When I was asked a few weeks ago about the history of the name Abernathy Road, I turned to Lois Coogle’s “More of Sandy Springs Past Tense.” The Abernathy family once owned a farm between Abernathy Road and Mount Vernon Highway, according to Coogle.
John Davis Abernathy and Rhoda Abernathy came from South Carolina to settle in Georgia. In 1850, they lived in the Shallowford District of DeKalb (Dunwoody). By 1860, the family had moved to Oak Grove District of Fulton or what we know today as Sandy Springs.
John and Rhoda Abernathy and many descendants are buried at Sandy Springs Methodist Church Cemetery. The family married into other pioneer families in the area, including Grogan, Burdett, Spruill and Copeland.
Winter’s Chapel Road is named for Jeremiah Winter, who came to the community in the late 1860s. Winter believed the community needed a church. Sunday School classes took place in a grove where Winter lived, on the property of Adel Woodall. No money was available to build a church, so Winter advised, “We can go to the woods, cut logs and have them sawed and hull us up a church.” Georgia property tax digests for 1872 to 1875 indicate that Winter lived in Gwinnett County. (winterschapel.org)
Nandina Lane, the short street that forms a triangle at Mount Vernon Road and Chamblee Dunwoody Road, was built to get around a deep railroad cut. There was an incline as the tracks of the Roswell Railroad followed Chamblee Dunwoody Road toward Mount Vernon Road, requiring a railroad cut at the intersection. (“Writings of Jim Perkins,” 2004)
Traffic, whether horse and buggy or car, was diverted around the cut by going north on Chamblee Dunwoody Road toward the railroad depot and back toward Mount Vernon Road by way of Nandina Lane. Perkins reported that Nandina was first known as Spruill Street because it led to Spruill farm on Ashford Dunwoody Road. Later, the name became Nandina because of the nandinas planted in front of a home that bordered the road.
Irvindale Way, which runs off Broad Street in Chamblee is named for Irvindale Dairy. P.E. Hyde started Irvindale Dairy in 1918. This was a time of tremendous growth for Chamblee with thousands of soldiers and employees at World War I Camp Gordon. The dairy was in the area along Broad Street and Irvindale Way near today’s Chamblee post office.
Hyde started out small, with just six cows and a horse and buggy for delivery. By 1931, the dairy had grown to 125 cows, producing 220 gallons of milk a day. Irvindale farm later moved to Duluth and the dairy operations to Spring Street and 14th Street in Atlanta.