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PAST TENSE

Opinion: Webb family dairy in Sandy Springs was well equipped

Clifford and Clara Sanders Webb, along with their 12 children, moved from Mayson Avenue in Atlanta to the intersection of Glenridge Road and Johnson Ferry Road in 1924. Mayson Avenue was where the Lindbergh Marta Station is today. The family traveled down Lindbergh Drive across Peachtree Road to Peachtree Battle Road, then north on Northside Drive toward Sandy Springs. The cattle the family owned followed behind. (Interview with Montez Webb Shackleford, 2008)

Their new home was on 24 acres. They called the farm C.S. Webb Dairy Farm, named for Clara Sanders Webb. They enlarged the small house that already sat on the property. Local Sandy Springs builder Arthur Mabry constructed the dairy buildings. There was a dairy barn, milk house, sleeping barn, engine room, smokehouse and boiler room. Fifteen stalls were built on either side of the dairy barn, and the barn doors were wide enough to allow milk trucks to park inside at night. (More of Sandy Springs Past Tense, 1982, Lois Coogle)

Aberdeen Forest

The neighborhood of Aberdeen Forest at Glenridge Drive and Glenairy Drive gets its name from the C.S. Webb Dairy that once was on this land and the Aberdeen Angus cows they raised. 

The C.S. Webb Dairy kept Aberdeen Angus and Holstein cows. As soon as each child reached the age of 10, they were expected to help with the milking. Each child had their own stool and bucket. The buckets were carried to the milk house where the milk was strained into large, sterilized cans, bottled in glass bottles with a stopper and stored in a large ice box. Ice was brought in from the Buckhead Icehouse in 100-pound blocks.

Milk and other products such as buttermilk and chocolate milk were delivered by truck seven days a week to Atlanta. The people of Sandy Springs and other neighboring communities did not need milk delivery because most families had their own cow. The Webb family wrote bills and collected at the end of each month.

The children attended Hammond Grammar School, which was located where Mount Vernon Towers is today at Mount Vernon Highway and Johnson Ferry Road meet. Daughter Montez Webb Shackleford recalled going to high school at North Fulton High School on Delmont Drive, which is now The Atlanta International School. She rode a bus from Sandy Springs.

The family attended Sandy Springs Methodist Church. In the summer, they went to the Sandy Springs Methodist Camp Meeting, a week of outdoor church services held at the time when crops were laid by. This was when farmers waited to harvest their crops.

The Webb family only bought flour and sugar at stores. In addition to the dairy and vegetable garden, they had a fruit orchard. They raised chickens, turkeys, ducks and guineas and always had canned goods and meat stored in the smokehouse. They bought their necessities at Burdette’s Grocery in Sandy Springs, often bartering with eggs from their farm.

Glenairy Drive and Aberdeen Forest got their names from the Webb Dairy and cattle that once were on the land. When Clifford Webb’s health declined in 1938, the family sold the farm and moved to a home on Sandy Springs Circle. The old home that was part of the dairy farm burned in 1940.

Past Tense

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