William Akers and Ida King Akers built a country home along Spalding Drive in what was considered Dunwoody around 1935. The name Idalakers evolved from Ida Akers name and from the idea of many “idle acres” surrounding the home. The property included 45 acres on a hill with lovely views of hills and valleys all around.
William Akers was born in Atlanta in 1890. He attended Boys High School and North Georgia College. After some time in the lumber business, he was a manager and vice president for King Hardware. Later, he went into investment banking with Hamilton & Company and Citizens & Southern Company of Savannah. In 1933, he became administrative financial adviser and vice president of Haverty of Atlanta.
Ida King Akers was also from Atlanta and attended Agnes Scott College. Her father was George King, president of King Hardware. Ida and William married in 1911 in Fulton County.
In 1930, the couple lived in the Ansley Park area with their two children, William Jr. and daughter, also named Ida. Like several others from Atlanta, they built a summer cottage in what was then considered Dunwoody, along Spalding Drive.
The March 22, 1936 edition of The Atlanta Constitution describes an open house to be held at Idalakers. Their daughter attended boarding school at Gunstan Hall in Washington, D.C. and was visiting for her spring holidays.
Typical of other nearby summer homes, the home had several amenities in order to be the perfect location for parties. There was a wrap-around porch with swings, hammocks and a ping pong table. There was also a tennis court, croquet lawn, and horseshoe rings. Family and friends could swim in the lake on the property, complete with a diving board. The kitchen and dining room for the home were connected to the main house by a 50-foot hallway. (Atlanta Constitution, Sally Forth, May 1936).
One of the features of the property was the lovely gardens, including iris of several different colors. Ida Akers was a member of the Iris Garden Club, named for her favorite flower. In 1942, she was asked by a friend who lived far away to visit a patient at Lawson General Hospital (World War II hospital in Chamblee). Ida Akers gathered 100 gardenia blossoms from Idalakers and delivered them to the hospital for all the patients to enjoy. (Atlanta Constitution, July 1, 1942)
Katherine Geffcken, whose family owned the home known as Kenstone during these same years, recalls the Akers and Clay families as neighbors. The Geffcken home began as a summer place, but the family made it their permanent home in 1946. Kenstone still stands on Kenstone Court off Spalding Drive.
One day, Katherine Geffcken and her mother walked north along the Hightower (Native American) Trail that adjoined their property, then turned right and approached the entrance of the Akers country home. Katherine Geffcken remembers the Akers property as lush, with gorgeous azaleas, trees and a home that looked like a hunting lodge.
In case you are wondering exactly where the home was located or if it still stands, those are questions I am still trying to determine myself. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have information that would help answer those questions.