Ralph Glaze was born in 1943 at Chamblee Hospital, run by Dr. Mendenhall. His parents had moved from Stone Mountain to property along Peeler Road and Cherry Hill Lane just a few years earlier. They opened a small store at this location. A few years later, they purchased property where Tilly Mill Road meets Winters Chapel and opened H.T. Glaze Groceries.
Herman Thomas Glaze and Kate Hughes Glaze were the parents of Ralph Glaze and five other children; James, Beatrice, Ray, Katherine, and Martha. Herman and Kate Glaze would accumulate 100 acres in this area. Today, Glaze Drive runs off Peeler Road.
Ralph Glaze attended Doraville Elementary School, located at the end of Tilly Milly Road where it meets Flowers Road. The school is now the location of DeKalb County Schools transportation offices and used for bus parking.
Herman Glaze was a school bus driver for over 36 years. During those days, DeKalb County didn’t own any school buses, so Glaze purchased his own bus with backing from the county. Ralph Glaze followed in his father’s footsteps, driving school buses for DeKalb County for 30 years. His sister drove for Clayton County Schools for 32 years.
When Herman Glaze drove a school bus, his children often rode along. Ralph Glaze remembers riding with his dad. They would pick up both elementary age and high school age children, dropping them off at Doraville Elementary and Chamblee High School.
Glaze recalls how North Peachtree Road was a dirt road back then, and two times, after a heavy rain, the bus got stuck in the mud. His dad would go to a nearby home with a tractor and ask for help. There were only about six houses on this stretch of North Peachtree Road.
Glaze Store was a small building with two gas pumps out front and a kerosene pump between the two gas pumps. Ralph Glaze recalls that they didn’t sell many groceries in the store because everyone farmed. Feed and seed were big sellers in the early days, but that need changed as the area developed through the years.
Herman Glaze had a strong work ethic, not only running the store, but also working as a night watchman at Standard Oil and driving the school bus. He was even a constable for North DeKalb, occasionally serving warrants.
Some of the locals stand out in Glaze’s memories. Carey Spruill, who lived at the Cheek/Spruill Farmhouse at the corner of Chamblee Dunwoody Road, would sometimes come to H.T. Glaze Groceries. Also, Glaze made deliveries to Elmer and Lester Womack who lived where Georgia State University campus is now located at the intersection of Tilly Mill Road and Womack Road.
In August of 1954, a fire destroyed Glaze Store. It started in a corn mill that Herman Glaze built next door to the store. Family and neighbors helped by getting as much merchandise as possible out of the store. That merchandise was sold on the front porch of the Glaze home for the next few weeks. Within two or three months, the store was rebuilt.
Ralph Glaze began running Glaze Store along with one of his brothers in 1974 and continued to run it until 1980. During that time, a hardware store was added to the family store. The store sat about where Auto Zone is located today.
Thank you to Ralph Glaze for sharing these memories of growing up in the area and of Glaze Store. His video interview and others of long-time residents are part of the Dunwoody Preservation Trust Archives.