Two houses on Vermack Road sit back off the road on a large piece of land in a pastoral setting. The addresses are 4809 and 4819 Vermack Road, better known to the family as Warnock Farm.
David Poss and Beverly Poss Bohan have many fond childhood memories of the farm, which belonged to their grandparents, William Ebbie Warnock and Georgia Elizabeth Pounds Warnock. Ebbie and Georgia were both born in the early 1900s. They married and had one daughter, Jemmie Lou Warnock, in 1932.
Around that time, they purchased 50 acres on Vermack Road, with the encouragement of Carey Spruill, the husband of Ebbie’s sister Florence Warnock.
Ebbie was a farmer and a carpenter who built his home and helped build other homes in Dunwoody. He was typically in his overalls with a wooden pipe hanging slightly left of his mouth.
In addition to working on the farm, Georgia worked many years at Southern Bell, taking the bus from Chamblee to downtown Atlanta. She loved to plant jonquils, which made a perfect place to hide eggs each year at Easter.
In 1950, Jemmie Warnock married Roy Eugene Poss of Brookhaven in the front room of the farmhouse. Jemmie and Gene Poss had two children, Beverly Poss Bohan and David Poss. The Poss family lived on Skyland Drive in Chamblee, but they visited Ebbie and Georgia often, calling them Papaw and Mamaw.
The front and rear pastures were planted with corn. Ebbie plowed the field with the help of mules Hat and Dinah before the tractor was purchased.
“Near the house were rows of okra, peas, squash, cucumber, tomatoes, potatoes and green beans,” recalls David Poss. “Mamaw canned a lot of vegetables. She loved stewed tomatoes and sweet pickles from their garden.”
Beverly reminisces, “We picked and shelled the beans and gathered the ripe tomatoes for supper. There were always fresh vegetables and cornbread on the dinner table with sweet tea and buttermilk. Mamaw’s peach and apple pies were some of the finest.”
One of David and Beverly’s chores was gathering the eggs. David remembers that the hens “seemed angry when I took the eggs and chased me sometimes.” Hogs were also raised on the farm.
David often went on trips with his grandfather to barter vegetables and sausage for other goods. Ebbie bartered at a farm on Peeler Road, in downtown Dunwoody, and occasionally in Brookhaven and Atlanta.
“After a long day in the fields,” David remembers, “Papaw and I would sleep in the day bed on the front screen porch. There was no air conditioning, so it was cooler on the porch. The sounds of the crickets, frogs, owls and whippoorwills filled the night air. It was a wonderful time for me and my grandfather.”
Ebbie Warnock died in 1966 and Georgia sold all but 10 acres of the property. Beverly and David continued to spend many nights at the farm with their grandmother, “listening to the rain on the tin roof and making sweet memories of summer nights at the farmhouse.”
David lived in the farmhouse from 1972 until 1978 and paid his grandmother $75 a month rent. Vermack was a dirt and gravel road with a wooden bridge over the creek. The following year, his parents built the brick ranch on the property and moved to Warnock Farm.
Beverly Bohan and David Poss became stewards of this property after the death of their father on Aug. 23, 2020. Their mother died in 1991. You may recall seeing Gene Poss mowing the vast lawn with his 1948 Ford tractor, a task which David is handling now. As a child, David sometimes rode on the same tractor with his grandfather.
John and Ada Baker Warnock are David and Beverly’s great-grandparents. John was one of eight children of William R. and Amanda Adams Warnock, the original owners of Warnock Cottage on Mount Vernon Road.
David and Beverly are hopeful the old farmhouse can be preserved and recognized as a piece of Dunwoody history, the place where it all started for a farmer and his family.