North Buckhead Neighborhood History and Sites of Interest

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New (5/04/07) 1938 aerial photo of North Buckhead with current streets(542KB)

New (5/04/07) 1942 Hand-drawn official map of North Buckhead - showing paved/dirt roads (706 KB)

New (12/2/04) 859 Loridans Drive - beautiful 1927 home on the highest part of North Buckhead

New (5/15/01) History of Emma and Lakemoore - text and pictures about North Buckhead from 1945 Pure Oil report

New (2/8/01, link fixed 4/14/01) History of Emma Lane, Emma Lake and the Lakemoore Area

New (2/8/01) Peachtree Gardens "History" Incorrect

New (12/18/00) More Info About Log House On Arden Way

New (10/06/00) Topographic Map of North Buckhead

New (4/29/99) Material About North Buckhead's Rock Quarry

New (4/2/99) Material About Earliest Buckhead Church

Updated 6/2/03 What is North Buckhead? Where is it?

North Buckhead is a residential, mixed-use and urban neighborhood inside the City of Atlanta, north of the Lenox Square area.  The area is heavily wooded with many hills and valleys.  It is conveniently located and has easy access to Atlanta's best shopping and to the majority of its finest restaurants.  Commuting is easier from North Buckhead since it is located on the city side of GA 400's toll gates and has the Buckhead MARTA station and the Lenox MARTA station is nearby.

New 10/6/05 - Interactive Google Map of North Buckhead

North Buckhead's land area is about 2.5 square miles, about 2% of the area of the entire City and is one of Atlanta's largest neighborhoods.  It has over 3,500 owner-occupied residences.  Of these, about 48% are single family houses on individual lots.  The remaining 52% are condominiums, both low-rise complexes and high-rises.  New infill subdivisions and redevelopment of existing home sites are common, gradually increasing the number of free-standing single family homes.  New condominiums continue to boost the neighborhood population more rapidly.   

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Direction North Buckhead Boundary
South Peachtree Rd from Piedmont Rd to Peachtree-Dunwoody Rd
West Piedmont Rd from Peachtree Rd to Roswell Rd
Roswell Rd to Atlanta City limits (beyond W Wieuca Rd)
North Atlanta City limits
East Peachtree-Dunwoody Rd 

North Buckhead includes over 100 intersections involving over 80 different street names.  Immediately beyond North Buckhead's southern and southwestern residential area is a heavily commercial/institutional and high density residential area which includes a number of shopping centers, high-rise office building and hotels.  Many owners of these high-rise homes have joined the North Buckhead Civic Association.  Intensive development is under way in this area.  

The western boundary is generally light commercial (strip malls along with small stores and restaurants) along Roswell Road.  The remaining boundaries are residential -- Sandy Springs on the north, Brookhaven on the east.  

About 40 restaurants (excluding fast food) operate within North Buckhead's boundaries and a much larger number are nearby.   

North Buckhead offers quiet living (very comfortable to luxurious living) in a heavily wooded area with immediate access to many employment opportunities, the best shopping in the southeast US, and convenient access to the rest of the city by expressway and rapid transit.     

Neighborhood History of Our Part of Atlanta

  • 2/23/02 Indian Days

The Creek (Muscogee) Indians inhabited the area south of the Chattahoochee River for thousands of years.  They had several settlements along Nancy Creek, the nearest to North Buckhead being in Chastain Park (under the filled-in ball field).  They were forced out of the area by the US Government in 1821.  See Chastain once Indian land.

  • War of 1812 Era Events

Peachtree Road Commissioned by US Government

During the War of 1812, the Creek Indians, residing in our general neighborhood, sided with the British.  In order to facilitate US Army travel between outposts in the area, Peachtree Road was commissioned and built.  It went east and north from Buckhead to Gwinnett County along present Peachtree Road and west from Buckhead to the Chattahoochee River along the general path of West Paces Ferry Road.

Early Non-Native-American Resident of North Buckhead Area

John Evins and his wife Nancy came to our area in 1818. They had extensive land holdings at the north end of North Buckhead, with a home near present-day Peachtree Dunwoody and Windsor Parkway. Historian Franklin M. Garrett believes that nearby Nancy Creek got its name from Nancy Evins.

4/2/99 Buckhead's First Church - Sardis Methodist

Sardis Methodist is thought by author Susan Kessler Barnard to be Georgia's third church. 

At 3725 Powers Ferry Road NW, it is right across Roswell Road from North Buckhead.

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Sardis Methodist Church
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Sardis Historical Plaque
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The plaque says that 
Sardis Church was 
established in 1812 on 
land taken from the 
Indians.
Susan Kessler Barnard 
says the date is more 
likely around 1825.

The cemetery at the church is very old.  Many graves are marked only with simple unfinished local stones. 

The oldest dated grave is of a 7 year old girl, Sarah Barnwell, who died in 1831.

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1831 Grave Stone
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  • Civil War Era Events

Buckhead Occupied by Federal Army

On July 18, 1864, during the Battle of Atlanta, the Federal Army occupied Buckhead and the ridge between Peachtree Road and Nancy Creek, west of North Buckhead.

  • 1890s - 1920s

Stone Hunting Lodge On Mountain Way

A stone house can be found at a bend on Mountain Way on the North Ivy side of the Little Nancy Creek bridge.  It is said to be an old hunting lodge which dates from 1890.  Other people say this house  was built in the late 40s. StoneHouse-Sm.jpg (21580 bytes)

Photo: Gordon Certain.

Lake At Mountain Drive

According to long-time residents, the depressed marshy area bounded by Mountain Drive and North Ivy was once a man-made lake, with a dam near the present-day bridge on North Ivy near Mountain Way.  The dam was removed around 1920, reportedly about the time the Peachtree Gardens Club House was built.

A reader on our "Fence Talk" page left the following comments: "As for the dam on the Little Nancy Creek, it was put there to form a lake, and a sandy "beach" was made at the time that Peachtree Gardens was built. It was, originally built to be a delux resort. The grand opening was attended by the then Govenor of Georgia, the Mayor of Atlanta and other notables. Blue Baron, with his nationally known orchestra, played for the Grand Opening gala."

12/18/00 Log House at 37 Arden Way

More Recent info here

As recently as the late 1980s and early 1990s, there were several log houses in North Buckhead.  One on the west side of Wieuca Road near North Ivy Road was torn down around 1995.  The last one that we are aware of is on the west side of Arden Way.   

The exact age of this house is not known, probably 1880s or 1890s.  However, according to the current owner, the street address was recognized in 1903.  At that time the street name may have been Innis Road.  Better pictures of the house will be posted here in the spring.

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Photo: Gordon Certain.

 

Sites of Interest in Our Part of Atlanta

  • Things to See

Mill Site on Wieuca Road

An old mill site can be observed just south of the intersection of Wieuca Road and Nancy Creek on the west side of the road.  The mill dam was in ruins for many years but was rebuilt when the adjacent property was subdivided and re-developed.  If anyone can provide additional historical information about the mill, we will be glad to publish it on this site.  Please contact us.

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(Click each small image to see a larger image)

 

Photos by: John Noell of Noell Communications

Peachtree Gardens Club House

A large old club house exists, in somewhat declining condition, west of the intersection of North Ivy Road and Buff Road, near North Stratford Road.  It was constructed around 1927 by Theodore Benning, built as a dance hall.  The dance hall was very popular and was said to be used constantly until 1972.

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If anyone can provide additional historical information about the history and events at the club house, we will be glad to publish it on this site.  Please contact us.

 

Neighborhood Physical Characteristics

  • Neighborhood Elevation Above Sea Level

Highest Point:

1016 Feet at St James Methodist Church at Lordians Drive and Peachtree-Dunwoody Road

Lowest Point:

About 815 Feet at Roswell Road and Nancy Creek

  • Bodies of Water

Lakes:

  • Lake Emma (Visible from Lakemoore Drive and Land O'Lakes Drive)
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Emma at Lakemoore Colony Condominiums

Streams:

  • Nancy Creek along the north border of North Buckhead
  • Little Nancy Creek runs through North Buckhead from Peachtree-Dunwoody near Stovall Blvd into Nancy Creek at Wieuca near Loridans

Other Neighborhood History and Sites

  • If neighborhood residents know of other topics of neighborhood historical interest or sites of interest, please contact us.  Items of special interest include origin of the names:
  1. Buff (Drive) (See note from Charles Taylor.)
  2. Carmain (Drive) (See info about Carmain Dairy.)
  3. Chastain (Park)(See note from Grant Thomson.)
  4. Glengary (Drive)
  5. (Lake) Emma
  6. Loridans (Drive)
  7. Stovall (Boulevard)
  8. Wieuca (Road) (See note from Charles Taylor.)
  9. Windsor (Parkway)
  • When was Peachtree Dunwoody Road built?  How old is Wieuca Road?
  • Do you know of any interesting trees, houses, archeological or geological structures in our area?  If so, please contact us.  We'll share them on this site!

Neighborhood History Reported by Visitors to NBCA Web Site

Waldtraut Lavroff of Carmain Drive (May 17, 1998)

Carmain Drive History

"The spring on my property [4250 Carmain] used to be the only water supply (pumped into what is now 4260 Carmain Dr.) before the street became citified.

"There was an active quarry in the ravine behind our properties on Carmain."

 

Sara Mayeux of Herrington Drive (May 17, 1998)

Sarah Smith Elementary History

"I know from a school project that Sarah Smith was originally built in the '50s because N. Buckhead had just been included into the City Limits.  It was named after the daughter of a prominent Atlanta family, and then it was grades K-7.  I remember my kindergarten class was the last to have Mr. Pepe as principal."

Herrington History Needed

"Also, Does anyone know the history of HERRINGTON DRIVE?"

 

Louis Mayeux of Herrington Drive (May 17, 1998)

Weiuca Road Name/History

"In regard to Wieuca Road, I've heard Franklin Garrett say the name was derived from the initials of a developer's daughters' names.  The guy developed Sutter's Mill.

 

Charles Taylor of North Ivy Road (May 17, 1998)

Weiuca Road Name

Charles reported that he understood the the name Wieuca came from the names of a developers three daughters.  Charles said their names were WILMA, EUGENIA, and CATHERN -- WI-EU-CA.

Peachtree Gardens Clubsite History

Charles also reported that he had heard that the clubsite area (bounded by North Ivy Road and Mountain Drive) had been a lake before the clubhouse was built in the 20s.   He said that there had been a dam there is now a bridge on North Ivy.

Buff Drive Name History

Charles says that one of the two original residents on Buff were the Buffington familty.  He suspects the name Buff may be related to the name Buffington.

 

Reed Curtis of Glengary Drive (May 12, 1998)

Origin and History of Chateaugay Lane

"Chateaugay Lane which is off of Loridans Dr. was named after Chateaugay the winner of the 1963 Kentucky Derby.  The circle at the end of what is now Chateaugay Lane was at one time private horse stables."

Grant Thomson of Ivy Chase (May 11, 1998)

Source of Wieuca Road's Name

"I have read that Wieuca came from some arrangement of the initials of the developers children."

Chastain Park History

"I know Chastain Park used to be a prison site.  It was a farm where the inmates worked the fields raising vegetables.  The present Galloway School was an alms house for the whites, while the art center was the alms house for the blacks.  I don’t know for sure, but I think the name Chastain came from the landowner who owned the surrounding property and who ultimately left the stables to the city in his will.   It stated that the stable property would revert to his estate if it were ever sold (which Maynard Jackson apparently tried to do)."

"The Shadow Observer" (January 15, 2001)

Peachtree Gardens "History" Incorrect 

[The following are direct quotes from several very long emails I received from "The Shadow Observer".  I omitted much of these emails and much of my response in the interest of brevity.  What is left is still quite long.  Gordon]

"Dear Sir,

After reviewing nearly all materials on the nbca.org website pertaining to the history and facts of the Peachtree Gardens Night Club and the surrounding area I regret to say that it is laughable. Much of your information obviously has been gathered by individuals who either had no clue what they were talking about. Or who had spoken to those who also had no facts, yet made them up as they went a long.

"Not only is the most recent history incorrect, the background, construction dates and operation records you have are incorrect as well, and 90% fiction. Peachtree Gardens in fact was not originally called 'Peachtree Gardens.' Nor was it built in 1927, nor was it supposed to be any kind of private club for the elite as some document on your site insinuated at one time. Neither was the property ever a lake or ever planned to be. Nor did an eight foot fence surround the property. A six foot wooden fence lined the 
road behind Peach on N. Ivy road.

"The structural damage that caused the building to go into excellerated deterioration was not sustained by a tornado, nor did the said tornado simply 'rip off shingles which were never replaced.' It is true very bad weather ripped through the property through out the early 90's. But the structural damage that it caused was in relation to other points of the building and other weather conditions. Sadly outside the damage to the roof 90% of the damage INSIDE Peach was man made.

"Sadly, the entire neighborhood excluding one resident T.R. Benning Jr. has honestly no clue what Peach was in her golden years. Nor do they have much of a clue what the neighborhood it's self was, so they make up these tall tales, i.e. 'Rock Quarry,' and 'Lake at Mountain Drive,' among other areas. One of the first houses in the neighborhood belonged to T.R. Benning Sr. which sits at 751 Mountain Drive. The Benning family being the first major family of the neighborhood in fact owned 95% of the land surrounding Peach. Including the property of 4098 North Stratford. The property directly behind it on Buff Drive. The entire property within the ring of N. Ivy and Mountain Drive. As well as the property at 751 Mountain Drive. Including the 
property which extends under GA 400 along Mountain Way.  Anyone who knows anything about this neighborhood will laugh at what the current residents have whipped up. It's a classic case of not knowing your history. Only the worse part is they're making it up as they go along basing it loosely on vague information from aging individuals, or third party information from people who only rely on materials found in libraries and archives.

"The Shadow Observer."

"

"Dear Sir,

"Much of the information you wish me to confirm I am with holding until the documentary in production has been completed. Information which has been directly gathered from the remaining Benning children in refrence to 'Peach' and the surrounding properties. After all they are the ones who built it and lived there before anyone else.

"Until then you'll have to take my word for it."

"All my information is in original hand written or typed form or original photography and materials dating back to when the dance hall was new. No third party information.

"As for this 'lake' it NEVER existed. I don't know WHO told you it did. The creek flooded almost constantly because of the damn that was in place, before it was blasted in 1928 after 'Peach' had been constructed. The details of this damn, why it was blasted, who it was blasted by and all other details will be included in the two hour documentary.

"In the early 80's 'Peach' was in excellent condition. The dance floor still in near mint condition (except for the need of a polish) the facitilities still in working order. Nothing in 'Peach' was ever shut off until the 90's. Water, gas and electricity worked up until the first bad storm that began her downfall. The only reason the restoration and renovation never took place is because the means to make up for the expenses was taken away. Simply, restoration was cancelled when they could not reopen and make up for the cost.

"May I ask that in respect to the remains of the dance hall you try to refrain from referring to it as a 'club house.' Because it was nothing of the sort. It was a true, big band dance hall, nothing less.

"The Shadow Observer."

Kitsie Riggall (February 7, 2001)

History of Emma Lane, Emma Lake and the Lakemoore Area

"When we purchased our home at 2 Emma Lane last year, we learned quite a bit about this area of the neighborhood, some of which you may already know. 

"The area around Emma Lane was originally owned by Wiley Moore. He was an executive with the Pure Oil Company and a civic leader (ran for mayor and was Georgia's first Commissioner of Corrections) in the 1930s. He owned about 200 acres, I think, in the area and his residence was 1 Emma Lane, the large house at the end of the street on the right.  Emma was Mr. Moore's wife. Emma Lane was actually the driveway to the house. He later built 2 Emma Lane (our house) and 3 Emma Lane for two of his four children.

"This also would be the origin of Lakemoore Drive as, I think, the entire estate or area was called Lakemoore. All of this information is contained in a profile of him in the Pure Oil News from years ago. We have a copy and I will make a point of sending you one. There are pictures of the original three houses on the street, as well as the club house at Lakemoore Colony (I also have a copy of the history of these condos). I haven't read the article in a while, but I think he built the series of dams and lakes that make up what is now the wetlands area at the end of Emma Lane and the chain of lakes that eventually flow into Nancy Creek over by Rickenbacker."

 

Bibliography

"Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events, Volume I", by Franklin M. Garrett  (Available at the Atlanta History Center)

"Buckhead: A PLACE FOR ALL TIME" by Susan Kessler Barnard (Available at Borders)

"What's in a Name: Places and Streets in the Atlanta Area", by Eva Galambos  (Available at the Atlanta History Center)

United States Geological Survey Maps of Atlanta

 

If you want to contact Gordon Certain about the neighborhood's history and things of interest, please click here.

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