North Buckhead's Rugged
|Bill is the current owner of the quarry. In 1951, when Carmain Drive was just a dirt road, his father bought the lots 6 lots from 4250 Carmain Drive, southward. Bill said his father had to borrow $24,000 to pay for the land. He thought it would be a good investment. In following years, Bills father developed a lot every couple of years as a hobby because he enjoyed it, not to make a great deal of money, which he didnt. Across the street from this property at that time was the Carmain Dairy Farm.|
He said that at the time his father built the house at 4240 Carmain that there were essentially no trees. He said that the curvy tree in the front yard was very small when the house was built and was run over by a concrete truck. Mashed down to the ground, they thought it would die. Now it is huge, if shaped strangely.
When they started to build the house at 4240 they started to dig the footings, they almost immediately hit solid rock and decided to pour the footings directly on the rock. He said that the house has never shown any signs of settling!
Bill said that when he was a kid that Glengary Drive was only about 250 yards long and that there was a naval radar station where the extended Glengary now is. He said that it had signs around it. He believes it was built during W.W.II but was still active and staffed during the early years of the Cold War.
He remembers walking through the woods where Glengary Drive now is from his house over to McClatchey Elementary School on Loridans where GA 400 now is. He said that in the afternoon, a bunch of kids would emerge from the woods near the southern part of the quarry, returning from school.
Bill went to Sarah Smith, Dykes (now Sutton), and North Atlanta High School, graduating in 1966.
Bill said that when he was a kid (perhaps he said 1956) his father asked him if he had anything planned that summer. He said no, and his father said that this was a summer that wouldnt be a time for fun. The quarry was always filled with 18 inches of water and was an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. He said he spent the summer with a pick ax, digging out streams to carry off the water. He says it has stayed pretty dry since then.
While it has been reported in the North Buckhead Civic Association Newsletter that the quarry walls are 40 feet high, they seem closer to about 20 feet high.
Bill says that in the wintertime, sometimes that whole wall of the waterfall becomes frozen.
The creek that feeds the waterfall comes from a spring up towards Loridans, which is strange because that is very near the highest point in North Buckhead, over 1,000 feet above sea level. Another spring in Waldas yard also feeds into the quarry canyon. The creek exiting the quarry flows down between Carmain and Glengary crosses Buff Drive at North Ivy and joins Little Nancy Creek on North Ivy between Buff and North Stratford (about 850 feet above sea level). Bill and Walda both say they can hear the waterfall from their yards. Bill says he can hear it at night in the spring from his bedroom.
In 1978/9, I [Gordon Certain] hiked into the quarry, walking through the woods from the end of Glengary Drive. At the time, Glengary was a short 10 house dead-end street off of North Ivy. I saw the discarded tire there at the waterfall. It is still there in 1999.
When the houses were built along extended Glengary in the late '70s, construction debris was dumped into the quarry. Even today, people dump yard waste into the quarry.
Raccoons, water moccasins and other wildlife live in the quarry bottom.
We saw and photographed one hole in the vertical walls that had obvious signs of
Our [the Certain's] yard on North Ivy is 300 or 400 yards south of the quarry and is close to the creek that flows out of the quarry. Our cat found a live copperhead snake in our back yard last summer. We suspect it came from the wilds of the quarry.
There is a very large white pine on the southern part of the yard at 4240. Bill said that when the house was built in 1951, it was as high as the present gutters on the house, or maybe 20 feet. It is now one of the largest specimens of white pines around. Bill said that he used to be able to hang from the lower branches of this tree.
Bill said that living by the quarry was the neatest place for a kid to grow up. We are sure it was.
For those who went on the tour, it was just marvelous that a place so wild and so rugged could be in the middle of a residential area in a major city.
PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THIS PRIVATE PROPERTY WITHOUT PERMISSION! For those who are interested in touring the quarry, please send an email to NorthBuckhead@Yahoo.com. From time to time we will make the arrangements and secure a guide. Wear long sleeves (thorns and ticks are a threat), old long pants, and non-slippery shoes that you don't mind getting wet. Tour groups should be limited to about a dozen able-bodied people. The price of admission is that you have to carry out a bag of trash, so please bring a trash bag.
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