For most new residents to
South Fulton, any reference to Sandtown evokes
or the former
Elementary School, now A. Philip Randolph.
As late as 1950, County maps recognized Sandown’s boundaries
as bordered by the City of
and extending on
to the Chattahoochee
can remember when
Grocery at the corner of Boat Rock and
Campbellton was the local source of shopping for the community.
At the same time, Sandown’s
crossroads were near Boat Rock and Cascade. Fulton Industrial was not
even on the maps until the 60’s.
understand the Sandtown story, one must also understand some of the
history of Creek Indians in the South. The Creeks were one of 19 tribal groups that once lived in
Georgia. Following the Creek War in 1813, the
Creeks were forced to give up huge tracks of land in
and to move in large numbers into
. To get
more interesting facts about the Creek Indians click
Having been forced into Atlanta, the Creeks settled in an area around
an island on the
River. Earlier, a group of Creek
Indians had named the area "Buzzard Roost."
The new group of Creeks chose to name the area "Sandtown" ("Oktahasasi" in
suggests that the Creeks chose the Sandtown name because of the sandy,
rock terrain found in the area.
In reality, Sandtown was the name of the town, which the Creeks
had originated. The
practice of naming a new settlement after an old one was not uncommon.
Thus for many years, this frontier community was known by two
and Buzzards Roost.
By 1821, the Creeks surrendered more land, which was to become Henry
Counties. At the same time, more
Euro-American settlers had also come into the area.
The Sand Town-Buzzard Roost Community was now a frontier
settlement for adventurers and gold seekers going west and as such,
was wild and undisciplined.
In the late 1820's, the name Buzzard's Roost was dropped. In 1928, Sandtown had a post office. Campbell
historians believe that Sandtown was the first community in old Campbell
and the longest continuous community in
the Creek Indians occupied the area South of Atlanta, the Cherokee
controlled a large part of
Atlanta. With the Indian Removal Act, both the Creeks and Cherokee were
forced out of Georgia
With the Indians gone, the land around
was now ready for permanent
(First name Terminus, then Marthasville and finally
Atlanta) grew slowly, while the area in the
southwest of Atlanta
(Sandtown) remained a farming community of widely dispersed farms.
the Civil War, Union forces used the Sandtown Community as strategic
stronghold to launch their war efforts.
From the end of the War till Reconstruction on, the history of
Sandtown became more fragmented.
historical markers found in the area are noteworthy: The
"Sandtown" marker is located on
Fulton Industrial Boulevard
Boat Rock Road. It marks the former location of the J.H. Wilson home. Mr. Wilson's daughter married J.M. High of the J.M. High
Department Store, a renowned store in the 40's and 50's. The High
was named for the High Family. This site is also the location that General Hood launched his
defense to destroy Jonesboro
during the war.
second marker, "Dry Pond", is located at Boat Rock and
Campbellton. The third
," is at the corner of Camp
Creek and Campbellton. The
church is named for an eight-foot natural rock (identified by the
Creeks as resembling an owl), which is in the back of the church, near
are also some less understood parts of Sandtown's history which
require further study: First, there is some debate among historians
the old "Sand Town Path."
Second, a mid-to-late nineteenth century Gothic Revival house
on the Northside of Campbellton Road between Reynolds and Wallace
needs to be identified. The
community is trying to declare this as a historical home.
The house has clapboard siding, lozenge-shaped eaves-vents and
shed-roofed porch. There is a large historic wooden barn and storage
shed on the property. Third, the community is seeking a means of
designating archeologically the huge boulders on
Boat Rock Road.
Boat Rock Road
is named because of one very large
boat-shaped boulder on the road and the hard rock in the vicinity.
fourth historical interest is in completing an oral history of
Afro-American experiences in Sandtown, which is called ---"If the
Timbers Could Talk." Mrs.
Snotie Albert, a resident of Sandtown for nearly 60 years, has her own
memories of Sandtown. She
indicates many Blacks lived in the Boat Rock area but most of the old
homes have been torn down.
Albert adds that two United Methodist churches, Poplar Springs (Cascade Road)
and Rocky Head (Old Campbell Road
) were very important to the African
American community. She
also has vivid memories of the “one room colored school house"
attached to each these churches in the 40's by a private foundation.
Her son attended
until public schools were available
to him through public county funds.
building remains, but the
has been demolished. Children and teachers walked as far as Ben Hill
Community to attend these schools.
Sandtown in the Millennium
is a growing community with several new housing developments. The
largest development, the
Center, is a new urbanite project approved by the Board of Commissioners on
November 7, 20001. The Sandtown
is a result of a developer and community collaboration following a
bitter fight three years ago when the option was building 1400
umbrella organization, the Sandtown Homeowners’ Association,
attempts to work proactively in the community to assure quality
development. The Association has been instrumental in several
community issues. One lengthy
and ongoing fight has been to have quality roads in the Sandtown
Community. In 1998, Sandtown joined with Ben Hill to form the
Campbellton Road Coalition (CRC). CRC’s argument was that the DOT
design of “one size fits all” was inappropriate for Campbellton Road.
felt strongly that changes to
were essential, but that an unbiased
expert opinion was needed to develop a safe and progressive
alternative to the DOT design.
grants obtained from
and the City of
, CRC was able to receive input from
national experts such as Bill de St. Aubin of
The Sizemore Group
, Walter Kulash and Ian Lockwood of
Glatting Jackson in
Florida. Negotiations with the DOT are ongoing.
Sandtown Homeowners’ Association has also developed a business
overlay for Sandtown. The
overlay sets standards for all business development in the community.
identity will be encouraged through gateways and street toppers.
Most street toppers were installed.
The “Sandtown Topper Drive” had as its goal to have every
neighborhood adopt a Sandtown Toppers for their street. Toppers are still available.