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Opinion: Joan Jameson Moore recalls small town Dunwoody

Joan Jameson Moore was born in 1936 to Sue Kirby Jameson and Tom Jameson. Her grandparents are Tolleson Kirby and Laura Little Kirby on her mother’s side and John and Effie Jameson on her father’s side.

Tolleson and Laura Kirby brought their family to Dunwoody by train in 1914 and made their home along Little Kirby Road, now known as Pitts Road. In the 1910s and 1920s, Tolleson Kirby delivered mail by horse and buggy and later with his Ford Model T on a 26-mile route from Dunwoody along Roswell Road and back.

Moore’s parents married in 1935 at the home of the Dunwoody Baptist Church preacher. The couple lived in a house next door to the church when it was located on Chamblee Dunwoody Road where Chase Bank is today.

Then they lived with Grandmother Kirby just north and across the road. This is where Moore was born. The Kirby family ran a dairy farm. Her mother used to call the home the “old Sarratt house” because the Sarratt family owned it before the Kirby family. The home sat on 6 acres.

Joan Jameson Moore

Joan Jameson Moore, third from left, is shown on the stage of Dunwoody School in 1947.

Joan Jameson Moore moved several times with her parents over the next few years, living in downtown Atlanta, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Smyrna, Brookhaven again, Dunwoody again, and Sandy Springs.

For a time, Moore lived next door to her grandmother’s house on Chamblee Dunwoody Road. She also lived on a farm along Spalding Drive for a while with her Jameson grandparents and great-grandparents.

Moore’s father worked several years at Frost Motor Company. Frost was a Ford dealership and repair center on Peachtree Road in downtown Atlanta. Tom Jameson also worked at other car dealerships through the years. Sue Kirby Jameson was a music teacher who gave private piano lessons.

When the Jameson family heard the news on their radio that World War II was over, they were overjoyed, especially because their Uncle Max Kirby was in the Pacific and would be coming home.

Moore went with her father to the Baptist church to ring the church bell and announce the news to Dunwoody. Her father was a deacon. Moore recalls how she held on tightly to the rope with both hands and “pulled as hard as I could. The bell rang out wonderfully! Then the bell started the downward path in its arc, and I went up about 5 feet.”

She remembers when the country store and gas station on the southwest corner of Chamblee Dunwoody Road and Mount Vernon Road was called Nash’s store. Ethel Nash ran the post office on one side of the building.

Joan Jameson Moore attended a few different schools, including Dunwoody Grammar School and Morgan Falls School. When Moore’s grandmother Kirby was sick, the family moved to the home on Pitts Road. Moore attended and graduated from Roswell High School.

When Joan Jameson Moore left home for college, she did not return to live in Dunwoody. She has many fond memories of growing up in what was then a small town, surrounded by extended family.

Email Valerie at or visit her website at

Past Tense

Award-winning author Valerie Biggerstaff is a longtime columnist for Appen Media and the Dunwoody Crier. She lives in Sandy Springs.