwanis Club and Heritage Sandy Springs. Though Herb and Ruth may be transplants to Sandy Springs they have been tireless community advocates for the better part of the last four decades. As a Heritage Sandy Springs volunteer Herb was instrumental in helping move the William-Payne House to its current site. He helped with both the deconstruction and construction of the house while Ruth provided some of the furniture that can be seen in the house today. Herb also was very involved with the construction of the Entertainment Lawn as well as the preservation of the actual Sandy Spring site. Herb and Ruth were both the recipients of Heritage Sandy Springs s Garnett Cobb Outstanding Volunteer Award in 1998. Through their dedication as volunteers to Heritage Sandy Springs Herb and Ruth Daws have helped preserve significant pieces of our historic community. B Social Circle High School 1944 (Social Circle GA) know were hiring because the troops had not returned from war. Herb applied for a job with the Atlanta post office s annex where he worked until he retired [I] took what they offered me and that was in the Atlanta annex which is now still in existence but it is used for a different purpose. My first job was in an operation area where there was no mechanization everything was hand done including casing mail-pigeon holes as we called it--and then you process the first handling after canceling the mail and then you go secondary handling and then we place them on the trains and send out to the stations and run them out to carriers to deliver them to the homes. My first job was the worst job in the postal service and that was temporary indefinite substitute for 65 cents an hour. No rights no annual leave no sick leave. We had a swing around where we went when we didn t have any mail to deliver and we worked at the mail that was available...We d go to the swing and play checkers play cards with some of the other workers and then when the mail came in again they would let you come back in you could come back in and come back on the clock. You d be paid based on the time that you actually picked up. Work for the post office changed drastically during World War II. Organization and mail handling techniques rail schedules and rationing all affected the way Herb and his colleagues prepared the mail including the number of men available after many left their positions to fight overseas. By 1944 roughly 4 000 rail post office workers joined the war effort. Herb--being underage--would not serve his country on the front A Historic Review of the Lost Corner Nature Preserve Prepared by Clarke Otten B November 14th 2011 B Sandy Springs Preservation Society Peggy Miles generous legacy of Lost Corner to the city of Sandy Springs to be used as a showcase of our natural environment much as it existed when our settlers first arrived has turned out to have a hidden bonus feature which perhaps even Ms. Miles was not fully aware of either in nature or significance. The Miles home site was not only similar in nature to what our area was like when settlers first arrived it was likely the actual settler home site of the William McMurtrey family c1850-51. William was born April 1 1809 in Laurens County SC and his wife Mary Katherine was born November 27 1814 in Anderson County SC. They had two children when they moved here Rebecca Elizabeth born Jan. 2 1843 and James Addison born Aug. 15 1837. The land the McMurtreys eventually settled on straddles the boundary of two fractional land lots (17th district lots 128 and 85). Fractional land lots were not distributed in the Georgia land lotteries. Final disposition of fractional lots was left to the state and or county government s discretion. Since many of the land cessions that came from the Native American population were bounded by rivers this meant almost any land lot near a cession boundary was by default near a river and consequently were fractional lots due to the irregular nature of river corridors. Tracking the original deed holders to fractional lots is exceedingly difficult. Many of the bottomlands near rivers had been claimed by squatters prior to the land lotteries and were often deeded directly to these early squatters. Early records show that the Powers family and Ball family appear to have arrived before the land lotteries. The first records of ownership for land along the river show most of it belonging to the Powers family. The Balls settled along two watersheds leading into the river. Both of those watersheds now bear Ball namesakes Ball Creek and Ball Mill Creek. Their Powers and Ball names continue to appear on the 1872 map (see appendices). So we know the Lost Corner land was not part of the lottery distribution. Since this land was not made up of prime bottomlands next to the river it was probably vacant unclaimed land for some time after the lottery. These fractional lots in which the Miles property is located were on the outer edge of the full land lots awarded during the 1821 land lottery that now make up the core of Sandy Springs. We also know at the time of the 1850 Federal Census that William McMurtrey and his family were living in the western part of Cobb County and that William was a school teacher. We next find William listed as a trustee of a church on a deed for land donated by the Wilson Spruill family for a church and school in 37 during the lottery. It also lent itself nicely to farming because it was mostly level and it was watered by a small stream. The farm was referred to as the Falling Branch Place in numerous deeds. The son of William McMurtrey James Addison married the girl from next door Lucinda Johnson in 1857 just months after his parents deaths. His sister Rebecca married a local boy Levy Wilson another neighbor a year later at the age of 15. The 1860 census shows the Johnson family and the Wilson family as Confederate Map of 1864 Oak Grove in 1851. Oak Grove was the original name of our area Fulton was split from DeKalb County in 1853. It would seem likely that for William to suddenly show up in Oak Grove Sandy Springs and become one of the trustees of a church that had just been gifted land for a school and a church that William was probably hired as the first school teacher. Sadly the lives of William and his wife Mary Katherine ended prematurely from illness in August of 1857. They died within 2 days of each other and are both buried in the Sandy Springs United Methodist Church Cemetery. Mary Katherine s tomb bears the earliest burial date to be found in the church graveyard and her husband the second earliest. There may be some graves that predate the McMurtrey s but if they exist they are marked only with fieldstones without inscriptions. The earliest marked graves in the oldest recorded cemetery in Sandy Springs are those of the pioneer McMurtrey family. Where William McMurtrey and his family first settled when they came to Oak Grove is open to conjecture. The land where the McMurtrey children lived during the 1860 census is plainly seen by virtue of their position relative to their neighbors in the census and the placement of families on the 1864 Civil War maps (both Union and Federal. Since the family moved to Oak Grove after the 1850 census and the elder McMurtreys died before the 1860 census (1857) it cannot be demonstrated that parents lived where the children are shown to be living in the 1860 census however it seems a likely conjecture that they all lived in the same place. But one cannot discount that the children moved there from elsewhere in Oak Grove after the parents died in 1857. Where the younger McMurtreys (and possibly the parents) settled was not the prime bottomlands of our larger creeks and the river but they were relatively level to gently sloping lands watered by a natural spring that creates a small stream which eventually becomes the highest waterfall in Sandy Springs when it reaches the Chattahoochee River. It was known historically as Falling Branch . It was an ideal spot for someone who wanted to be close to his job (roughly 2 miles) and yet probably could not afford to buy land from those who had won land lots Union Map of 1864 1872 Map of Sandy Springs Lost Corners continued immediate neighbors of James Addison McMurtrey so we now have his sister and her new husband as well as Addison s parents-in-law living in the general vicinity of Falling Branch (see 1860 census). Names are shown on both Union and Confederate war maps from 1864. The earliest record found by the author of ownership for the land the McMurtreys lived on is a deed from Levi Wilson to James Franklin Trimble in 1861. Since Rebecca married Levy Johnson in 1858 it is possible that the McMurtrey s came to live on what was first the Wilson s land. On the 1860 census Levi Wilson and 2 of the Johnson family members are shown to be farmers and James Addison is listed as a (farm) laborer. Shown to be living in the same location as Addison his wife Lucinda and their first born son are W.R. Evans and Francis Evans. W.R. Evans is also listed as a farm laborer. Little is known at this time who the Evans were or why they were living with the McMurtreys. James Trimble did not own the land long as he died in 1864 during the Civil War at age 34. He is listed as a prisoner of war and may have died while captive. It is interesting to note that Levi Wilson James Trimble and James Addison McMurtrey all served together in Company B of the 9th Battalion known as Leydon s Artillery formerly Capt. William Sentell s Company. James Addison served as a supply officer for the full 4 years of the Civil War. The former grist mill on Marsh Creek just south of the Falling Branch Place Lost Corner is shown on the 1864 map as Sentell s Mill. However Sentell did not live at the Mill. He lived closer to the Wieuca Road vicinity. On the 1860 census a Henry Browning is listed as a Miller however he is not shown to own any property so it may be assumed that Browning and his wife Nancy lived at the Mill and Henry operated it for the Sentells. To the north of the McMurtreys lived a widow Willia Trimble. Her son was James Franklin Trimble however he is not shown to be living with his mother on the 1860 census having been married in 1852. He lived with his wife nearer to Buckhead during the 1860 census. Tremble Road in Sandy Springs is in the general vicinity of James father s original settler farm of 1840. The next deed of record is from William Isom as executor of his father James Isom s estate. It is unknown how or even exactly when the land came to be transferred from Trimble to Isom. Although both served in the War Isom was with the 9th Infantry but he deserted in 1863. James Isom operated a ferry from 1860-66 across the Chattahoochee River just south of Falling Branch near Sope Creek. After his death in 1866 the ferry was operated by his son-in-law John Heard. Today we have Heard s Ferry Drive as a reminder of the old Isom Heard Ferry. William Isom sold the land for his deceased father at auction on the courthouse steps on June 9th 1869 just five years and one day after Sherman s troops first breached the river at Isom s Ferry. The land was bought by a Rebecca Bibb of Morgan County GA for 255. There is no record of Rebecca or any of her family ever having lived at Falling Branch. Bibb only owned the land from June of 1869 until October of the same year when Mrs. Bibb sold the land to a Henry M. Scott for 500 (almost doubling her money). Mr. Scott seems to be involved in many deals of various natures. On the 1870 census Mr. Scott lives in Atlanta and lists his occupation as a land agent . On September 22nd 1876 Mr Scott is noted in the Atlanta Constitution as having recently shown some fine examples of Gold ore from the Fraction Branch Mine in Dawson County which he owns in partnership with Judge W.P. Price. In the 1880 census he still is in Atlanta but now lists his occupation as trader . Mr. Scott does not appear to have ever lived on the land. Although the deeds all describe the farm as being 100 - acres covering the southern parts of land lots 128 and 85 an 1872 official Fulton County map shows Scott only in land lot 128. At that time the lower half land lots 85 and 75 are owned by the Dalrymple family. Dalrymple Road is named after them. It is unknown when settler John Dalrymple arrived but was near the same time that McMurtrey arrived. John is shown to have married a local girl from a close by neighbor family Alcy Jane Ball in 1851. As can be seen on the map the Ball and Power(s) family still own much of the land. In 1877 the senior Scott sells the land to his son Dr. Henry F. Scott for the same amount as he paid in 1869. The same year Dr. Scott draws up a lease agreement with James Addison McMurtrey for a period of five years at the annual rate of 50 per year (see appendices). Dr. Scott owned the land until 1913 however in April of 1902 he deeded a plot of land 35 feet by 40 feet to Lucinda McMurtrey for 1 and Goodwill to be used as a cemetery for herself her late husband who died July 14 1901 her Granddaughter Francis McMurtrey and no other . Beside the no other exclusion there is another odd clause that follows the stipulation of who is to be buried there stating that if the cemetery ceases to be used for these purposes that it shall revert to Dr. Scott. As it turned out Lucinda and her Granddaughter were not buried there and the graveyard has one other noticeable tomb. James 39 Addison is reported to have been buried on the farm instead of at SSUMC where his parents lay because he had become a Salvationist or member of the Salvation Army. Because of his difference in faith he was not buried at the church. Family lore says he was buried in his Salvation Army uniform. This graveyard noticeably includes an unmarked fieldstone crypt and the aforementioned other grave marked by a Woodsman of the World headstone for one William J. Heard who died in 1908. William J. Heard is assumed to be a grandson or some other relative of James Addison McMurtrey. James Addison s daughter married into the Heard family nearby. One grandson that can be directly tied to James Addison and Lucinda is shown to be living with Lucinda in the 1910 census after the death of James Addison. His name is William A Heard (possibly a twin of William J. ) The fieldstone crypt is unmarked but was recorded by the legendary Atlanta historian Franklin Garrett as being that of James Addison McMurtrey in a survey done in 1930. Family lore also claims that several other family members are buried in the McMurtrey Graveyard but it is so overgrown no visible evidence can be currently seen of any others. In fact Addison s grave is barely visible under poison ivy standing nearly three feet tall on top of his crypt. The graveyard seems to be contingent to the current Lost Corner property and possibly it is still a part of Lost Corner (only a careful survey will tell). It is located behind the Davis residence on River Court Parkway. Mrs. Davis has stated that her land plat excludes the graveyard yet the city s GIS map does not indicate an exclusion or a graveyard in that area. As the author understands current laws covering an abandoned graveyard where no family descendent exists or other any other legal body owns the graveyard the responsibility of the graveyard reverts to the local governing body in this case the city of Sandy Springs. McMurtrey family papers indicate that there were at least two cabins on what later became the Miles property. This is consistent with the Miles family tradition of living in one cabin while their house was being built. The current Miles home is built on top of a smaller and earlier foundation and includes an older firelplace with a warming shelf built in a feature that would have not likely been found in a home built around 1920. It is likely that the Miles home reused the foundation and fireplace of one of the earlier McMurtrey cabins while they lived in the other cabin. Peggy Miles while she was still living pointed out where the other cabin stood. A low stone wall possibly a foundation to that cabin can be found in remains of a spring house. For those who are not familiar with a spring house it is a structure usually stone or brick built whenever possible directly over a spring of water. When there is a lack of a springhead one can be built adjacent to a stream with water diverted into the spring house foundation. The inside of the structure would have a floor below the water level and would be flooded by the spring or stream to a depth of 6-12 inches. Raised shelves usually surrounded the flooded area a few inches above the water level. Water either flowed through the spring house if on a creek or out of the spring house if on top of a spring. In either case water flowed constantly across the flooded floor. Water coming directly from a spring is usually is 56-60 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature year round. The structure would be closed and roofed to keep out leaves and animals. This was an early naturally cooled refrigerator for storing perishables. It is very unlikely that the Miles would have used a spring house. Fred Miles reportedly was an electrical engineer and a salesman for what eventually became Ga. Power. The house was wired for electric lights and appliances. In fact the Miles home is reported to be the first house in Sandy Springs with electrical power. It is very unlikely that the Miles family would have not had an electric refrigerator which had been introduced as a home appliance as early as 1916. Adjacent to the spring house ruins are the remains of an electric pump and well which at one time supplied water to the Miles home. It is unknown at this point when the home was supplied with city water. Lost Corner exemplifies the land as it was found by our settler families as well as typifying elements of the actual settler life. The Miles home is a prime example of more wealthy families moving into Sandy Springs during the 1920 s and 1930 s when many of the local farming families finally called it quits as the economy stalled into the last economic depression. The Miles family did not continue to farm the area as the McMurtreys had done instead they let it revert to a more natural state while also introducing many flowers and other specimen plants. B the area she pointed out. Behind the Miles home on the stream can be found the Historic Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church A Church for the Ages An Interview with Horace R. DeLong B Interviewer Burt Terrell B Date of Interview August 22 1994 From long-ago camp meetings to weekly scriptural services found Georgia on February 1 1906 and grew up just north of Sandy Springs across Fulton County today religion and churches have been important in Dunwoody. Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church--Horace s life-long aspects of everyday life to many Sandy Springers since the community s church--was founded in 1829. During the Civil War the Union Army formation. Some of the first faith-based structures to dot the landscape took over the church for use as a troop hospital. Shortly after the war of Fulton County included Sandy Springs Methodist Church First Baptist the DeLong family moved to the area and began attending services Church of Sandy Springs and Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church. These at the church. Horace not only spent his life attending church services churches provided a place of worship renewal and congregation for there but he also went to school there. The wood-framed schoolhouse the growing community. sat across the street from Ebenezer Primitive sits at the church on the left-hand the corner of Roberts Drive side of Spalding Drive. It and Spalding Drive and is was the only school for home to one of the oldest several miles and most of congregations in Sandy the children in Horace s Springs. Many founding family were educated there. families of Dunwoody and Horace recollects What Sandy Springs including the little schooling we got was Williams Ball Holcombe right there at Ebenezer. A Burdett and Jett families little one-room schoolhouse. attended services in each [It] taught first primer to ot h e r s h o m e s b e f o r e the twelfth grade. Didn t the church was formally get much education. We established in 1829. That didn t have a chance to. The Singing School in Oak Grove (today Sandy Springs) is was the year the church s What money they had they believed to have been located at the Sardis Methodist Church on followers petitioned to spent it at Alpharetta you Powers Ferry. The school taught sacred heart singing c. 1886. become a Primitive Baptist know. We couldn t go clear congregation and welcomed to Alpharetta Walk clear up its first reverend Reverend Radford Gunn. Although the actual church there and back just to go to school...Miss Annie Drake taught there and structure has been rebuilt four times over the past 188 years Ebenezer then a Miss Daisy Copeland. Horace remembers that the county used Primitive Baptist continues to be crucial to the lives of countless all its money to build a school in Alpharetta--and that was just too far residents. for them to commute for daily classes. When Horace was a teenager he watched the one-room schoolhouse burn to the ground on a late Horace Richard DeLong was born on Hewlett Road in Milton County Friday night. After I was grown I was riding by through there on Friday 41 night. Had a girl with me. I said if you ll ride out here with me I ll show you where I got my learning. Got around a curve there in sight of the schoolhouse and that thing was a solid blaze from one end to the other. I sat right there and watched it burn to the ground. Way in the night. That was an old landmark recollects Horace. Ebenezer Primitive Baptist operated as a private school for its congregation until 1911 when Dunwoody Elementary opened its doors to serve the community until 1989. While Horace felt as though his education was limited through Ebenezer Primitive Baptist the church provided for him and his family in other ways by serving as the center of the community as well as a connection to others in their area. In fact Horace was lucky enough to meet his future wife Gertrude--or Gerdie--at the church when she was fifteen years old. As Horace tells it Well I tell you I got in Ebenezer Church on Sunday morning fourth Sunday in May and my brother...he and his wife came in there and she [Gertrude] was with her. I never had seen her before. I worked with her daddy about six years before I knew he had a girl a daughter. And I punched my brother...I went up and sat up by him and punched him and said who is that over there He told me. When church broke up I went and found out who she was myself. I wouldn t take his word for it. So we courted each other about three years. Finally got married. During those first three years the couple attended their fair share of Sunday services at Ebenezer. As Gerdie put it I couldn t get rid of him and for fifty-six years the couple continued attending weekly worship services together. Primitive Baptists are known for the simplicity of their worship. No musical instruments are allowed in church so the congregation enjoys Sacred Harp music--a form of a cappella music tradition incorporated into church services since the mid-19th century. Sacred Harp singing is a tradition of choral music that originated in the Deep South in the 1840s. The music is based upon specific shapes that help the musician identify where the note will lay on a scale of music. Each symbol designates a specific tone Fa So La and Mi. Pitch is never absolute as the symbols can indicate multiple notes on the scale. Those who sing this style of music are able to recognize the pitch and style by beginning each song with one person singing the scale in which the notes are indicated. Sacred Harp is more specifically a Protestant or revival-style of music and is always sung a cappella--without the help of any instruments--which made it attractive to rural worshipers in the South. Horace became a part of the Sacred Harp singers when he was ten years old. He recalls One time we was at an all-day singing over there at the Baptist Church in Roswell Sacred Harp. We didn t...hadn t tried to sing any out you know my twin brother Dorris and me. We was sitting together in back of the house. Fellow got up and made an announcement. Said We re going to have a song sung by two little boys sitting in back of the house. The house was full of people back then. I looked at Dorris and he looked at me. Horace and Dorris DeLong. I felt like going under the bench. We went on and got up there. We sung on song. A kind of mess we made out of it Horace and his brothers all participated in the local Sacred Harp singing group at Big Creek Church--which drew participants from all over the area including Calhoun Dalton and Lawrenceville. This group met once a month on the Friday night before the third Sunday when they would sing and worship for two hours. Horace remembers Tom McGraw as the most influential Fa-So-La singer He was out here at our singing. Bass singer. He s got a bass voice that won t quit. He talks bass. He knows that Sacred Harp singing. He had a bunch of his uncles I reckon. Tom McGraw and...they wrote a lot of songs in that bunch. Horace eventually taught his own children to sing in the group too and the Sacred Harp awarded them with a plaque (Horace his son and daughter) for their efforts to teach the community. But it was Horace s brother Dorris who excelled at the practice of Fa-So-La singing. All of my brothers could sing it and did do it. But...see...there s his name Dorris W. DeLong. He knew a lot about it. He...I just learned enough to sort of get by with it. He had a lot [of] spare time. He worked for himself. He was a painter and rainy days he d get in there and sing all day and study that stuff...See he d sit down and think he was going to try to write a song and he couldn t think of nothing but he d get busy doing something else. It d come to him as fast as he could write recalls Horace. The tradition has continued in the DeLong family. Horace has several grandchildren who also partook in Sacred Harp singing and one grandson who travels the globe teaching the a cappella choral tradition. Horace lived in the area his entire life. He and Gerdie moved to 1035 Pitts Road in Sandy Springs in 1965.He held several small jobs in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody before taking a job with the city. Horace remembers I went to Atlanta from up here and didn t know how to do anything. The first little job I ever had was helping a plumber cutting and threading pipe. I did that about two weeks. The first job I ever had. I take that back. I worked for McDougald [sic] when they built Roswell Road over here. Drove a pair of mules and wagons. Hauling rock. I went to Atlanta in 1929 and went to work for the city. Made thirty-four years with the city. Horace drove a truck for the City of Atlanta for fourteen years and then went on to become the district inspector in the Garbage Department. Horace supervised ten trucks and thirty-five men to ensure proper sanitation of his district in Atlanta. Horace DeLong s life was shaped and enriched by Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church. He grew up attending weekly services in the church garnered what education they offered until it burned down met the love of his life and married her there. Many of his relatives--from his great grandparents to his parents--are buried in the adjacent cemetery. Horace passed away January 10 1999 and was laid to rest in the cemetery of the church where so much of his identity was formed. Gertrude joined him on November 6 2012. Ebenezer remains in operation today and continues to welcome visitors every Sunday for worship and Sacred Harp music at 10 30 am. B The Oldest House in Sandy Springs B Written by Clarke Otten B Our tale starts with the land Lottery of 1821 which distributed Creek Indian lands that were ceded that very same year by Chief William McIntosh. It was the fourth lottery of liberated Creek lands in less than 90 years since James Oglethorpe founded the colony of Georgia on the coast at Savannah. Part of that newly opened land became the heart of Sandy Springs. The pressure of the early settlers to expand into the newly opened territory resulted in much of the land being settled by the early 1830 s. The 1830 census showed almost 1400 families living on Dekalb County s Chief William McIntosh roughly 1700 land lots. However in most cases throughout the state the winners of the land lots seldom were the ones to settle on the land. Most of the original winners of the land lots subsequently sold their lots to others who wished to settle on the new frontier. Many of those settlers built log cabins and developed the land while promising to pay mortgages on future production of the land. One of those log settler cabins still stands today. Land Lot (LL) 134 consisting of 202 1 2 acres was won by Robert Wynn from Warren County Ga. but Wynn did not settle there. At first the land was part of 17th district of Henry County but settlers were arriving so fast that Henry was split into smaller counties within the first year (1822). At that point the future Sandy Springs became part of Dekalb County. The area continued to blossom with ever more settlers until Dekalb was also split in 1853 and our portion became part of what is today the 17th district of Fulton County. The chain of ownership for LL134 cannot be documented prior to 1863 due to the losses of records in the Dekalb Cour thouse fire i n D e c e m b e r 1842 and in the Fulto n C o unt y C o ur t ho us e in Original survey of the 17th district July 1864 when of Henry County August 24th 1821 General Sherman burned Atlanta. Somewhere along the line James F. Alexander of Atlanta bought the property. Records show that in 1863 he sold it to Robert T. Williams for 300. Mr. Williams sold the western half of the land lot to John Wesley Mitchell (1817-1893) in 1866 however the Mitchells had already been living on the land for some time. The Mitchell house along with the Williams house are shown on both Confederate and Union military maps of 1864. We know that Mr. Alexander did not live on the property as he was shown in the late 1840 s to be living at the intersection of Peachtree Rd. and Luckie St. in what is now downtown Atlanta. Mr. Alexander 43 was a prosperous real estate investor. John was probably paying rent to Mr. Alexander and then to Mr. Williams on his nascent farm since he shows up as a Tenant Farmer on the 1860 census. Like many of the other immigrants to Sandy Springs John Wesley Mitchell was from South Carolina. He was born in 1817 and migrated as a child with his parents Stephen (1785-1850) and Mary J. Narramore (1792-1850) to the Sandy Springs area sometime between 1820 and 1830. Research has shown the majorit y of the settlers in our area came from the western parts of South Carolina. This is no surprise inasmuch as South Carolina was the closest neighboring Confederate Map of 1864 state. These settlers were closer to our area than were the Georgia immigrants living at the coast in Savannah. Also they already had experience in developing frontier lands and dealing with the native Indians who were being rapidly displaced which is something with which the Europeans arriving at the coast had no experience. John shows up as an adult in the official records for the first time when he marries Jemima Yarborough (1815-1883) on January 11th 1843 at the age of 26. His wife was 2 years older than he was. John and Jemima were typical of many of the settlers who came to the frontier. Neither would have had the benefit of an education as schools were not yet part of this undeveloped territory and both were probably illiterate. State schools were not founded in Georgia until 1866. It is uncertain where John met Jemima since there are no Yaboroughs recorded in Dekalb up through the 1850 census. Perhaps the families knew each other in South Carolina. Jemima s parents are listed as being born in South Carolina. Records indicate that many of the settler families in Sandy Springs knew and intermarried with others of the settler families before they even migrated to our area. However Jemima may have been related to John W. Yarborough who was the second preacher of record to preach at the newly formed Sandy Springs Methodist Church and would have been a circuit rider. The Mitchells are recorded as one of ten families who first gathered at the brush arbor for worship in the later part of the 1840s. Services were held at 11 00 AM one Saturday and Sunday a month. Incidentally it is curious to note that many of the settler families came from the area around Anderson SC. Just outside Anderson is a small unincorporated town also known as Sandy Springs. John officially shows up again on the 1850 census as 70 in the Cross Keys district. It is probable that he built his log cabin for he and his wife in the early 1840 s as some of the structural parts of the cabin are made of circular sawn lumber which was not produced until some time in the early 1840 s. However it is possible that he rebuilt the cabin at that time using much of the original log walls from an earlier cabin perhaps built as early as the 1820 s. The Mitchells settled in what was just the backwoods of the Cross Keys Dekalb County GA. The fertile land and numerous springs in the area would first be named Oak Grove Hammond and then Burdall before it became known as Sandy Springs. The Mitchells were typical of the poor and often landless farmers who did not live on the prime bottomlands around Marsh Creek Long Island Creek and Nancy Creek. Rather they lived near the ridgeline next to what was first known as the Lawrenceville Road and then later Mount Vernon Highway. This land was not as flat was more rocky and was further from the fresh water springs and creeks. Consequently raising crops was more difficult. They were never wealthy. Surviving tax records show them only paying a poll tax. The 1850 census shows that the Mitchell s had only fourteen acres under cultivation growing corn oats wheat and sweet potatoes. John relied on 2 oxen to help himself and his sons till his fields. Mt. Vernon Mitchell Williams He also had Union Map of 1864 one horse two milk cows and a small herd of swine. Obviously he raised what would have been sufficient for his own family but that was about all. The 1855 Fulton County digest showed that three of his children probably the oldest were being educated by the Poor School Fund. While they probably did not receive the best education it would have been more than their parents had received. John and Jemima had six children over the years. Jemima died December 4th 1883 and John died almost ten years later on October 1st 1893. They are buried at Crossroads Baptist Church Cemetery on Mount Vernon Hwy. where four of their six children are also buried. Winter View of the Mitchell Cabin from Mt. Vernon in the early 1900 s The Oldest House in Sandy Springs continued Children of John and Jemima Mitchell Their first child William Harris Mitchell was born in the Mitchell log cabin on January 16th 1844. William turned out to be a joiner and a leader. Family tradition tells of William chopping wood when he decided to join the army. He purportedly told his father John Wesley he would finish choppin wood when he returned from the war. His father left the ax in the log where William buried it and he found it still waiting for him when he returned home. However romantic this story may seem it is unlikely the ax would have remained in a log for the four years he was gone. Even if the family s intention was to leave it there it would almost surely been stolen when the Union forces occupied the ridge of Mount Vernon nearby for a week and half. Sherman himself headquartered July 17th and 18th 1864 near what would become the Crossroads Baptist church after the war. Although no dairies or letters from the Mitchell s have been found telling of the war passing through Sandy Springs letters from the nearby Jett family relate how the soldiers searched all the houses in the vicinity regularly for food and valuables stealing all they found and killing all the livestock. Willaim volunteered for the Confederate Army and served as a Private in Evan s Brigade Gordon s Division Jackson Corps of Lee s Army of Northern Virginia. The armies took their name from where they spent most of the war and not where they originated. Unfortunately the stone carver did not quite get the all details straight on his tombstone. The Muster Roll of Company A 38th Regiment of the Georgia Volunteer Infantry shows that William volunteered on March 1st 1861. He was wounded three times before finally being captured. He was first wounded at the 2nd battle of Manassas on August 28th 1862 but no details are given on the wounds. He was wounded in the left shoulder and lung at Winchester VA on June 13th 1863 and in the foot and left hand at Spotslyvania VA on May 18 1864. He was then captured at High Bridge VA on April 6th 1865 and then paroled at Farmville VA on April 21st 1865. There is no record of how long it took him to get home. William was married twice but lost his first wife after 5 years. He married his first wife Martha Elizabeth Rice (1848-1870) in 1865 after he returned from the war. They had 3 children. Their firstborn Laura only lived to be two years old. Then his wife Martha tragically burned to death while making soap. Despite all the adversity in his life William was an active Freemason and would later become one of the leaders at Sandy Springs Methodist Church (est. 1848). Franklin Garret s Necrology of cemeteries around Atlanta records on Aril 17th 1931 that the inscription on the cornerstone of the church built in 1920 showed W.H. Mitchell as Chairman of the Building Committee and Chairman of the Trustees. After losing his first wife Mitchell (pictured at the right) remarried two years later to Loduska Arcain Reed on January 25th 1872. Arcain was the daughter of Nathaniel Reed (1808-1892) and Celicia Spruill Reed (1810 -1889) (Loduska Arcain and both her parents are buried at S.S. Methodist Church along with Mitchell and his first wife Martha). Arcain s parents had built a house about 1838 on Long Island Drive near where 285 now passes over it. At some point William Harris moved into the old Reed home along with his wife and the two surviving daughters from his first marriage. He would stay there until his death and raise seven more children. That house was moved further north on Long Island Drive to preserve it in the early 1960 s when I-285 was built. It still exists today and although it has been greatly remodeled it is still known as the Reed-Mitchell House. James N. Mitchell was born in April 11 1845 but little is known about him. He shows up on the 1880 census as still living at home and working as a farm laborer. His 1890 census records were lost in a great fire in Washington as so many were. By the 1900 census well after both had parents had died he was shown to be living with his brother Stephen Jasper and their family. He was still living with his brother on the 1920 census. There is no known record of marrying and having children. He died March 22 1922 and is buried in the Crossroads Cemetery. Stephen Jasper Mitchell (18471937 buried at Crossroads Cemetery) followed and had four children of his own in his 90 year life span. The graves of his wife and three of the children can also be found at the Crossroads Cemetery. T h e n c a m e J o h n M. Mitchell who died single and childless at 23 years of age. (1849-1872 buried at S.S. Methodist). There is no record of the cause of death but the loss had to have taken not only an emotional toll but also greatly reduced the productivity of the farm as his father would have been 55 at the time of his death. 45 Next was Hiram Garrett Mitchell (1851-1930 buried in the Crossroads Cemetery) who married and had two children. Hiram was an Elder at the nearby Crossroads Primitive Baptist church. He lived to be almost 80. Martha C. Mitchell (1855-1883) was the youngest and only girl there are no records extant that shows she married or had children but next to the graves of Jemima Yarborough Mitchell and John Wesley Mitchell is the grave of Martha C. McDowell which is marked Dau. of J.Y. & J.W. Mitchell . Next to her grave lies the grave of Nora Y. McDowell born January 2nd 1883 died April 1884 so it would seem that perhaps she did marry and have one child. Martha died at the age of 28 and her daughter barely over 1 year. Although no records have been found stating it it would seem likely that the deaths of Martha on November 5th 1883 Jemima Mitchell (her mother) on December 4th 1883 and then her daughter in April 1884 were possibly all related to illness in the family. The Old Home Place Changes Hands After the death of John Wesley Mitchell in October 1893 the old home place and most of the property was put up for sale. The eastern half of Land Lot 134 belonging to neighbor Robert Williams sold to a real estate investor from Atlanta in the spring 1894. He must have been happy with his purchase because early in 1895 he bought the majority the western half of LL 134 from the Mitchell estate. A year later he bought the balance of the property from the Mitchell son William Harris Mitchell. Over the next ten years he bought land extending down Mt Vernon to the west nearly to the Crossroads Baptist Church in land lot 165. In all he bought over 350 acres in Sandy Springs before he died. Although the investor and his family used it as a country retreat he never once called it home. The investor s name was James Alexander Tiller. Who was James Alexander Tiller James father John Tiller (1795-1879) came from Oglethorpe County Georgia and was an early settler in Atlanta long before Atlanta became the state capital in 1868. He officially shows up when he and his wife buy property near the new Macon & Western Railroad tracks (see box). T hey m ove d into their Atlanta home in May 1847 about three years after John Wesley Mitchell and his wife The Tiller family predates the Mitchells for settling in Georgia. James Tiller s Grandfather and Grandmother on his father s side (John Tiller Sr. (1758 1829) and Nancy Hopper (1765-1837)) moved from Virginia and settled in Oglethorpe County Georgia sometime between 1780 and 1790. J o hn Jr. w as b or n in Oglethorpe County and was married to a woman only known as Francis. Little is known about Francis other than they had 7 children including James and according to the 1850 census lived in Atlanta. The 1860 Census shows John and only the two youngest children Mary Frances and James plus two other adult females Winey or Viney and one Mary Jones living together in Atlanta. No record has been found of what happened to Francis and the other children. It is probable that Winey move into their log cabin in Sandy Springs. The Tillers had lived here for some period before buying as his obituary notes he lived in Atlanta when it was still called Marthasville (18431847). The financial panic of 1837 is reported to have struck Oglethorpe County quite hard and he may have moved to Atlanta as a result. There were plenty of opportunities in Atlanta because the railroads had begun operating about ten years earlier. They lived at the corner of what was then known as West Peters and Thompson Streets. Today it is called Spring and Trinity Streets. Today as Trinity continues west across Spring St. it is still called Peters St. Railroad tracks still pass by just west of this intersection but note in the 1871 birds eye view below that the Macon and Western was not in what became known as the Railroad Gulch along Alabama street. The Oldest House in Sandy Springs continued Viney was the widow of John s brother Elisha who was recorded as Atlanta s first murder victim on January 21st 1853. Ms. Jones lists her occupation on the census as prostitute her relationship to the family is unknown. John Jr. was living in Atlanta when he volunteered for service in the Confederate Army on March 1862 (Co J 42nd Infantry). John remarried again after the war to Lucinda Myrick in December 1866. James father John died in 1879. His stepmother died 20 years later in 1899. In the city directory of 1874 James (left) shows up working as a bartender at a neighborhood bar owned by William Blasingham located at 94 W. Peters street. By 1876 he is shown as owner of the bar. James seems to have devoted much of his early adult life to building his business and caring for his ageing stepmother. He does not get married until 1887 at age 44 to Lucia Arnold. They had 5 children the last born in August of 1897. After the death of his father James became more active in the business world and was mentioned by a leading real estate salesman as being an active client. Although his father left no record of wealth perhaps there was some unrecorded inheritance that led James to begin engaging in deals outside of his saloon. He also became quite litigious usually being named as plaintiff but also on occasion also as defendant over the following years. Within a decade of his father s death James is recorded moving into a new home on Hood Street with his stepmother and then two years later they move into another home on Rawson Street. Both moves seem upwardly mobile. From 1885 to 1887 Fulton County went dry forcing James to look for new opportunities. However he reopens his saloon in 1887 and shortly after takes on a partner in his saloon Ike Suttles. He later petitions the city to have the liquor license revert back to just his name. Shortly after his s tepmother s death in 1899 he really begins investing in real es t ate heavily and later wins a settlement in another lawsuit awarding him 26 acres on Turner s Ferry Road. But all this would suddenly end when he sickened and died in February 1908 leaving his wife Lucia and their five children to fend for themselves. Lucia quickly began downsizing and selling off real estate. They moved to West Peachtree St near 3rd St within a year of James death then again a year later in 1909 to home on North Ave. near Peachtree St. They moved again in 1912 to 486 Spring St. before finally moving to the old Mitchell cabin in 1914. This was a big step down from the houses where they had lived in Atlanta. H o w e v e r Lucia sons James and Fr a n k q ui c k l y s e t to work expanding and upgrading the house using salvaged ho u s e p ar t s f r o m other buildings. The eventual result was an expanded two-stor y craftsman style house that enveloped the log cabin leaving only three sides visible externally and two of those were shadowed by the porch that wrapped around the house. By the late teens Lucia would be living in the house with her two youngest children Frank and Mary Frances. Frank had met a local Sandy Springs girl Vivian Hildebrand. They married in 1918 and set up housekeeping with Lucia. In 1920 their oldest son Frank Jr. was born in the old home place. In an interesting twist of fate William Harris Mitchell son of the original inhabitants John and Jemima Mitchell marries another of the Hildebrand girls Clyde Clio Hildebrand (see box). Now the two families Mitchell and Tiller are linked through the old home place and by marriage. Life seems to be moving on smoothly until the premature death of Lucia s son John D. Tiller in 1923. This seems to have precipitated the division of the 350 plus acres between Lucia and the remaining children. Lucia kept the original home place and a surrounding fiftyacre parcel. At the end of the decade as the US began to fall into 47 the depression dif ficult times continued for the family. In 1932 financial difficulties finally forced Lucia to mor tgage the home place for money to live on. Then things got worse Lucia was unable to meet the payment on the mor tgage and the loan was foreclosed in 1936. The old home place was on the market again. In 1937 it was sold to a family with a similar name Tuller. They did lit tle to the house and resold it again in 1945. The next owners however were different. The McClarins made ends meet by operating an illegal whisky still in the outbuildings. Federal agents raided the house in 1948. The McClarins must have been tipped off because there was no one home and the McClarins were never seen again. But what the agents did find was a 110 gallon stacked barrel still a 10 gallon double boiler a copper condenser an 8 horsepower upright steam boiler 28 - 200 gallon fermenters 2 950 gallons of mash and 750 gallons of syrup. The moonshine operation at left is similar in size and equipment to the one in our story. No known pictures exist of the actual operation at the Mitchell-Tiller house. The house and still were seized by the Federal Revenuers and were eventually put up for auction on the courthouse steps later that year. Surprisingly the still and mash are also listed as part of the land and goods being auctioned. Mary Frances Tiller the baby of the Tiller family had a husband who worked as a lawyer in town and he discovered the auction notice. An agreement was worked out between family members and the house was bought back by Frank Tiller Jr. through his brother-in-law in 1949. Being born in the house Frank Jr. had a sentimental attachment to the home. Frank had married Janet Pearson in 1945 and his 25-year military career saw them living in different stations throughout the world. But in the interim Frank s parents moved back into the house where their marriage had begun 31 years earlier. The death of Frank s father in 1966 and then his mother in 1974 coupled with his own retirement led to Frank and Janet moving into the house in the 1970 s. They lived there through Frank s death in 1990. In 1993 Janet and her son Steve began the development around the old home place of Tiller Walk an upscale development of large homes off Glen Errol Dr. In 2002 the decision to tear down the old house had been reached. (Frank and Janet below.) So many event s had passed in this old home over the last 150 plus years that sacrificing t he log c abin to development seemed too much to bear. Foresight and the determination of Janet and Steve saw to the salvation of the original log cabin. The old house was carefully demolished while leaving the cabin still intact. Once the additions to the old house had been removed the log cabin stood once again as it had when it was originally built somewhere between 1820 and 1840. Once the cabin was exposed it was painstakingly disassembled and stacked to the side while the new Tiller home was being built. A new foundation was laid about one hundred feet away and the cabin was lovingly reassembled with additions to the upper floor and the backside making it much as it had been when the James Tiller first bought it nearly one hundred years earlier. Thanks to Janet and Steve Tiller the cabin has been saved for p os ter it y and t he enjoyment of later generations. B Saddling Up to Aging in Sandy Springs An Interview with Dorothy Benson B Interviewer Melissa Swindell and Rhonda Lopatin B Date of Interview November 30 2016 For those who were fortunate enough to have experienced it early Sandy Springs was a fascinating place. The community s proximity to the Chattahoochee River and sprawling farm land allowed residents to indulge in many outdoor activities such as fishing and horseback riding down the road before it became congested with today s heavy traffic. Especially during the period when Sandy Springs began to boom new residents help e d d evelo p local commerce and establish communal activities that would p ros p er as t he town continued to grow. One resident Dorothy Benson emulates the evolution of Sandy S p r i n g s hav i n g helped create the town s ver y own Po ny Clu b a n d eventually leading the development of the Fulton county senior citizen centers. Having moved to Sandy Springs after her husband relocated them from Florida Dorothy dedicated herself to allowing her children and other young Sandy Springers the opportunity to participate in all that the community had to offer. Dorothy C. Benson spent the early portion of her life traveling around the United States with her family. She was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and raised in Miami Florida. She attended school in Florida throughout her childhood until she was old enough to travel to North Carolina for boarding school. Dorothy met her husband in the 1940s. The newlyweds briefly lived in Oklahoma before her h u s b a n d s N a v y c areer relo c ate d them to San Diego where he was part of the Pacific Fleet during World War II. Dorot hy held several jobs during the 1940s including working for the telephone c o m p a ny b r i e f l y d ur ing t he w ar. Horses near Mount Vernon Highway in Sandy Springs circa 1940s. After 1946 Dorothy and her husband moved back to Miami where he began his career in the cattle industry. After her husband was appointed head of the Cattle Association of Atlanta they relocated to the Atlanta area settling in Sandy Springs. They had three daughters Barbara Linda and Diana. Dorothy s husband died at the young age of 45 due to 49 be when you get almost to where you re at the Olympic rider stage. Dorothy pioneered the Sandy Springs Pony Club on eight acres she owned on Peachtree Dunwoody Road. The club would routinely meet at the barn she had built behind her house and the members would ride around the area. Dorothy recollects [The] house over there on Glenridge we would ride by there through the woods. They had all woods out there and The Glenns had a shooting range up on the hill which is no longer a hill...It s been removed and big buildings have been put up there but we used to ride all up through there. They gave us permission and they had several small lakes on the property and they gave us permission to swim our horses in them. So we would swim our horses and what we would do is come over there and take the saddles off and just leave the bridles on. Take them so we wouldn t get the saddles wet by swimming Cattle ranch on Mount Vernon Highway and Glennridge Drive in Sandy Springs. complications from lung cancer. Dorothy remembers I still contributed [it] to his time in the service. [He] smoked and of course they [the U.S. military] encouraged smoking you know when you were in the service. They would give you free cigarettes and things like that. And I mean we just... that was a nice thing they thought they were doing giving you these things you know. And of course it just encouraged them to smoke more and that s what happened. And it ended. Doctor said it was directly because of his smoking. Dorothy raised all three of her girls in Sandy Springs and was an active participant in the girls extracurricular activities--especially their riding training and caring for horses. She encouraged them to partake in scouts where Dorothy was a local troop leader. She also motivated them to participate in the Atlanta Pony Club. Around this time many Pony Clubs began popping up throughout the United States beginning in 1954. The focus of the clubs was to foster sportsmanship leadership and horsemanship by teaching proper horse care and riding techniques for young children. The United States Pony Clubs Inc. was based on a similar British model that began as early as 1929. Dorothy was one of the first to start a Pony Club in Sandy Springs where she taught several generations of children to care for and ride horses. Dorothy recalls And we had about eight acres out there and a barn and a riding ring and the Pony Club would meet at my place every...every week every Sunday afternoon and then we got up teams and things and they have ratings in Pony Club that start from D-ratings and they go up through A-ratings and the A-rating is a top rating and that would Dorothy Benson with Georgia State Representative Chuck Martin. them with the saddles on but we used to pretend that we had fox hunts through there. Dorothy lived in Sandy Springs for almost forty years before moving to Alpharetta where she bought a small farm and continued teaching children horsemanship through the Pony Club. Dorothy remained an active member of the Pony Club until after her daughters finished school and moved throughout the state. Once her daughters were grown Dorothy noticed a growing problem within the aging Sandy Springs community--the lack of social activities and gathering sites for senior citizens. Consequently Dorothy began her crusade almost forty years ago to ensure that the children she taught through the Pony Club would have a place in which to remain active once they reached her age and became senior residents of Sandy Springs. Saddling Up to Aging in Sandy Springs continued Sandy Springs with its beautiful landscapes and active residents has grown into a rich and vibrant community over the past century and continues to be a destination for new residents and tourists. What many people may not realize however is that more than 30 percent of Sandy Springs s population is over the age of 45 and as much as 10 percent of its residents are over the age of 65. One resident Dorothy Benson was concerned that as area residents aged their abilities to take part in some of the more robust activities in Sandy Springs dwindled. This left many area citizens without anything to do outside their homes. After raising her children and teaching area children through the Pony Club and scouts Dorothy turned her sights towards ensuring that every citizen in the community--especially those over the age of 55--would be offered vibrant and interesting activities appropriate for their golden years. Many people have seen the name Benson on the senior center located in Sandy Springs but not many know that it is named after Dorothy who worked for decades to have it built. Once her three daughters were grown Dorothy noticed that as an active senior there were limited activities for her to participate in. This observation led her to the Fulton County Council on Aging and its mission to ensure that active seniors were welcomed and included in the Sandy Springs community. Dorothy began working with Fulton County nearly forty years ago to ensure that dynamic Sandy Springs seniors such as herself would have somewhere to go and stay active. Dorothy joined the Fulton County Commission on Aging after she and several other community members including Diane Williamson and Father H.J.C. Bowden recognized the need for a senior center in the community. The Sandy Springs senior community was growing and Dorothy thought They was figuring out that there was really nothing in Fulton County for seniors. And there should be some sort of centers other than these basements and churches. That s all there was. Nobody wanted to go to them and they were only allowed to use them when something with the church wasn t being used. And so they started what they called the Fulton County Council on Aging and I joined that. The Fulton County Council on Aging promoted social services for both children and seniors. The goal was to ensure that youth at risk as well as seniors ages 55 and above would be made aware of and have access to services. For seniors this included services that would help promote their longevity and independence in their later years. The council approached Fulton County Commissioner Michael Hightower with the charge that he needed to do something for seniors across the Atlanta community-- and he did. Hightower instructed the council to research senior centers throughout the country. Several different committees were formed within the council as seniors caretakers and government officials joined together to research how to best create and maintain a community center in Sandy Springs. Dorothy recollects One of us was to look into housing. One was to look into our nutrition. One was to look into transportation. Dorothy was charged with researching senior centers to better understand the variety of activities nutritional assistance and social services frequently offered to seniors. She wrote to senior centers throughout the United States to gather information. Dorothy discovered that the Cadillac of senior centers was based in Baltimore Maryland. [They] invited us to just come and see what they had so we said We d love to go. So we rented a bus and all and forty of us got on the bus ...and [we] rode to Baltimore and visited the center. They had several centers as a matter of fact. They had one in downtown Baltimore and one in the county recalls Dorothy. That center would become the base model for Fulton County s senior centers. Dorothy and the committee took note of the Baltimore center s cafeteria gym and woodworking shop. 51 As Dorothy remembers the center also offered lawyers visits to assist Baltimore area s seniors with any legal matters they may have had. Dorothy and her counterparts returned to Fulton County to consolidate the information they had collected before presenting their plans to County Manager John Stanford. According to Dorothy he had just one question Well how much does it cost to run one of these things for a month or a year or whatever It seems now that s the one thing we didn t ask. After more research and several phone calls the first Fulton County community center--the Bowden Center--was under way in East Point. Fulton County awarded several grants to Dorothy and the group as well as paid for their education to learn how to run a non-profit organization. Dorothy eventually became chairman of the board and began preparing for t he gr and opening of their first senior center in East Point. The group purchased an old church and re novate d the building to accommodate the new senior center. Dorothy and Jim Paine--who followed Dorothy as chairman--prepared for Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to visit Atlanta and speak at the grand opening celebration. Dorothy recalls [When] we re getting ready to have our grand opening after the building was to be finished we asked Newt Gingrich if he would come and be our guest speaker for the program. He was Speaker of the House at that time. So we notified Fulton County that he was gonna be our speaker for the grand opening. And we got a letter back from this particular person that worked down there saying well she was sorry but we couldn t have Newt Gingrich. We would have to write him and un-invite him tell him he could come but he couldn t speak. Now can you imagine us writing the Speaker of the House of the United States third in line for president You may come but you can t speak And of course Jim wrote back and told her Well he was going to be our speaker so just plan on that. So at this time I was going over to the North Point Mall every morning and walking and it was my habit to stop by the center...to see how they were doing. And this one morning I came by and everybody was standing out on the parking lot. The seniors and workers...everybody. And I said What are you doing out here in the parking lot They said Well when we got here soandso from Fulton County had changed all the locks on the doors because we had asked Newt Gingrich to speak. Dorothy would not stand for it. She called Fulton County Commission Chairman Mitch Skandalakis who then called the woman at Fulton County. They had the locks changed back within 15 minutes. The workers continued their renovations and Newt Gingrich spoke at the grand opening of the senior center. The county has since built four centers each named after a significant participant in the process of getting the centers underway. The first center was built in East Point and was named after Father Bowden who was instrumental in guiding the vision of the centers from the start. Father Bowden was in his 90s by the time they broke ground on the project and passed away before the center opened. The land for that initial center had been donated so they only had to build the structure for the center. The second center was named after Emma Darnell s mother and the third was named after Dorothy due to her significant involvement in bringing the center to fruition. The fourth center is downtown and named after Helen Mills a longtime advocate of the community. The county had plans for a fifth center but unfortunately ran out of funds before that final project had begun. Today Dorothy is perhaps best known for the popular senior community center that bears her name--the Dorothy C. Benson Senior Multipurpose Complex. The senior community continues to enjoy the work of Dorothy and the Fulton County Commission on Aging. According to Dorothy the complex still hosts its annual Golden Games--or Senior Olympics--when local residents gather to partake in field games prior to the actual Olympics. The Dorothy C. Benson Senior Complex and the other senior centers in Fulton County continue to be thriving institutions that support the physical mental and spiritual health of all senior citizens in the community. The complex boasts planned activities in education hobbies health and wellness swimming recreation and more. In fact the center has become so popular that the front desk staff has to periodically check user I.D. cards to make sure those residents coming in are over 55 years old The center was designed for energetic active seniors and at 95 Dorothy still drives over to the center from Alpharetta to engage in some of its daily activities--including her favorite 2 hot breakfast--that she worked so hard to secure. B The Humble Rise of Historic Glenridge Hall An Interview with Wilbur and Hilda Glenn B Interviewer Garnett Cobb B Date of Interview 1994 One of the most historic homes in Sandy Springs was demolished in April 2015. Glenridge Hall a 12 000-square-foot Tudor-style manor was construc ted by T h o m a s K . Glenn beginning in 1929 and was completed in 1933 amid t he Great Depression. The Glenn family enjoyed Glenridge Hall and its many extravagances for many year s until the family sold the property i n t h e 195 0 s . The site which originally included a f ar mhouse was eventually designated as an historic landmark. Wilbur Glenn son of Thomas K. Glenn and Wilbur s wife Hilda remember the property was more than just a weekend getaway...it was home. Glenridge Hall s beginnings can be traced back to 1915 when Wilbur s father Thomas Glenn Major R. Dregg Glenn and his sister Mrs. Walter Clifton bought a farm with a farmhouse on Old Log Road in Sandy Springs. Thomas had begun his career as an executive secretary at the Atlanta Electric Street Car Company which is known today as G e o r g i a Po w e r. He finis hed his career as president and chairman of Tr u s t C o m p a n y of Georgia which is now SunTrus t Bank. Being the most successful of the three Thomas b oug ht out his partners and began to consolidate land around t he old homestead. Wilbur recollects Father bought them out and he s t ar te d adding to the property about 400 acres out here. And as far as Glenridge Drive is concerned it was formally the Old Log Road. I have seen deeds to that effect. The homestead stood out on a ridge thus giving Wilbur a natural name for the future mansion. The [way] it got to be Glenridge Drive was that [my brother] Wadley had come out here to survey this land over towards where they were going to put Glenridge Hall. He did it and I 53 At this time the Glenn family was living in a house on the corner of Myrtle and 8th Streets in Atlanta. Wilbur his brother Wadley father Thomas and mother used the farmhouse and Glenridge property as a weekend summer home prior to the mansion s construction. Wilbur recalls We had a farmhouse there where Abernathy Road is now. It was an open hallway about 15 or 20 feet wide with four rooms on each side. And the tank in one room that furnished the water which was furnished by a ram. Down there you could hear that ram going at night. The hydraulic ram or hydram is a water pump sometimes used in rural areas where water pressure tends to be very low. The hydram transports water to a destination higher in elevation than the water source. In the Glenn s situation the hydram became one of the most useful technologies to supply water to the farmhouse and then later the mansion. Wilbur claims [I] don t know how it does but it pumps water up that hill. The boys Thomas and their mother would routinely stay in the farmhouse on the weekends until mother passed away in November 1914. When Thomas remarried his second wife Elizabeth he began construction on the historic Tudor-style mansion. Once the mansion was constructed it operated as both a weekend getaway as well as a home for Wilbur his wife Hilda and his brother and sister-in-law Wadley and Frances. Wilbur only lived in the home for nine months. Hilda remembers [We] married in September and Pearl Harbor was in December. Shortly after that Wilbur went down to Florida for officer s training school. So we stayed on the base during that time. While in Florida we had help at Glenridge Hall. Wilbur had flowers planted all out on the terrace. He had people to come out and plant all the landscaping. It was just real beautiful. When Wilbur and Hilda returned from Florida they lived in the mansion long enough to build their own home permanently leaving the house in 1951 for Wadley Frances Thomas and Elizabeth Glenn to inhabit. Despite the 2015 demolition of Glenridge Hall the legacy of Hilda and Wilbur continues to live on through the flowers that he planted for her. The flowers were relocated to the gardens at Heritage Sandy Springs and continue to thrive in their new home. Glenridge Hall s beginnings can be traced back to 1915 when Wilbur s father Thomas Glenn Major R. Dregg Glenn and his sister Mrs. Walter Clifton bought a farm with a farmhouse remarked to him that we or they ought to name this Glenridge Hall G-l-e-n-n I had that in mind recalls Wilbur. Taking a cue from his son Thomas K. Glenn had the county change the name of the road from Old Log Road to Glenridge Drive. N download transcript M A Nurse on Horseback An Interview with Annie Heard B Date of Interview June 10 1976 Before Sandy Springs became a series of paved roads and large ranchAtlanta from the Confederates. Let me tell you something...I found style homes it was a rural heavily-wooded area with nothing but this mini ball in the garden. It must have been shot out of a cannon dirt roads connecting a string of small family-owned farms. Farmers when Scofield s army crossed the river from Cobb to Fulton. A lot of who cultivated crops as well as managed livestock mills and the them swam the Chattahoochee and came up to my father-in-law s occasional distillery dotted the landscape along the Chattahoochee house to camp. It wasn t burned but other houses were. There was River. The name Heard rings a bell of familiarity for many residents as a breastwork all across this hill Annie recalls hearing about her then both Heards Ferry Road in-laws property. Annie s and Heards Creek Road father-in-law John Heard are named after one of served 4 years in the the founding families Confederate Army and of the Sandy Springs returned to his land in community. Mrs. Carl search of new economic Heard or Miss Annie opportunities. John and Heard as she was more the family purchased commonly known came Isom s Ferry in 1868 and to Sandy Springs long transpor ted residents after her family acquired and travelers across the a stretch of land near Chat tahoochee River the Chattahoochee and until 1890 when bridges before many pioneers and improvements in settled the area. Annie s infrastructure made ferry Graduating class at Hammond School c. 1940s. f ather-in -law bought transportation obsolete. Back Row (L-R) Johnny Copeland Joan Gooch Elton Barfield Carl Heard the acreage along the Marilee Wood Judy Anderson Millwood Fields Wendell Summerour river through a federal When World War I broke Middle Row (L-R) Mrs. Martin Jimmy Daniel Peggy Hilderbrand Frank Self land grant at 1 per acre Ursula Wood Unkown Mary Jo Sentell David Douglas Helen Smith Juanell Finley out A nnie decided in 1821. After Annie s to move to Atlanta Front Row (L-R) Richard Cash Berry Jean Nash Fife Justine Dinsmore Rebecca marriage to Carl Heard and study nursing at Cole Willilams David Green Betty Ann Hill Gene Coepland the acreage her fatherGeorgia Baptist Hospital in-law pioneered would be her home throughout most of her life. It graduating in 1919. During this time Annie s first fianc was killed in was from here that she saw Sandy Springs as a place to nurture and action on the European warfront. It wasn t until after graduation and develop. moving to Sandy Springs that she would meet her future husband Carl Heard. Long before Annie and Carl were wed the Heard Family was one of the founding settlers of the Sandy Springs area. Annie s in-laws In the early 1920s Annie was the only nurse working in the Sandy were there when the Union Army crossed the river in their bid to take Springs area. She first worked for Dr. Dan Griffiths where she stayed 55 Annie learned to ride from her father. In order to keep her safe he always insisted that she only ride horses that she could mount from the ground. An accomplished rider trainer and breeder throughout her time Annie s favorite horse was her Arabian mare named Peach. Even though she could easily mount the horse from the ground she taught Peach to kneel so that she could get into the saddle. I guess I got the idea because I saw another horse do it...and all it took was a lot of patience she remembers. After 15 years Miss Annie left the field of nursing but continued to ride horses and serve the Sandy Springs community. Miss Annie worked for Fulton County for another 42 years in a variety of jobs including as a desk sergeant license inspector and even in the city commissioner s office. Throughout this time Miss Annie continued to ride horses until the age of 75 when a spleen operation made it impossible for her to get back up on a horse. Despite the operation Miss Annie continued to be the passionate eccentric woman her family and friends came to know and love. According to her son Carl Jr. she was also one of the first women in Georgia to learn to drive and own a car in Georgia. He recollects Mother had a lot of spunk. Carl Jr. remembers that once when Annie was much older she was driving toward a parking space when someone started to edge her out. The unfairness of it infuriated Annie so she for 13 years and then later for Dr. Louis Patton. Dr. Dan H. Griffiths was one of the first medical professionals to come to the Sandy Springs area and practice medicine. Dr. Griffith and his family lived in the bustling metropolis of Atlanta where he had an established ear nose and throat clinic. He would routinely bring his family to the remote countryside of Sandy Springs on vacation where he noticed what a lovely community it was in which to have a second home. After purchasing their home in Sandy Springs Dr. Griffiths saw the need for a drug store and opened one on the corner of Mount Vernon Highway and Roswell Road. This facility became the first health center available to residents. Eventually Miss Annie met her husband Carl Heard on the courthouse steps. After they were wed the couple built a red brick story-anda-half house on the Heard property. They moved into the home and welcomed a son Carl Heard Jr. Miss Annie continued to ride her horse Peach over 15 miles of trail along the 300 acres that Carl owned along the river to help those in need. Annie combined her training as a nurse and her experience as a former farmer s daughter to help the people of Sandy Springs. She recalls Lord of mercy I just don t know how many hundreds of children and old people I treated. They never would go to the doctor you know. During the Depression I guess it was--I m not quite sure--I must have given hundreds of malaria shots. I d get the medicine from Dr. McDonald and then I d just ride out and give it to the people. Miss Annie treated mostly low income and homeless who had set up camps near and along her family s land on the Chattahoochee River. She would simply ride her horse out there to treat the sick elderly and poor. Georgia Baptist Hospital 1928 stepped on the accelerator and whipped into the space damaging five or six cars as she did. When the police questioned her about her actions and if her foot had slipped she stated Hell no I stepped on it. She was taking my space and I would do the same thing again. She told the judge the same story during a 100 000 lawsuit brought against her--the judge eventually dismissed the case. Miss Annie was one of the few people early residents could turn to in times of illness or need. Miss Annie was known as the health department before any such entity existed in Sandy Springs. Through her work as a nurse Annie helped countless families when healthcare was limited not because she had too but because she wanted to give back to the community. Due to her dedication and nurturing Sandy Springs can fondly remember Miss Annie Heard as one woman who is proudly carrying on a family founding name and as the nurse on horseback. B N download transcript M Women s Devotion The Sisters of Mercy An Interview with Sister Denis Marie & Sister PeggyB Interviewer Melissa Swindell B Date of Interview February 9th 2017 Organizations of religious women such as nuns and Sisters have played a vital role in American society since the early 19th century dedicated to helping the poor and those in need. These founding faith-based communities influenced the formation of many educational and medical institutions. One such organization the Sisters of Mercy was established in 1827 in Dublin Ireland by Catherine McAuley who used her inheritance to help those who were economically poor. On September 24 1827 she opened the first House of Merc y on Lower Baggot Street. Catherine and other women like her initially intended to create a group of workers to educate women and girls while also providing shelter to all those in need. After several years the Archbishop of Dublin recognized their work and recommended that they become a religious congregation to meet the needs of the people in the surrounding community. On December 12 1831 Catherine and two others became the first Sisters of Mercy. The Sisters of Mercy first came to the United States in 1843 at the request of the then Bishop of Pennsylvania. The community grew rapidly across the country in metropolitan areas such as New York City Chicago Little Rock San Francisco and Atlanta. Their dedication and energy to healthcare and education attracted numerous members to the order which includes today Sister Denis Marie Murphy and Sister Peggy Fannon who have both spent their lives as dedicated Sisters of Mercy by helping the residents of Atlanta and Sandy Springs through education counseling and nursing. After the Civil War the bishop of Savannah asked four Sisters of Mercy to travel to Atlanta to establish the city s first hospital. According to Sister Peggy Well the story goes that four Sisters of Mercy came from Savannah Georgia i n 18 8 0...a n d t h e y supposedly came with 50 cents in their pocket to start a hospital. [The] first hospital was a 10bed hospital and...it was just started in a house in the downtown area. Sister Cecilia Carroll and three other sisters came to Atlanta and opened the hospital. The original hospital was in a house on Baker Street and as it grew it began to take up an entire city block. Sister Peggy recalls The Sisters had great support from some of the big families here in town from the Havertys the Spaldings and I m sure there were some other families too who helped support the sisters and helped the hospital grow into a thriving institution. The hospital became the first permanent medical institution in the city 57 and by 1900 it opened a nursing s c ho ol w he r e more than 1 300 women were trained before it closed in 1974. Sister Peggy was enrolled in one of the last classes to graduate from the nursing progr am. She remembers [They] had a school of nursing also a three-year diploma school of nursing and I graduated from that school of nursing in 1968. [So] the students worked in the hospital and back then the nursing programs the students worked full [time]. Well we worked...several days a week with clinical instructors with us. We had like two weeks off in the summer and two weeks off at Christmas and that was it. You know we worked around the year. [In] the days when I was in the School of Nursing--I believe it was 1964-- they began an affiliation with Georgia State [University] and they helped get the nursing program started there. [So ] the students the year ahead of me and then from then on until 1974 when the school closed students went to Georgia State. And we took our science courses there. We took a couple of English courses. We took chemistry microbiology anatomy and physics. [It] was just 13 blocks down the street so we walked back and forth to school...during our freshman year and so we took classes there. So we had credits so that when we went back to school to work on our degrees later on we would already have some college credit which was good then. The number of hospitals grew throughout the United States into the twentieth century and many of them were operated by doctors with the help of nurses whom were still in school. However in the early 1900s formal learning was integrated with training programs within hospitals to add clinical experience to the regimen. By 1915 the Catholic Church operated approximately 541 hospitals throughout the country staffed primarily by Sisters and nuns. Despite the assumption that doctors retained unyielding authority within the hospital Sister Peggy and Sister Denis Marie remember that women carried several significant and authoritative roles throughout the hospital. Sister Peggy recollects Well when I was a young nurse we had Sisters who were nurses on almost every floor in the hospital and they were kind of the charge person. Sister Peggy has held several key roles in her 44 years with the hospital including head nurse in pediatrics while also mentoring countless other nurses as the hospital continued to grow in size. As women s roles expanded both in and outside of the hospital environment so too did those of the Sisters. Sister Denis Marie elicits You know previously nurses had to ask the doctor Is it all right to do this Gradually when they worked with the same doctors we knew what most of those doctors expected us to do. We didn t have to call them every time something happened. Sister Peggy continued I can remember years ago when I was a young nurse and the doctor came into the nurses station. And the nurses got up so he could sit down. That kind of thing. [But now] they respect the nurses judgment. I can remember sitting in one of the conferences with one of our doctors. He said to the nursing surveyor I depend on these nurses you know. They re the ones that are at the bedside 24 7. And I depend on what they are seeing and what they are hearing from the patient and the family to help me take care of the patient. And he said Sometimes they tell me what I should do. The nurses did become more autonomous. The role of women expanded rapidly in the Post-War era. Sister Peggy remembers the number of women entering the Sisters of Mercy dwindled as opportunities to enter vocations in law business and education increased without the need of support from religious entities. Women had the opportunity to develop skills in a variety of significant positions within Saint Joseph s Hospital even if they were not serving on the medical staff. For instance Sister Denis Marie a previous teacher served as a chaplain for 17 years and is currently a patient advocate. Sister Denis Marie remembers So I was a chaplain for about 17 years I guess. Some were sisters some weren t. Pastoral care had come about in about 1979 or 1980 for all Catholic hospitals. Then the Catholic Hospital Association required it. And so we were one of the first hospitals I think to have a formal pastoral care department in those days. But we were assigned to different areas and we carried beepers and we ran...But one of the main things about the chaplain is that they were considered part of the staff. And so whenever anything happened the chaplain went. If there was a code the chaplain went. Like many of the nurses the doctors trusted their judgement and appreciated their involvement in coordinating care for both patients and families. Before the formal pastoral care department was established the Sisters were always there to provide comfort in times of need or death. Sister Peggy remembers Sister Stella Maris was one of the first unofficial chaplains. If a patient passed away the hospital would call her even if she was not working that particular day and she would come from the convent down the street day or night to offer comfort. Sister Peggy recalls So that s been a custom long before there was a pastoral care department. That s true of all our hospitals...of the Sisters of Mercy. I remember when my mother died in Savannah at Saint Joseph s one of the sisters came and you know it wasn t just because I was a sister. They just automatically come. The Sisters of Mercy continue to be leaders in medical care for the Atlanta area. The dedicated work of many Sisters helped Saint Joseph s innovative medical personnel with many firsts in cardiology and robotic surgery. In 1995 Saint Joseph s was the first hospital in Georgia and the third in the world to earn the prestigious Magnet recognition for excellence in nursing care. Today Saint Joseph s has earned five consecutive Magnet designations. This distinction is the highest recognition for organized nursing services awarded primarily due in part to the Sisters who have dedicated their lives to religion and medicine. In 1880 the Sisters of Mercy opened a 10-bed hospital on Baker Street. Women s Devotion The Sisters of Mercy continued Saint Joseph s Infirmary was the first hospital in Atlanta. Over the years the hospital continued to grow and became known as Saint Joseph s Hospital of Atlanta enjoying an expansive practice of medicine. However the hospital soon outgrew its small downtown location. Sister Peggy recounts We had all kinds all services there. We had pediatrics and OB. When the board and administration started thinking about what they were going do. Were they going to stay downtown Or were they going move After an in depth study revealed that in 25 years the center of the city would be on the north side of Atlanta a move to Sandy Springs was planned. In preparation for the move in 1978 Sister Peggy recalls The hospital was being built in 1977. It opened on March 18th 1978 and we discharged as many patients as we could that were well enough to go home before moving day and moving day happened on a Saturday. They had all the ambulances available in the city to move the patients that remained in the hospital down there out here. I don t remember how many patients we moved but it was like a caravan from downtown that came up [Highway] 400... Over 130 years later Emory Saint Joseph s Hospital now has 410 beds at their present-day location in Sandy Springs. However after the move many of the nurses were concerned that the homeless population would not have anywhere to go for medical treatment. A small group of volunteers including nurses and physicians traveled back downtown to care for those in need. This group including the Sisters of Mercy were a primary force in serving the homeless population throughout the 1980s. Many of the nurses educated the homeless on proper hygiene and provided them with basic clothing such as socks. Eventually the Sisters brought in several new nursing graduates and they would in turn bring pharmacists to help dispense medication to those in the population who were sick. Sister Peggy remembers The Sisters who began Mercy Care started encouraging you know inviting other staff to come with them. And in the early 80s when I would go to the shelters...there was always a pharmacist who went and they took tackle boxes with medication in it and they would get a doctor to go too and so we would set up a clinic in the shelters. The nurses would sign them in check their blood pressure their vital signs and then tell the doctor what the issue was and he would see them and treat them. And then the pharmacist would dispense medication if they needed it. Mercy Care is an extension of the Mercy Mission which is to provide compassionate clinically excellent health care to those in need with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. The practice of treating the homeless in downtown Atlanta continued for several years until Mercy Care was able to build its own freestanding clinic. Sister Peggy recalls that they first had a rented space I believe downtown before they built. The clinic now sits on Decatur Street right there by the Martin Luther King MARTA station. They opened another clinic on Buford Highway in what is called Northeast Plaza. And they have a freestanding clinic in Chamblee that will open sometime in March 2017. It s near the Chamblee MARTA station. In the last couple of years they ve been fundraising to build another freestanding clinic. Sister Denis Marie added It has all become regular employees now it s not just volunteers. Throughout the twentieth century Saint Joseph s earned the reputation of being an exceptional institution. It was the first hospital to perform a coronary artery bypass surgery in 1957 the first to develop a comprehensive cardiac catheterization procedure in 1967 and the first to provide angioplasty as an alternative to bypass surgery in 1979 three monumental achievements in medicine all within a short twenty years. In addition to its remarkable advancements in research and patient care the hospital also began a system called shared governance which recognized the involvement and commitment of women and nurses in the field. Sister Peggy remembers [We] had a CNO Chief Nursing Officer who was here. And we had an associate or a vice-CNO that came. And they started shared governance. That was a new thing in nursing 59 in the hospitals throughout the United States. But that person c ame here and he wrote a book about it. He was doing h i s ... I t h i n k percent of hospitals nationwide possess this designation. Since the 1980s Saint Joseph s has had an active pastoral care department. The chaplains in pastoral care work in conjunction with the medical staff to ensure that patient care is congruent for both the patient under treatment and the family. Many of the chaplains make sure the volunteers working throughout the hospital would be exposed to some pastoral care--even if only to learn a family s needs when nurses or doctors were temporarily inaccessible. Sister Denis Marie began serving as a chaplain at Saint Joseph s Hospital in 1991. As a Catholic institution the hospital could not involve its patients in procedures that went against the teachings of Catholicism--such as abortion or tubal ligation--but it maintained its commitment to helping women in need and directing them to where they could receive the care they required. As a female chaplain Sister Denis Marie remembers there were seven or eight members of the pastoral care team You know. So at the time of a code the chaplain was there more to be with the family to try to get them away from them so that the beds so that... medical staff could work with them. And then you would I would be there to help...help them kinda keep them updated. You know...stuff like that. So if the patient was revived then we you know help them to deal with the fact that the patient might be sicker now than they were previously and that that kind of stuff. But it at a time of death the chaplain would help the family to offer to pray with them if they wished. But also to help them make decisions where they wanted...the the person to be taken and things like that. So we we handled the chaplain handled all of that...kind of thing. So that s been a custom long before there was a pastoral care department. That s true of of all our hospitals I think...of the Sisters of Mercy. Saint Joseph s Hospital of Atlanta entered into a joint operating company with Emory in 2012 and the dedication of the Sisters and doctors to maintaining an excellent level of patient care has never wavered. Since 1978 the hospital has been at the forefront of medicine specializing in cardiac care orthopedics neurology vascular gastroenterology and primary care. Emory Saint Joseph s is also a designated location of Winship Cancer Institute the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated center in Georgia. With a current capacity of 410 beds Emory Saint Joseph s is one of the largest Catholic Magnet hospitals in the southeast and draws thousands of patients and researchers to interact with its stalwart staff. Despite going through numerous changes and growth the hospital has maintained its commitment to its Catholic beliefs including a universal prayer over the intercom system for all of its patients pastoral care provided by chaplains and the involvement of nuns in running the hospital. Sister Peggy remembers that there has always been a nun helping to guide the operations of the hospital either as a CNO through shared governance or even as the president of the hospital board--a practice that verifies the Sisters continuous commitment to the hospital. he was working on his Ph.D. And he wrote a book about it and they started shared governance here. So they gave the nurses input into what was going on. Before hospitals were structured in such a way that whoever was the chief nursing officer they wrote all the policies and the procedures and all of that. And so now the focus was get the nurses who were working in the hospital to have more say in what s going on. And and so they they started having shared gov- they developed the shared governance here. Sister Peggy is referring to Tim Porter-O Grady who wrote the aforementioned book and started shared governance at Saint Joseph s Hospital of Atlanta as one of the first steps in recognizing the intelligence and commitment of the many women and Sisters who sustained the hospital s daily functions. Shared governance is an important Magnet principle--another achievement of the local hospital--where the combined management between doctors and nurses promotes joint accountability and responsibility for making decisions that affect nursing practice. Subsequently the introduction of shared governance changed the nurse-patient relationship at the hospital. Saint Joseph s continues to operate on a shared governance platform to this day. The hospital is made up of several councils including the Policy and Procedure Council and the Education Council which give the nurses more input into the daily functions of their jobs their hospital and their patients. Sister Peggy recalls [B]ut you know it it s just...It was just a a whole different um approach to to...the nurse taking care of the patient. And the fact that they did recognize that the nurses were the ones...that they were invaluable. That what they saw and what they were doing for the patients was also helping. Not just what they were coming in orders they were writing when they saw the patient for 10 or 15 minutes you know each day. And and that was in 1990. And so we have received five um... [and were the] first [community] hospital...in the world. So we grew to be...We became the first hospital in Georgia to be to receive our Magnet certification. Or being magnetized as we call it. The State of Georgia has only seven Magnet hospitals and only seven N download transcript M Early Sandy Springs By the River An Interview with Ada Odessa Power Wilson B Interviewer Coy Wilson B Date of Interview circa 1967 Before Sandy Springs became the energetic and bustling Atlanta settled the area in 1827. Ada and her family moved to their new farm suburb it is today it was simply an unclaimed area of land waiting directly along the Chattahoochee River on February 28 1882 when for settlers to clear and cultivate its resources. Ada Odessa Power Ada was five years old. Traveling in those days was difficult and Ada was a member of one of the first families to settle in the area before remembers the move distinctly I reckon Pa with the wagons and he it became known had to come plumb as Sandy Springs. around by Grandma s The Powers family and Ebenezer Church first came to the there down that area when it was road to the old man just a barren track Sullivan s and turn off of land next to the and go down home Chattahoochee in the wagon and Ma River. Ada and us kids brought descended from not the cows and drove one but two pioneer em through that families in the Sandy path coming through Spr ings area as there to cross the she was the greatcreek and on up granddaughter of the hill home. I can Joseph Power and remember helping James Jett. Ada was Pa tote the meat out Family home of Samuel Alexander Power located on Sandy Plains Road (c. 1907). born in April of 1877 of the smokehouse Left to Right standing to Samuel Alexander and put it in the Samuel Alexander Power Tenny Power (second wife) Power and Eliza Jett. wagon to bring it...to Bill Power s daughter Ada Odessa Power Wilson Her stor y began move it. The family shor tly af ter her had one stubborn family relocated the family farm of Joseph Power from its original red mule to pull the wagon with all the family belongings. The mule location to beside the Chattahoochee River. was more than just their livestock he was also the family pet. Ada s father always used the mule to help pull the wagon and plow the The original Powers family farm was located at what is today Pitts fields but he also let the children ride him back to the farm at the Road near Georgia Highway 400. Joseph Power and Isabelle Belue end of a long day. Ada recollects Pa was plowing down there on the it. But it was made out of...wood you know. Well it was about two inches by two inches. And you just stacked them just like you was stacking wood and put mortar between them. Tween every one of them was mortar made out of mud just red mud and lime. Ada and her family lived in that one-room log cabin for many years before her father built a second much larger home. Houses and neighbors were in short supply in early Sandy Springs but family-- including cousins--always proved to be some of Ada s closest friends. Life by the river gave Ada and her family a place of solitude and quiet away from the farm. It also provided them with fish to eat when they had grown tired of sheep and vegetables. When Ada was free from helping her father with the plowing or other farm chores she would go fishing on the river with her friend Alma. Ada remembers But there was one place up there across from what we always called the big island that there never was no bottom found to it...That s one part of the river we stayed off of. That s right across the point of that island there next to Pa s land all right in there was anywhere from thirty-five to forty-fifty feet deep...But now up that river bank there that s where Alma and I always kept our set hooks and things. We d get in the boat you know and go all up in them willows. We d go along and tie our set hooks to them limbs. Ada routinely went fishing for channel catfish or blue catfish as she called them. Occasionally her mother would buy fish from some of their neighbors who happened to catch something other than a plain old catfish. I know once out there Grandma and Aunt Etta got a five-pound trout that old man Stroup got off his. They had told Cliff to get em a fish and bring it so he went to his trap that morning. He had a five-pound trout on it. And he got it and brought it. Told Cliff says I ve got you a fish now for your grandma. So Cliff says to me now you get ready and take this fish over to Grandma and Aunt Etta. I did. That thing they dressed it and it had eggs in it as big as that remembers Ada. Though the family did not technically own a boat for fishing on the river Ada remembers borrowing boats that occasionally came their way. Most of them were boats that got loose during a large rainstorm when the river would flood floating them down to the family farm. The family would wade into the river to grab them taking them back upriver to their rightful owners once they had used them to fish for an afternoon. Eventually Ada s father sold some of his lower property next to the river to Georgia Power. That interchange eventually led to the construction of the Morgan Falls Dam--which would supply power to the community for years to come. Despite the hard work Ada remembers her childhood with fond memories of fishing with her friends riding the family pet and all the hard work associated with sowing wheat and picking cotton. She and her family helped the town of Sandy Springs grow from uncleared land to the vibrant community it is today. B 61 Alma and Ada Power in front of the Samuel Alexander Power Home (c. 1930-50). river and he d always let us three young uns ride the mule home at dinner. Well there was one spring on the road. It never did have good water in it to drink. It just didn t taste right. And he d always stop there every day and let the old mule walk up in the edge of the spring and drink. Of course Cliff was in the front Alma next and I was in the back. The old mule walked up there in the spring and let his head down to drink. Every one of us went right in that spring there. It like to have tickled Pa to death The family shared its one-room log cabin with their pets and livestock who never wandered off despite no fencing around the family s acreage. The Powers property would eventually encompass more than 150 acres of land that Samuel Powers would cultivate farm and ranch to support the family. The land was bought from Old Man Minton according to Ada and the only thing that was on the land were trees and a log cabin that her father also purchased for an undisclosed amount. All Ada knew was that he borrowed the money from his sisters Etta and Margaret and would later work to pay them back. Ada s father farmed the land and ranched sheep to support the family. Houses in early Sandy Springs were rudimentary consisting of four walls two doors and a roof. Sometimes however these oldfashioned houses consisted of unique properties according to Ada There weren t nothing cleared only that...there was bout seven or eight acres down on the river there. What we called the old Ezzard place. There was an old man...he had one of these old-fashioned houses you know. It was...had two ends to it and an entry between it...between the rooms. And that s the only house that I ever remember seeing a wooden chimney at...Now you wouldn t believe N download transcript M 63 Just Skimming Off the Ground It took 107 years to get the record straight that the first airplane flight in Georgia was also America s first flight by a single-wing aircraft. DAN ALDRIDGE T Saturday August 28 1909 Athens Georgia he double doors of Epps Garage were open allowing light to spill into the darkness outside just enough to see while loading the horse-drawn dray parked in front of the building. Two young men were loading a wing a rudder and tools for assembly into the dray. When they finished they closed the garage doors climbed aboard the dray and sat shoulder-to-shoulder for the one-mile ride. The two men had been up all night. They should have been exhausted but not a single yawn came from either for they were fueled by pure adrenaline. They d been close friends for almost five years and each knew the other s thoughts. For the past ten months they d worked nights and weekends in the garage on East Washington Street in pursuit of a dream they shared. Athens residents who d gathered to watch the loading fell in behind the dray and followed it to its destination where more spectators waited. Everybody was anxious to see the machine built by the two young men Ben Epps and Zumpt Huff. But far more exciting if all went well they would see what nobody in Georgia had ever seen before--the machine would fly. Epps-Huff II Monoplane and Ben Epps on Washington Street in front of the garage. Despite the notation 1907 this picture was taken in 1909. Misidentified for more than eight decades as the first plane to fly in Georgia Zumpt Huff s notes indicate that this plane never flew he referred to it as the partnership s guinea pig which taught the pioneering aviators a lot about aerodynamics. Benjamin Thomas Epps was born in Oconee County just south of Athens in 1888. He grew up in Clarke County and was educated in the local public schools. In the autumn of 1903 when he was just 15 he enrolled at Georgia Tech. The following year he was homesick not doing as well as he d hoped and he dropped out of school after fall exams. In January of 1905 he went to work at Morton & Taylor Electric in Athens. On his first day there he met a teenage co-worker with the most unusual forename he d ever heard Zumpt. Zumpt Alston Huff was born in Madison County just east of Athens in 1889. Like Epps Huff was a first child. He most likely received his education from his mother who d been a teacher in a one-room school house. At most he completed the equivalent of six grades. In the 1900 census he is listed as a farm laborer able to read and write. In 1904 his family moved to Athens where he also found work at Morton & Taylor which did electrical contracting work sold motors and generators and was an agent for Rambler Yale and Cadillac automobiles. The natural talent that Epps and Huff possessed when it came to working with electrical and mechanical contrivances flourished. In December 1908 Epps opened his own electrical contracting company and garage on East Washington Street. By that time Huff worked around the corner as an assistant projector operator at a motion picture theater. Both of the young men lived with their parents in Athens. Epps and Huff were captivated by motorcycles automobiles and all manners of transportation. It was a natural leadin to their interest in aircraft. They were fascinated by the Wright brothers and read every journal and article they could find detailing the brothers progress. Possessed by the exuberance of youth Epps and Huff began to envision building their own airplane. Their aspiration started as a dream developed into a passion and cemented the Epps-Huff partnership. Work on their first model aircraft began shortly after Epps opened his garage. It was to be a biplane designed after the 1903 Wright Flyer biplane. Epps and Huff worked nights and weekends and on May 13 1909 the Epps-Huff I made its public debut. It was placed on crates in front of the garage and photographed. Those citizens of Athens still unaware that the new partnership was building the first airplane in Georgia learned of it the following day when the Athens Banner announced Two Athens Boys Building Airship. Like the Wright Flyer the Epps-Huff I used wing warping LEFT Epps-Huff III monoplane in Lynnwood Park Athens on August 28 1909 beginning its takeoff run. Zumpt Huff (wearing derby) looks on. ABOVE The aircraft continuing its takeoff run from a different angle (at least two cameras were present that day). Ben Epps is on the pilot s bench immediately prior to becoming airborne. OPPOSITE A crowd of spectators converges on the Epps-Huff III after the plane flew 150 feet. This was its second successful flight the first having taken place at 3 a.m. that same morning when the monoplane flew 300 feet becoming the first monoplane to fly in the United States. to maintain lateral control roll. This technique patented by the Wright brothers used a system of pulleys and cables to twist the trailing edges of the wings up and down in opposite directions allowing the pilot to maintain control. Also like the Wright Flyer the Epps-Huff I was designed as a pusher-type in which the propeller faced aft (rearward) and acted to push the plane forward a suggestion made by Glenn Curtiss when he visited Athens. (Curtiss was a pioneer aviator and member of the Aerial Experiment Association which was building pusher-type planes.) Before adding the weight of an engine Epps and Huff decided to test their biplane as a glider. They hauled the EppsHuff I to the horse track at the old fairgrounds. A towrope was tied to the biplane and then to a Studebaker-E.M.F. 30 automobile chassis that pulled the biplane around the track. After weeks of testing the towrope broke and the EppsHuff I crashed reducing it to little more than a pile of splintered wood snapped cables and torn fabric. The pioneering aeronauts had learned a lot but they believed the twin fixedwing design was too rigid for wing warping. Epps suggested a different design a monoplane with a single fixed-wing design. Before the monoplane could fly Epps and Huff needed an engine. Weight was a critical factor in getting any aircraft off the ground. Most automobiles at that time were powered by water-cooled engines which were heavy. Epps wanted to use a lighter air-cooled engine like the ones that powered motorcycles. So the partners began looking for a lightweight motorcycle engine that could generate the power needed to get the plane in the air. They contacted Palmer Walthour who owned a bicycle shop in Atlanta. Walthour had exactly what they needed a used motorcycle with an Anzani two-cylinder engine owned by perhaps the greatest athlete in the world at the time. Walthour s younger brother was world-famous cyclist Bobby Walthour. Bobby was a superstar in motor-paced racing where bicycles raced behind pacer motorcycles. In 1905 after winning the world championship Bobby purchased two 65 pacer motorcycles from Alessandro who built the most The The monoplane had a single fixed-wing with a 35-foot span pacer motorcycles from Alessandro Anzani Anzani who built the most monoplane had a single fixed-wing with a 35-foot span and a cord length (the from the wing s wing s edge to powerful lightweight two-cylinder motorcycle engines in and a cord length (the distancedistance from theleading leading edge to the powerful lightweight two-cylinder motorcycle engines in the its edge) of eight feet. There was a single support beam worldshop near Paris France. France. Epps and Huff acquiredtrailing trailing edge) of eight feet. There was a single support beam in his shop near Paris Epps and Huff acquired its world in his one of these two-cylinderfrom Palmer in a trade for an forrunningrunning theof the span. Fabric was stretched across the pacers from Palmer in a trade an the length length of the span. Fabric was stretched across the one of these two-cylinder pacers undersidewing. wing. older model two-seat Cadillac. underside of the of the older model two-seat Cadillac. The Epps-Huff II monoplane also had a pusher-type NeitherNeither Epps nor Huff hadphotograph or drawingdrawing The Epps-Huff II monoplane also had a pusher-type Epps nor Huff had seen a seen a photograph or design with the propeller mounted the wing facing aft. of a monoplane but Epps nevertheless designed verdesign with the propeller mounted behind behind the wing facing aft. of a monoplane but Epps nevertheless designed his ownhis own verA rudder skinned in cloth cloth was positioned sion. Salvaging parts from the damaged Epps-Huff I the A vertical vertical rudder skinned in was positioned ten feetten feet sion. Salvaging parts from the damaged Epps-Huff I the avia- aviation pioneersbuilding the Epps-Huff II monoplane. By began building the Epps-Huff II monoplane.behind behind theSix feet Six frontin front wing was a double-doubleBy the wing. wing. in feet of the of the wing was a tion pioneers began plane elevator shaped like a box kite with and bottom early summerit1909 complete with the Anzani Anzani engine. elevator shaped like a box kite with the top the top and bottom it was complete with the engine. plane early summer 1909 was horizontal planes in cloth. cloth. horizontal planes skinnedskinned inThe The monoplane used wing for conBen Epps (L) and Zumpt Huff (center wearing derby) inspect damage monoplane used wing warpingwarping for conBen Epps (L) and Zumpt Huff (center wearing derby) inspect damage trol. The undercarriage consisted to the Epps-Huff III in Lynnwood Park on the day of the record flight. trol. The undercarriage consisted of threeof three to the Epps-Huff III in Lynnwood Park on the day of the record flight. bicycle wheels set in a formation. bicycle wheels set in a triangle triangle formation. There was a bench bench under the There was a wagon wagon under the wing where the upright midway wing where the pilot satpilot sat upright midway between the front wheel back between the front wheel and theand the back wheels. wheels. Overall the Epps-Huff a had a Overall the Epps-Huff II had II heavy unwieldy appearance. heavy unwieldy appearance. Epps and Huff installed the Epps and Huff installed the Anzani Anzani engine and then the monoplane engine and then tested tested the monoplane on the on the red-clay in front of the of the red-clay street street in front garage. Huff later recorded his memories garage. Huff later recorded his memories of the We Rode [sic] this plane of the testing testing We Rode [sic] this plane up and up and down Washington Street from in down Washington Street from in front offrontgarage to the intersection of the of the garage to the intersection of College Avenue. Here weto learnto learn College Avenue. Here we began began the problems of an aeroplane the problems of turning turning an aeroplane around around once [sic] we would head head once [sic] turned turned we would down[sic] on[sic] on Washington Street down West West Washington Street too [sic] here we faced our probtoo [sic] Pulaski Pulaski here we faced our prob- lem again turning it rode on bicycle wheels [sic] We were taught how fragile a bicycle wheel was when out of its forks onto an airplane. Up and down Washington Street we would ride the plane makeing [sic] improvements...[Ben] did get it to skim off the ground each had his turn while the other observed trying to fathom our trouble. It would not rise over a foot or two from the ground the motor either conked out or starting [sic] to slow down. It became apparent that the Epps-Huff II was not capable of sustained controlled flight. The guinea pig as Huff referred to it proved too heavy unstable and unwieldy to fly. The plane needed reconfiguring. So in late July of 1909 the partners began working on the Epps-Huff III another pusher-type monoplane that looked similar to its predecessor. But this model was smaller lighter better balanced and more stable. The single beam running the length of the wing was replaced with two beams. More cabling was added but instead of relying exclusively on wires to support the load of the wing struts were attached to the underside of the wing on each side of the body and anchored to the undercarriage. These struts kept the wing from sagging at its tips improving the aircraft s lift ability. The same Anzani engine was installed. This lighter sleeker more stable model was destined to fly. As August drew to a close Epps and Huff completed work on the aircraft. This plane was worthy of more than a street trial. It would be tested in an open field. The location had been selected at the beginning of the partnership--an open area within the city about a mile west of the garage known as Lynwood Park. The citizens of Athens had been waiting since the newspaper article in May to see an airplane fly. The date selected was Saturday August 28 and word spread quickly. A large crowd was expected along with newspaper reporters and perhaps photographers. Whether the trial would be a success or a failure the outcome would be splashed across the state so Epps and Huff didn t want to disappoint. The sky was beginning to lighten as the dray arrived at Lynwood Park. The early start would avoid the heat that would set in by noon pushing the temperature to the mid-90s. More importantly the early start would ensure that the flight was in still air before rising temperatures kicked up winds that Epps-Huff I biplane on Washington Street near Epps Garage with Ben T. Epps (L) and Zumpt Huff (R) taken May 13 1909. The aircraft sits on wooden crates before the wheel undercarriage was attached. This plane was used solely as a glider. could affect control of the airplane. The park was a long rectangular parcel of land with an excellent site at the top of a hill for launching an aircraft. From there the park was a continuous downward slope over open terraced land. The dray was parked on the hill and unloaded. Epps and Huff made the final assembly and then rolled the monoplane into position. After a final check Epps climbed onto the pilot s seat. The crowd buzzed with comments and speculation as to whether the craft would fly. One person in particular was making sure he had a clear view a reporter with a notepad in hand. Epps positioned his hands and feet on the plane s control devices. Huff when he was sure Epps was ready moved to the front of the aircraft. He grabbed the propeller with both hands and at Epps s nod pulled down hard. The propeller began to spin and the engine spit clouds of exhaust. Huff signaled one thumb up before moving to the rear to watch. Epps revved the engine prompting spectators to cover their ears. The plane picked up speed but its forward movement wasn t smooth over the uneven ground. The observing reporter noted The monoplane got a bad start but succeeded in clearing the ground by about 1 foot and skimmed through the air above the ground for 50 yards. The machine bumped into a terrace and it was all over. The machine was not badly damaged. The headline for an article that ran in Monday s Atlanta Constitution said it all Flight is made by Georgia Man. The article then began Athens claims the first aeroplane flight in the state of Georgia. As soon as the plane hit the ground Epps cut the engine and jumped clear. Huff sprinted down the hill to check on him. As the crowd converged around the plane reality set in the Epps-Huff III had flown. Huff pushed through the crowd to assess the damage to the plane deemed it repairable and 67 rejoined Epps. The aero-partners were at the center of a tightly packed cheering crowd. The reporter likewise made his way to the center to add his congratulations and seek reactions The two young men...were well satisfied in getting the machine to clear the ground even for a small distance. On that first attempt the Zumpt Huff 1950s. Epps-Huff III Monoplane traveled 150 feet. The Epps-Huff partnership had thus traveled farther than the Wright brothers first-ever flight six years earlier which had covered a distance of 120 feet. While the Wright brothers had flown a biplane Frenchman Louis Bl riot piloted the world s first successful monoplane flight in April 1907. His flight was 20 feet after a 305 foot run. The Epps-Huff III had flown seven-and-a-half times farther. At the ages of 21 and 19 and without formal education or training in airplane design or aerodynamics Epps and Huff had accomplished something remarkable. They had financed the project solely from their own meager incomes and had no outside help other than the suggestion from Glenn Curtiss to face the propeller aft. They had relied on trade journals and their imaginations had drawn on their youthful experience and God-given talent and had persevered through sheer tenacity. On the Monday morning following the first flight in Georgia newspapers across the state carried headlines of the historic event. The Associated Press picked up the story and sent it across the nation. The newspaper with the biggest reporting coup was the Atlanta Georgian & News. After that newspaper s reporter interviewed Epps and Huff his article disclosed that while the trial on Saturday morning was the first public flight of the Epps-Huff III it was not the first time the monoplane had flown. The first flight had occurred earlier that morning during a private trial at Lynwood Park. As the day for the trial had drawn close Epps and Huff had second thoughts about a public trial without a previous test. At the eleventh hour they hastily arranged for the private test earlier that same day. The forecast called for clear skies no wind and most importantly a full moon. Epps went to the Athens Banner office located just around the corner from Epps Garage and invited Hugh Rowe the newspaper s proprietor and Thomas Reed its editor to the private trial. They were to serve as unbiased witnesses. The private trial was set for 3 a.m. No one would be on the streets to see them hauling the aircraft from the garage to Lynwood Park nor would anyone be in the park. The Atlanta Georgian & News was the only publication to report that Epps was not alone aboard the Epps-Huff III when Ben T. Epps Sr. 1931 by Arnett Studio of Athens. it made its first flight that morning. After cranking the propeller Huff ducked under the wing and squeezed in beside Epps on the wagon seat. [B]oth were aboard and the machine more than fulfilled the expectations of the young aviators the newspaper reported. Reed recalled the early morning event in a March 1 1949 column he wrote for the Athens Banner-Herald It was a clear night with a full moon an ideal setting for the experiment. We went out to an open field about a block or two beyond Milledge Avenue...the land selected was open with a fairly good incline to an open field down hill to the west. Rowe and myself simply stood by and watched to see what Ben was going to do with his machine...The machine got up about forty to fifty feet in the air and maintained its flight about one hundred yards. On its first flight the Epps-Huff III had performed superbly. It flew twice as far as it would later that morning during the public trial. The flight ended when the front wheel struck a terrace but the damage was insignificant. Epps and Huff hauled the plane back to the garage for repairs that were completed before the public trial at dawn. The aviators knew they d made the first flight in Georgia history. What they never knew was that their flight also had considerable significance outside the state of Georgia. Neither Epps nor Huff had ever heard of Dr. Henry Walden of Mineola Long Island New York a dentist with an office in Manhattan. Like Epps and Huff Walden had a passion for aviation. The first two aircraft that he built were pusher-type biplanes and both were failures. He switched to a monoplane for his third model. Like the Epps-Huff III the Walden III was a pusher-type design the undercarriage sat on three wheels in a triangle configuration and it was powered by a three-cylinder Anzani engine. During a trial run on December 9 1909 Walden succeeded in getting his fragile craft to rise a few feet off the ground sustaining a short controlled flight of just a bit more than 30 feet before the plane s one-gallon gas tank ran dry. For this achievement he received credit for making the first mono- Nine-year-old Evelyn Epps and her father Ben prepare to honor veterans killed in the SpanishAmerican War and World War I by dropping a large reef and flowers from the air onto Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens. plane flight in America. But that was 103 days after the flight of the Epps-Huff III monoplane a fact destined to become misplaced history for more than a century. Walden s flight received the credit because the date of the flight in Georgia had been forgotten. After the initial burst of publicity associated with the flight of the Epps-Huff III the 1909 date wasn t accurately published again for scores of years. Inexplicably a 1930 article in the Atlanta Constitution stated that the flight had taken place in 1907. From that point until 2016 every publication stated that the Epps-Huff flight had occurred in 1907. The uncertainty about the actual date led to confusion about the event. So the flight of the Epps-Huff III wouldn t receive due recognition until I happened to begin looking into the matter almost exactly 100 years later. Intending to write a story in 2007 commemorating the centennial of the first flight in Georgia I began researching the Ben T. Epps Papers at the University of Georgia s Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Several photographs of the Epps-Huff II in a scrapbook in the collection bore handwritten 1907 notations. Further research indicated that date could not be accurate. Some of the buildings in the photos hadn t even existed in 1907. The most reproduced picture with the 1907 date showed Epps standing next to the Epps-Huff II with the signage of Epps Garage at 120 E. Washington Street but advertisements in the Athens Banner in 1907 and 1908 showed a different company advertising at that location through November 1908. Most significantly I then came across a copy of the August 30 1909 Atlanta Constitution article describing the EppsHuff flight and pinpointing its date as two days prior. With that date in hand I then found articles in other newspapers across the state along with Associated Press articles in newspapers in other states. These conclusively established August 28 1909 as the date of the historic first flight in Georgia. The 2016 publication of my book To Lasso the Clouds [Mercer University Press] helped bring the achievement by Epps and Huff to the public. Now the two pioneering aviators are receiving long-overdue acclaim for making the first monoplane flight in America. The Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame in Warner Robins is in the process of correcting its exhibit about the first flight in the state Zumpt Huff is to be considered for induction into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame (where he will join his former partner Ben Epps an inaugural inductee) and the Athens Historical Society will be conducting a fundraising effort to correct the two state historical markers in Athens-Clarke County that commemorate the first flight. Of even greater significance the flight is receiving national recognition. The February 2017 issue of Air & Space Smithsonian magazine provided a national platform to spread the word and both Ben Epps and Zumpt Huff will be considered for induction into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton Ohio Class of 2018. That will be quite an honor--and one long delayed-- for the two young men from Athens. After the groundbreaking Epps-Huff flight in 1909 the partnership would go on to build three more monoplanes before Huff moved to Atlanta in late 1910. Then after 1926 Huff moved to Florida to continue his work in movie theaters and the electrical business. He died in Jacksonville in 1975 at age 86. Epps continued working with planes creating six more designs while also running his garage in Athens. He died at age 49 in 1937 in a crash at the Athens airport while riding as a passenger in his plane that was being piloted by a prospective buyer. B Dan Aldridge is retired and lives in Winterville. He can be reached at danaldridgeauthor gmail.com. Visit his website danaldridgeauthor.com. 12 Article is being reprinted with the permission of Georgia Backroads magazine. GEORGIA BACKROADS SPRING 2017 69 Tuesdays 6 30pm Garnett Cobb Garden Room at the Williams-Payne House 6075 Sandy Springs Circle Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited Georgia forty-one times between 1924 and 1945. A native New A President in Our Midst Franklin Yorker FDR called Georgia his other state. Seeking relief from the devastating e ects of polio he Delano Roosevelt in Georgia was rst drawn there by the reputed healing powers of the waters at Warm Springs. FDR immediately took to Georgia and the attraction was mutual. Kaye Minchew Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas was an intelligent spirited woman born in 1834 to one of the Su er & Grow Strong The Life of wealthiest families in Georgia. At fourteen she began keeping a diary of her accounts of life Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas before during and after the Civil War. The war and its aftermath changed her life forever. (1834-1907) Carolyn Curry The story of the rst airplane ight in Georgia has not been told correctly in more than one hundred years. To Lasso the Clouds brings to light the complete incredible story of the two young To Lasso the Clouds The men from Athens Georgia who achieved their dream of ight. Beginning of Aviation in Georgia Dan A. Aldridge Jr. Myra Lewis Williams memoir is her own brand of un inching down-to-earth humorous Southern storytelling that she reveals how she crawled out of the darkness and came to stand in the light of The Spark that Survived building a new life for herself. Myra hopes that her story will show women that they are stronger Linda Hughes & Myra Lewis Williams than they know and that if she could overcome her own misguided decisions and life s most tragic misfortunes they can too. As Myra says This is a book about how to overcome life s worst tragedies and your own dumbass decisions. Mom s Soul Caf is a chance to sit and enjoy the now. This book weaves delightful stories of motherhood with spiritual practices. You ll laugh you ll cry and you will discover ways to nd your Mom s Soul Caf own Zen in everyday life. Step into Mom s Soul Caf to celebrate the soul in a unique and Jennifer Webb inspirational way. Titles Twilight February 7th March 7th April 4th May 2nd June 6th If you or someone you know is a local author interested in sharing your published writing please contact Melissa Swindell at 404.851.9111 ext. 2 or at mswindell heritagesandysprings.org. The Family Behind the Burdett Legacy An interview with Marty Burdett and Irene Burdett Maddox B Interviewer Garnett Cobb B Date of interview August 28 1991 One of the most influential and well-known names in Sandy Springs history is without a doubt Burdett. The Burdett family has been a prominent and guiding factor in the community since its inception providing Sandy Springs with many of its first businesses and helping grow both the commercial and residential aspects of the area. The town was even once known as Burdal Georgia named in part for the Burdett family. That name unfortunately never caught on and the town was renamed Sandy Springs in 1941. However the Burdett name remains deeply rooted in Sandy Springs histor y. Siblings Mar t y Burdett and Irene Burdett Maddox remember what it was like growing up in such a prominent family. From business to barbeques to camp meetings they remember that the family always cared about the progression and development of Sandy Springs for all its residents. The Burdett family included eight children all of whom grew up on the Burdett family farm on Old Roswell Road. Two of the children--Irene Burdett Maddox and Luther Lamar Burdett--have vivid memories of growing up in the area. Irene was born November 14 1908 and was a lifelong resident of Sandy Springs. Her younger brother Luther better known as Marty to his friends and family joined the family eight years later. Their father managed the family s farm which provided cotton corn syrup chickens and cattle. The Burdett family operated one of the first stores in the burgeoning city. Stephen Burdett built and operated Burdett s Grocery at the intersection o f M o u n t Ve r n o n Highway and Roswell Road. His nephew John Franklin Burdett took over the store and ran it for many years. Originally a wooden framed building in the 1920s the store was eventually expanded renovated and replaced by a brick building in 1936. Once renovated it became more than just a general store providing the community with a plethora of services. Irene recollects On the corner first was...Nancy s service station run by George and Rachel and Sonny. And then next to them was Frank Burdett s grocery store. And then next to that was the Loudermilk grocery store. And upstairs I had a beauty shop up over the grocery store. And across from the beauty shop was 71 meetings were a fixed part of the community by the nineteenth century. Every resident always looked forward to the camp meetings in the fall as they signaled a time of rest merriment and worship after a summer of grueling labor tending crops millwork and taking care of family farms. Marty remembers that camp meetings were a time to enjoy the company of family friends and included a lot of arduous work preparing the area for the meeting. He recollects When the camp meeting started at the Sandy Springs Methodist Church on the Friday before the third Sunday in August the county would send their convicts out and clean off all the grounds and then the lady convicts would clean off all the cemeteries. But more than a reason to have convicts clean up the church and cemetery the camp meetings attracted guests that folks may have not seen for over a year. Marty recalls During the camp meeting you had kinfolks that you didn t even know you had to come and spend the week or the day or the night with you and get in on all this good food. They came from everywhere. Everybody on the campground had company from all over. I mean probably some they hadn t seen since last year. But it was a lot of fun. We enjoyed it. The best part of the camp meetings though was the opportunity to gather around the fire and eat. We had some great meals there recollects Marty. We always had the preacher and we had fried chicken. We d bring the live chickens from home and keep them in a cooper until we got ready to eat them and then we would kill em and dress them right there at the back of the tent. There wasn t nobody out in Sandy Springs that sold chickens at that time. That s right. If you didn t raise your own chickens you didn t get no chicken. first Dr. Woodson who had practiced there for several years. And then Dr. Crawford came and he was a dentist and he was also there for quite a while...[Later] I moved downstairs on the street level and had a shop next to the grocery store which then had been converted into an upholstery shop a furniture store. And also on the other side of my shop was L.T. Martin s repair shop auto repair shop. And he had quite a large business there and kept a lot of cars all around which occupied most of the parking spaces. The Burdett s grocery store sparked the commercial enterprise for which Sandy Springs is now known. From 1925 to 1930 the grocery store even operated as the town s post office. From 1903 to 1925 the mail was delivered once a week from Dunwoody until the grocery store offered post office boxes to the community. The newly-dubbed Burdal Post Office became a regular part of the store s function. It was not until 1930 with the initiation of rural mail delivery that citizens began getting their mail at their homes. Indeed the Burdetts offered the community many of its firsts. For instance Benjamin Franklin Burdett who was born and spent his entire life in the Sandy Springs area was one of the first commuters in town driving his Hanson Six automobile between Sandy Springs and Atlanta. B.F. Burdett was also one of the area s first developers. In 1903 he purchased the spring for which Sandy Springs is named and the surrounding property for 900. He would eventually help build the Brookwood Subdivision in 1910. For Marty and Irene growing up as a member of the Burdett family offered many opportunities for gaiety with family and friends. Camp Camp meetings were one of the main events to look forward to in the late summer and the Burdetts always made sure to participate. That was until the arbor burnt down in the 1920s. Marty remembers In the late 20 s...we came on up and we found the arbor and all the tents were on fire. Of course the Buckhead fire department was called. That was the only fire department up in this end of the county. By the time they got there those tents were gone. They d burned just they were full of straw and they burned just like lighter. The tents many families slept in were quite advanced for the once a year meetings--some of the more well-todo families even had a second story in them. Marty remembers They were called tents but they were actually small frame buildings...these things didn t have floors in them they had wheat straw on the floors. Then the beds for the ladies was a long frame built and bed with wheat straw on it and they put them feather mattress on it. That s where all the ladies slept and the men slept upstairs which was also on a long bed...we just slept on the straw I think. The church eventually rebuilt the tents and replaced them with new wooden structures. The straw was removed to create less of a fire hazard in the 1930s. Irene and Marty grew up part of a founding family who settled around a sandy spring envisioning and eventually creating a community characterized by hard work commercial enterprise and religious worship. Irene married her husband in June of 1939 and Marty married his wife Kathleen in 1939. The two continued to live and work in Sandy Springs fulfilling the legacy of the Burdett name. B N download transcript M Water Water Everywhere An interview with Joseph Ambrose Alexander Martin B Interviewer Burt Terrell B Date of interview August 1994 In the early twentieth century one of the biggest concerns the Sandy Springs community faced on a regular basis was the potential flooding of the Chattahoochee River. Many residents lost more than their homes over the last century to the fast rising waters of the Chattahoochee and the river s slow recession that followed. Joseph Ambrose Alexander Martin was born in Old Milton County in Roswell on February 11 1912 to Ambrose Alexander Martin and Calistie Martin. His mother Calistie was born to George Martin in Douglas County on their 40 -acre farm down by the river. Joseph knew very little about his grandparents or the lineage of his mother and father but their reliance on the Chat t ahoochee stuck with him as a fond childhood m e m o r y. H e spent more than 68 years in the RoswellHolcomb Bridge community before moving fifteen miles away to Forsyth County. Martin grew up in a much simpler Sandy Springs the roads were unpaved several family members moonshined as a hobby and their life and leisure centered around the Chattahoochee River. The Chattahoochee River winds its way through Fulton and Cobb Counties producing a community whose life has centered around its waters for decades. The river gave residents the most essential necessities of life--food and water. Most of Sandy Springs earliest residents were farmers who relied upon the river s yearly flooding to enrich their farms. Floods brought nutrient-rich soil over the banks of the river replenishing farmland soil and making agriculture in the area a sustainable way of life. However sometimes the water would rise a little too quickly and would make traveling difficult. Joseph recalls Tom Campbell lived over there...going down to Horse Shoe Bend. I think he owned down to Horse Shoe Bend and maybe some of it. I d walk up there through the fall of the year and winter time and loose water would be coming out of the banks and running down the ditch. And I ve seen them creeks on the old road there from the cur ve up there above the house to the curve over there on the other wise of the house...all out in the bottoms. Occasionally the Chattahoochee would flood roads houses and even the bridges meant to traverse the water below but that never stopped Joseph. I ve told folks...my uncle lived down there one time. And the river d [sic] get up. I ve told folks I ve gotten in a boat at Island Ford up there and went down the river...part time I was on River Road and sometimes in high places I d have to...and go plumb to Big Creek 73 Sandy Springs expected and prepared for conditions like these and used the river to their advantage. Sandy Springs residents routinely drew most of their water source from the river specifically for use as an irrigation system to sustain their crops--the basis of their very livelihood. During the Great Depression the river and streams began to dry up leading to some of the hardest three years the community would experience. In 1925 in addition to the destruction of their crops by boll weevils the drought dried up much of the Chattahoochee and its tributaries that residents used during their everyday lives. Joseph remembers My dad and Vic toria Almand went to see my halfsister in Birmingham. Dad got back...they rode the train out there and back...said lots of them creeks there weren t no water in them. The river s going out there plumb dry. And I saw the creek going down by the house it d get spread out. I remember going down there with Dad. There s a rock on each side and it got so dry he went down there and put his heel on one side and his toe on the other. Many farmers lost their crops and eventually their farms abandoning them to become sharecroppers without the expense of owning their own land. Joseph s family stuck it out and remained in Sandy Springs even though there was little left without water from the river to irrigate their crops. Today the Chattahoochee River is no longer a crucial food supplier but its value as a source of water has never been greater. As early as 1904 Fulton County began to capitalize on the flowing waters of the river building the Morgan Falls Dam which helped regulate the flooding of the Chattahoochee and provided wealthier citizens with electricity through hydroelectric power. Throughout the twentieth century different towns contested the rights to the river s water and built dams to prevent flooding and to harness the water for themselves. Sandy Springs no longer experiences the flooding it once did thanks to the Buford Dam. On March 1 1950 in Buford Georgia construction began on the dam which created the Lake Lanier Reservoir roughly 36 miles north of Sandy Springs. Residents still enjoy the river for its natural beauty and Morgan Falls Dam still creates enough electricity to power 4 400 homes in the area. Today s residents however will never know what the area truly was like when one could walk along the road and grab a carp after a particularly large rain. B in a boat he recollects. When the river flooded the residents stepped into their wading boots and hopped in a boat. Residents like Joseph became so accustomed to the anticipated flooding that many of them had boats tied up outside their homes in preparation for a surprise flood The river got up and...me and my cousin decided we d go down there to see how things re [sic] getting along. This guy lived there named Bill Andrews. He got us in the boat...come out there where we could get in the boat went riding around. I don t know whether to tell you or not. Most people might believe this is a lie but we rode through that house in that boat Got in the house and rode around in the house in the boat. Many community members saw the river flooding as both a positive and a negative. While it would affect many lives and take many homes some of the younger residents found new and innovative ways to go about their daily businesses--even if it meant waiting it out until the water receded. Joseph remembers My son up here on the Etowah back this side of Bucktown he was riding around here after big rains back there. He come in here he says I caught a great big carp up yonder right in the middle of the road. Creek went down...there s a creek run in there right at the river... Said he was driving along and looked over there and there lay a big old carp. He was still alive. He just got out and picked him up and put him back in the river. Joseph recalls many stories of men in his community taking advantage of the flooding as a clever way to catch fish. When the creeks would flood the carp would wash out onto the road and then when the creek would subside the men would go fishing. Most would put the fish back in the river but some would collect the fish and provide them to other residents who needed the food. The Chattahoochee River was known to flood every couple of years due to rainstorms and other natural disasters. Early residents of N download transcript M Work Work Baseball Work An interview with Clarence Haskell Perkins B Interviewer Burton L. Terrell B Date of interview February 21 1995 Clarence Haskell Perkins was born February 11 1906 at the Perkins homestead near the intersection of Johnson Ferry Road and Glenridge Drive. His parents Joseph Silas Perkins and Mary Lenora Ball Lamberth Perkins were founding members of the Sandy Springs community. The Perkins family operated both a cotton gin and sawmill at the intersection of Johnson Ferry and Glenridge Drive. The family had a small farm associated with the two mills and Clarence remembers that the work was hard. Well it was a rough life back in those days. A depression right on through I think. My father had a cot ton gin and saw mill...Well in a way it was a small saw mill he recollects. H e d s e l l -- he d cut the lumber-- cut the logs and haul them in-- make it into lumber--stack it and dr y it sell it on credit and never collect for it lot of times. That s a good way to go broke which he did. Clarence remembers that his father played a small role in helping build Sandy Springs in the early twentieth century. The area was large but the population was so small and the land was uncultivated. There was little to speak of in terms of buildings services or homes. Clarence remembers there were four buildings along Roswell Road when he was growing up Hammond School and three houses. The Perkins family and their neighbors such as the Burdetts Harrisons Reeds Douglass and the Powers were some of the oldest families in Sandy Springs. The neighbor kids were with whom Clarence worked went to school and church and occasionally would get to play baseball. Life in Sandy Springs was rarely leisurely for a growing young man. When Clarence finished his chores each d ay he had schoolwork to complete or his father would enlist him to help out at the cotton gin or the sawmill. His day hardly ever consisted of any thing but l a b o r. Well Sandy Springs--had a big old spring there and a marble wall around the springs. Water come bubbling up out of there. It furnished plenty of water. We had to haul water one season when everything got dry and the well went dry at the cotton gin. We had to haul water from that spring there to run the steam engine for the cotton gin. It was--it was a rough life remembers 75 recalls [For fun we] played ball shoot marbles have foot races. We called it townball then. When you were running bases you could throw the base--throw the ball and hit em running bases and they were out. That was called townball. It s similar to baseball...We didn t have any baseball field when I went to school there. It was just out in the yard--no layout at all--just get out there and put you a rock down there for the base. The kids in early Sandy Springs did not have much in the way of toys or sport equipment so they made things up as they went creating items such as balls and bats so they could play games together. Clarence recollects Well we made---lots a times out of an old black stocking. Took part of an old black stocking and wad and roll it up best you could then start tolling string around that. Roll it just tight as you could. Make it hard as you could then sew it with needle and thread keep it from unraveling. We made our own balls. If you was lucky enough to get a hold of a golf ball to put in the middle of it you were lucky...I made one once to try and see how hard I could make it and I made it hard. And I made me a brand new bat. We had a man working at the sawmill there he was a husky fellow. I got out there and I was going to throw the ball to him. He got--he swung away and he hit it. He had no more than hit that ball til it hit me right in the eye Knocked me down...From that day on I can t play baseball. I can t catch a ball. I dodge it every time. I m gun shy After Clarence s mishap with his homemade bat and ball he found other ways to fill his time between chores including shooting fireworks from a blank pistol or swinging through the trees near his home. Clarence remembers that it never mattered how you spent your time because every day was just another work day to the kids who grew up in early Sandy Springs. B Clarence. They worked on the Fourth of July and they picked cotton on Thanksgiving. On Christmas Clarence and other children might get some sweets and maybe a couple of firecrackers but he still had to cut wood hoe corn pick cotton and feed the animals. This was his daily routine before he could retire to bed and prepare to do it all over again the next day. When Clarence would get a small break from work he remembers that he either had to go to school or church. There was very little for kids to do other than keep up with their responsibilities. One activity that Clarence remembers all too well was getting into small skirmishes with his classmates. He recalls We didn t have much to do except kids getting in fights. I did my part of it. There was some older ones always wanting to agitate the young ones--get them fighting. They d take us and rub our noses together if nothing else to get us started fighting. Sometimes we d go home pretty bloody and muddy. We lived through it. Clarence doesn t remember anyone getting seriously injured. It was just a part of growing up in early Sandy Springs and trying to find ways to fill the time between chores. Recess however was the one time every day when Clarence could truly get away from all the work. He N N download transcript M M Sandy Springs Shopping Takes Center Stage An interview with Robert Ney and George Ivey B Interviewer Garnett Cobb B Date of interview October 1997 Roswell Road and Mount Vernon Highway became the centers of commerce in Sandy Springs during the community s expansion in the post-war era. Country and general stores like Burdett s and gas stations such as Pure were the first of many businesses to establish themselves centrally along these roads bringing with them new opportunities for the quickly growing town. George Ivey and Robert Ney two late residents of Sandy Springs both saw the potential business boom within the community and became par t of the first group of businessmen to invest in the burgeoning town. George Ivey bought and developed the land for Sandy Springs first shopping center in 1954. Prior to the completion of Interstate 285 in 1969 one of the most traveled routes into Sandy Springs and Buckhead was along Roswell Road. Before it was the major traffic jam that it is today Roswell Road began as a simple country road--unpaved--with just a few businesses lining it. Robert Nesbitt Hardeman and his wife Thelma opened their general store along Roswell Road at Mount Vernon Highway in the early 1920s. Nesbitt also opened a hardware store along Roswell Road between Mount Vernon Highway and Johnson Ferry Road which operated until 1958. However the real commercial boom to the area occurred in the 1950s after an influx of residents bought and developed residential property-- and businesses followed soon thereafter. According to Ivey he surveyed Sandy Springs East Cobb and Dunwoody in 1954-- prior to purchasing the land--and found roughly 6 000 r e s i d e n t s . To d ay approximately 10 0 0 0 0 resident s live in Sandy Springs alone. Ivey purchased land lots consisting of eight homes facing Roswell Road bordered by Hild e b r and D r ive on the nor th and by Boylston Drive on the east. The Sandy Springs Shopping Center opened in 1955. Ivey constructed the center in an L shape with one free-standing building on the northwest corner of the property. When the shopping center initially opened Ivey recollects There was no water or sewage in Sandy Springs. 77 The center was on a septic tank and it had to be cleaned out every day. Subsequently sewage and water costs skyrocketed for the newly-opened shopping center. Ivey s solution help bring water and sewage to Sandy Springs from Poletown (located approximately two miles south of Sandy Springs) in an effort to urbanize and modernize the Sandy Springs Shopping Center. Robert Ney better known in the community as Bob was the first businessman to invest in the Sandy Springs Shopping Center in 1955. Ney was the owner of the Roswell Road Pharmacy which opened about one month before any other stores in the newly-developed shopping center. Bob remembers Next to me there was a Big Apple Grocery Store. Next to them was a Forrest Five-and-Ten which was a local chain of Five-andTens and next to him was Aldridge H a r d w a r e which was a local hardware store owned by a c o u n c i l m a n I think it was an alder man -- alderman and his two sons. Next to him I believe was a children s shop which was run by Mary Maglin. Next to her was a shoe shop I believe Swofford s Shoe Stop who later on moved to another shopping center. There was also a dry cleaner Lee Pinkard Dry Cleaners. The Big Apple Food Giant Grocery was the first major food store to open in the Sandy Springs area. The Alterman brothers launched the retail grocery business beginning in 1939. They opened their first supermarket in Atlanta on Marietta Street and named the store Big Apple after a popular dance of the time. The Big Apple opened in Sandy Springs in 1955 shortly after Ney opened his pharmacy and was even open late on Wednesdays to accommodate its shoppers. Many of the stores within the Sandy Springs Shopping Center were staples for the community. Before the amalgamation of small businesses within the community many businesses operated as multiple entities from single storefronts scattered along Roswell Road. With the increase of residents in Sandy Springs more business owners accepted the utility of the shopping center for the convenience it offered residents. Ney remembers the presence of a hobby shop Mary Brewer s Lady Shop Fowler s Jewlery Store and even a post office in the newlyconstructed center. Before so many businesses began capitalizing on the new development Ney remembers There was a Burdett Grocery Store [between Johnson Ferry Road and Mt. Vernon Highway on Roswell Road] I don t know anything about it when we first came out here. And there was another across from that... with the post office inside the drug store. In those days the mail delivery system was less sophisticated and residents had to travel into the town to pick up their mail from their box at the post office. However they did have somebody that delivered the mail directly to the shopping center to each store in the shopping center. It was a very small post office without a lot of services recollects Ney. The post office was not the only addition welcomed with the shopping center the first bank in Sandy Springs also made its home on Ivey s eight acres. Ney recalls I don t remember which part it was but there was a camera shop and I think the camera shop sold out to the fellow that owned it [ran it] and I think it became Bates Camera Shop. In Sandy Springs there were no banks and all the banking had to be done in Buckhead or further away so it wasn t convenient for banking service. C&S bank of Sandy Springs came in and they originally were in the shopping center where Mary Brewer s Country Shop was. I think she moved into another store and the bank came in there before the bank building was was bought. The First F e d e r a l Savings Bank o p e n e d briefly in the Sandy Springs Shopping C e n t e r before it was relocated to a free-standing structure in the late 1950s. Another convenient service for the community was a temporary library. As a public service Ivey donated building space within the shopping center for ten years as a temporary library and provided the utilities until the area s official library was completed in 1965. The Sandy Springs Shopping Center was a welcomed addition to the burgeoning metropolis. The center offered new business options to residents ranging from a grocery store with unheard-of hours for the era a pharmacy camera store hobby store and much more. The Sandy Springs Shopping Center with the help of George Ivey and Robert Ney was a staple in the Sandy Springs community for more than 60 years. B N download transcript M Timber & Taters Living Off the Land in Early Sandy Springs An interview with Francis (Morris) Norris - Part One B Interviewer Dorothy Knight and Garnett Cobb B Date of interview October 28 1981 Francis Morris Norris was born in 1914 in old Cobb County and moved to Milton County as a very young child. During the Progressive Era her family attempted to rebuild and reboot their lives following the reconstruction post-Civil War. The counties of her youth--Cobb and Milton--later merged into a larger Fulton County near her grandfather s farm. Francis spent her life in Fulton County and her family s legacy is evident in ever ything from old saw mills to the names of several local roads including Jett Road and Morris Road. Francis fondly remembers life as a young child with her grandparents in the early twentieth century. According t o Fr a n c i s h e r grandparents were the kind of people who built Sandy Springs from nothing but a field of timber an unpaved road and an empty canning jar. Francis grandfather had a very large family and a substantial piece of land where he lived with his 12 children and his wife Cherokee Jett Morris. The family farm was near to what is now Heards Ferry Road about where 285 is north of Powers Ferry Bridge according to Francis. The Morris family was full of tradesmen. Men would haul cut and deliver timber and clay bricks to the people of Atlanta to rebuild the city after the Civil War. Frances grandfather-- William Burney Morris--owned a uniquely large sawmill in Fulton County and provided timber to build many homes for his family and the community. He even used leftover timber from the mill to build an arbor for his family to use during church camp meetings. Francis family and other residents of early Sandy Springs led true pioneer lives. Typical of that time her grandfather and father worked outside the house while 79 tenants or sharecroppers to help farm the land but the children helped most the time. Francis recollects So we we d get out and go and get the apples and feed the pigs. And a cousin of mine had to wear the bonnet that my grandmother wore because Grandmother milked the cows. And if Grandmother was ill then Lorreen Swofford one of my cousins would get that bonnet and--she lived right down just the next house over on another farm--and she d get that bonnet and put on the bonnet and that would be all right for Bossie you know--they always called the cow Bossie That cow knew my grandmother. The children knew part of their time on the farm was dedicated to chores including helping their grandfather feed the animals and harvesting the crops. When Francis grandfather was not busy farming cutting timber running the mill or contracting for the county his favorite hobby was swapping. Francis remembers that he had a hobby of swapping animals for cars or work for food. She states [He] loved trading horses and cows. It was quite an experience to go to his farm because he had everything you know that was interesting. One time he swapped some sort of animal for an old Studebaker limousine in the early 1920s. My granddaddy could not drive this vehicle remembers Francis Until my father being a younger man and would always [drive] him if he had to go places took the Studebaker and he would put everybody in because it had this cute little--it was a seven-passenger--cute little seats in back. So we all would you know huff if we didn t get on the little extra seat. They would pull down from the back and you could put two more people in there. William Burney Morris never did learn to drive the Studebaker but it brought the entire family a lot of joy for the many years they owned it. Francis grandfather lived to be about 78 years old and always lived his life to the fullest. Well my granddaddy had a way of swapping. He was a horse trader...the family he did everything. But he was very energetic. Old tall fellow with a beard and I can remember so much. He would speak he d just about scare us to death because he he meant business when he said Do you know you d done ...So we were really fearful of Granddaddy Francis recalls. However Francis fondly remembers his enthusiastic and sometimes humorous ways including the time he the women took care of the home. These pioneers created their homes by cutting the timber or molding the bricks from red clay. They farmed fruits vegetables and meat to carry them through the entire year. Francis remembers Most people farmed saw-milled or truck-farmed. And truck farming--for those who have not gotten into it or don t know much about it--was vegetables and fruits in season honey pork and sometimes beef wrapped in white sheets. Oh yes and fresh chickens still on the foot. These would be all be hauled in the wagon to town and sold on...streets when there was a surplus. Francis grandfather was a tradesman swapping and selling the surplus from his farm including timber cotton and canned goods prepared by his wife. Francis fondly remembers her father s entire generation as a different breed of men. They worked tirelessly and took whatever work was available. She recollects I should go on and tell you that many of these young men my grandfather s generation were builders and and after the sawmill business subsided and the other thing I guess brick making and such was a little bit you know they went to work for the county because they needed people who were experienced with animals and sawmill work for the grading. My uncle Bard Morris was a driver of a sixteam mule outfit that graded roads all around through this county. When Francis grandfather was not farming he was making a wage any way he could to support the family--and always did very well for himself. William owned several parcels of land throughout the county some of which he used for growing cotton. He had a few Timber & Taters Living Off the Land in Early Sandy Springs continued laughed at waking up the household while roasting sweet potatoes for a midnight snack. During the early days of Sandy Springs the area s women always tried to make the best of their situations--especially Francis Morris Norris grandmother. No matter what the world threw their way --whether it was Yankee soldiers attempting to steal their food rationing of housewares inflicted by World War I or the dissolution of their possessions during the Great Depression--the women of Sandy Springs almost always found a way to make things work for their families. They were true pioneer women who made good use of ever y ounce of f r uit and ever y piece of the animal. Francis grandparents Cherokee Jett Morris and William Burney Morris lived on the family farm and provided their family of twelve with everything they needed to survive. Gr andma Cherokee provided many cheerful moments that Francis remembered for the rest of her life. A true Sandy Springs woman was one who knew her way around the kitchen and one of Francis fondest memories of her grandmother was her abilit y to cook. Cherokee always had something cooking on the large fire in the kitchen. If she wasn t heating up the large earthenware churn for canning she would be stoking the fire to feed the entire family. Francis remembers that although her grandmother was the matron of the kitchen everyone else pitched in to help her. While the commanding presence of Francis grandfather persuaded the grandchildren to complete their chores on the farm Cherokee baked treats for the children to bribe them into helping. [We] loved Grandmother recalls Francis She was [always] baking and she d bake cookies and she d bake crackling cornbread for us and she would do all those little things that kids love. But you would go out and sweep the yard for her after you you know had your treat and so forth. So that was one way of getting things done. While Francis recalls her time with her grandparents with fondness the Morris family often had to utilize every resource to ensure that everyone s needs were met. Despite owning their own property Francis recalls her grandmother acknowledging that the family owned very little else and had to make due with what was available to them. As Francis remembers ... my Grandmother used to say Well I don t know what we own. We re just land p o o r. H o w e v e r Fr ancis re me mb er s that Cherokee Morris owned a useful piece of kitchenware that was a centr al co mp o ne nt of t he family s everyday life an earthenware churn. Although t ypically used to make butter the earthenware churn enabled the family to make a variety of food items for long-term storage. Kraut was made from cabbage in large earthenware churns. And churns also was a big item i n t h e h o u s e h o l d. They were used for milk and curing pickles and also making the kraut. And this was all kept for the winter and that s the way the family survived remembers Francis. [My Grandmother] was just a real country cook and I do remember some things...I remember waking in the middle of the night and Granddaddy would be stoking up the fire big old fireplace...and she would have baked potatoes sweet potatoes and Granddaddy would get those sweet potatoes and put them in the fire and that was his midnight 81 snack. But he always had his coffee pot there too...and he never wasted a thing. Cherokee Morris became the matriarch of her family at a time when women in t he Sout h had to be creative in ord er to make a small amount of food last for a long period of time. Just as Francis grandfather drank every last drop of his coffee Cherokee made sure that everything the family grew harvested or slaughtered was used to its fullest potential. Francis recalls The ladies canned most everything for winter. The hogs were hung after slaughter and cut up for sausage lard and curing. The curing of the hams and the large pieces of meat was was what carried them through the winter...They dried the peas they dried the butterbeans. And my grandmother told [me] about drying leather britches. And leather britches was green beans dried and they would string them. Just hang them up like they did the red pepper for seasoning the sausage. Canning season was Francis favorite time of the year because it involved all of the children scavenging for fruits. Francis recollects The blackberry season was really fun because two or three mamas and sometimes a daddy would gather all the children in the neighborhood and go berry-picking. This was a hot summer day and you would just really work at it because we were this was our pies for next winter along with apples and things that mother peaches and such you know that you would can for winter. Canning gave the neighborhood time to engage in frivolity during a period when most of one s time was spent doing chores. Francis remembers her grandmother having more fun with the children than grandfather who often had to be the disciplinarian. When Francis and her cousins would stay at their grandparents house their grandmother would entertain in the children s room. Francis remembers And Grandmother she really tried to see that we had fun along with it. We had popcorn and peanuts and all the things you know off the farm. Francis loved her grandmother and would try to do everything she asked. After Grandfather William passed away the family took care of Cherokee until she eventually joined her husband in the Sandy Springs Methodist Cemetery. And then Grandmother was in ill health and there were several of the Morris ladies and my father and his brothers would go and get my grandmother and she lived with us for three or four months then she d go to someone else s house and live with them for...That [was] the way we took care of our elderly then. Cherokee Jett Morris and William Burney Morris taught their children and grandchildren the value of hard work and resourcefulness and the grandchildren-- especially Francis--remember them and their life lessons fondly. B Aid and Adorn The Sandy Springs Garden Club An interview with Marie Payne B Interviewer Garnett Cobb B Date of interview June 14 1984 As early as 1926 Sandy Springs women began forming organizations and clubs to aid the city through decorating and beautifying the city s natural landscapes while also fundraising for local charities. The Sandy Springs Garden Club (SSGC) was founded in 1946 by Mrs. Marie Payne who became the first president. The Garden Club served as an impor tant social o u t l e t f o r m a ny women in the community. Marie s ef for ts through her first two terms as president of the Garden Club solidified the SSGC as one of the most effective and involved clubs throughout the entire state of Georgia. The first women s club in Sandy Springs dates to 1926 when several women formed the Women s Home Demonstration Club. Members of the club convened to discuss and share information related to improved canning sewing and gardening techniques. They would also gather to perform large garden tasks such as helping each other pick cotton during the end of the cotton season. In similar fashion the SSGC began in 1946 when 17 women gathered to set the by-laws and constitution of the Garden Club. The initial members decided on a series of programs that would set the pace for the club for years to come. Marie Payne recollects The club that year went all out for 100% registered voting and all member s went to the club house for the voting. We had five visitors. This particular year we [also] had an invitation to join the Federation for Garden Clubs which we did and have belonged ever y year. During Marie s first year as president Marie Payne of the SSGC she participated in the annual convention of garden clubs held in Augusta Georgia. Marie remembers [It] was reported that there were 270 garden clubs 8 467 members of garden clubs [from] all over the state of Georgia. That particular year for the convention 83 that way. Mrs. Marie Payne served as president from 1946 to 1948 since the club only allowed a two-term contiguous presidency. By 1975 Marie was once again president of the SSGC continuing its mission of philanthropy. The Garden Club held annual home shows of properties it landscaped and continued to donate profits from these shows to local health centers. Marie ensured that the club also gave back to younger women who aspired to continue work in horticulture and landscape architecture. In 1975 the Garden Club donated all the funds from its annual home tour to Dorothea Myer who attended the University of Georgia and was studying horticulture and landscape gardening. Marie remembers This was an inspiring year...Her father-it was during the Depression so to speak and there was no building going on--her father was a builder. Her mother told me they really needed that money for her to go back to school. She came to the Garden Club and gave us a wonderful program. She her aunt had let her have money to go to Europe to see the gardens and to study landscape gardening and she came and brought some film that she had made while she was in Europe. We thoroughly enjoyed it. By the end of Marie s second term as president the SSGC had 27 active members who actively participated in creating the Memory Garden at the site of the original Sandy Springs Library. The SSGC moved to its current home at the Williams-Payne House after 1984. Marie and her husband Major Payne sold the house to land developers in 1982. The SSGC approached the developers to purchase the home as a historic landmark in the community. The SSGC wanted to conver t the property into a Community Garden Center that would house community meeting rooms as well as serve as a permanent home for the Fulton County Federation of Garden Clubs. The developers--Portman-Barry--agreed to sell the home to the SSGC and even donated an additional 15 000 to help move the home to its current location next to the historic Sandy Springs. The Sandy Springs Garden Club continues to be an active leader in the community maintaining the Sandy Springs Library as well as the Williams-Payne House. Their dedicated members participate in classes to become master horticulturists and landscape architects. They donate their time and energy to organize flower shows that raise money to maintain historic landmarks throughout Sandy Springs as well as to donate to local charities. Marie Payne was instrumental in her efforts to establish the SSGC. Her influence has defined an organization that has benefited the Sandy Springs community for 75 years with many more to come. B November 1975 Garden Club Meeting Marie Payne seated everyone was urged to plant a Peace Rose and have a Victory Garden. The SSGC created and participated in many programs to aid philanthropic organizations including flower exchanges landscaping events flower shows rummage sales bridge parties yard sales and the creation and selling of a cookbook which helped garner donations for local charities in the community. The Sandy Springs Garden Club was the first civic organization established in the Fulton County area. One of the primary functions of the SSGC under Marie s presidency was philanthropy and community involvement. Marie recollects In November [1946 ] we held a Halloween carnival at Hammond School. Our project made 25.00 which of course went into the treasury. We were still doing decorating for the Boston General. During the holidays we gave poinsettias and wreaths to take out there...to Buckhead and the Red Cross wagon would pick up all these arrangements. Our club we voted to pay 10.00 to the health center for the worthy cause there. We worked on the drive having the driveway paved as it was so muddy up to the little house. In addition to donating their profits to local charities some of the garden clubs around Sandy Springs were the first advocates for environmental protection. Additionally they helped establish organizational infrastructure in the community by helping to create the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at Hammond Elementary while also sponsoring smaller garden clubs in the area. The SSGC also helped found the Sandy Springs Women s Club in 1948 which would later help support the building of the Sandy Springs Library and become some of its founding members in 1965. Our Garden Club was instrumental in planting dogwood trees from the Methodist church from Sandy Springs Circle down beyond the Methodist church beyond the cemetery. I don t think many of them [the trees] are living today but they struggled because of the rains and then the drought and not being able to water them. But we tried anyway because so many of the people in Sandy Springs had wanted the dogwood planted down N download transcript M The Heart of Our Community since 1984 OV E R yEARS We have enriched the quality of life for Sandy Springs residents and visitors through cultural historical and educational opportunities. And we ll continue to do the same for generations to come. We are Heritage Sandy Springs. And we are the Heart of Our Community Since 1984. Hours of Operation 6110 Bluestone Road Sandy Springs GA 30328 Office Hours Monday-Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Park Hours Dawn until Dusk Daily Get in touch Phone 404-851-9111 Fax 404-851-9807 information heritagesandysprings.org www.heritagesandysprings.org