In 1884, the Roswell Railroad was making a round trip from Chamblee through Dunwoody to Roswell twice a day and a subdivision was planned near the Dunwoody Depot along the railroad tracks. The rows of houses on either side of Chamblee Dunwoody Road never happened, but the railroad was the force behind other development in the area.
Fast forward to 1915 and this historic map shows who owned the land and what development had occurred since 1884. The Dunwoody Depot and the three Railroad Section Houses were to the west of the railroad tracks. The Section Houses were in the area marked Southern R. R. and the one remaining Section House, today’s important reminder of the railroad, sits between Synovus Bank and Havoline Xpress Lube.
Dunwoody Methodist Church was on the opposite side of the road from where it is today and the parsonage was in the location of today’s church. Next to the parsonage is Albert Ball’s property. He was an early postal carrier and a pharmacist. He also ran the “Dunwoody Laboratory” along with sister Clara, producing salves and other remedies.
The dotted line along what is now Mount Vernon Road means the road stopped at a deep cut for the railroad tracks, so the only option was to go around the Nandina triangle.
Jonathan Ware, another early pioneer, was brother to William Ware, whose home was on the other end of Mount Vernon Road, then known as Lawrenceville Road. According to The Story of Dunwoody, by Elizabeth Davis and Ethel Spruill, two Ware sisters owned a millinery store, adorning their hats with flowers, feathers, and veils.
The land in the triangle between Nandina Lane and Chamblee Dunwoody Road was primarily owned by John W. Southern and wife Sally. G. G. Austin on the map is Glenn G. Austin. Austin used his carpentry skills in many ways to help the community, including building wooden toys and a Dutch play house for the school. His wife was Nettie Austin, a much loved teacher at Dunwoody School. Nettie was the daughter of John and Sally Southern.
W. R. Nash operated a store on his land. He would later run the store and post office which sat on the corner where the BP Gasoline Station is now located.
The Spruill name is found in the corner of the triangle and on one of the lots of the west side of the railroad. S. T. Spruill is likely Stephen Thomas Spruill, who once owned most of the land along Ashford Dunwoody Road and whose home still stands as the Spruill Gallery. J. C. Spruill is James C. Spruill, who operated a blacksmith shop on this corner and whose son Sentell later continued the family business.
Dr. Puckett owned the property behind the railroad section houses. He also ran a pharmacy, livery stable, and feed and fertilizer store on his property. The next lot was home to the early Dunwoody Baptist Church and the land was donated by the Cheek family. The map shows that Matty Cheek owned land adjacent to the church, which is the location of Dunwoody Hall shopping center today.
Larkin Copeland owned many of the lots on the east side of Chamblee Dunwoody Road in 1915 and had built his home and two level store on the land. Just behind and adjacent to his lots reads C. Cheek. Sister of Joberry Cheek, Columbia was a postmistress and early school teacher in Dunwoody. Census records indicate she was a school teacher in 1870.
Mrs. J. W. Cook should be Mrs. J. W. Crook. Myra Cheek was one of the children of Joberry Cheek, who built the Cheek/Spruill House. She married Will Martin, but after his death in 1906 she married John Crook.
Imagine how it might look if there were several homes, built around the turn of the century near the railroad tracks, and still standing in all their glory. If this plan had come to pass, that could have been a reality.