It was originally called New York, then Mazeppa. The Ocee name, which was taken from the name of a Cherokee community in the area, is still in use today for a school, a park, a library and a church, among others. Ocee is now a part of the new city of Johns Creek, named after Johns Creek which flows just east of it. That city is a part of the municipalization of northern Fulton.
As a kid, to visit my older sister in Lawrenceville we would travel the back roads through a community called Ocee. I remember passing what was then a new hospital and then after Ocee passing the American Legion with the large tank out front before we reached Duluth. Duluth itself was named by Captain Evan P Howell after a speech he heard about Duluth, Minnesota. This we will discuss in another blog post. Ocee was a large farm with a long brown wooden fence. I cant remember any buildings there. Just a lonely little sign indicated this was the community. On this page we have mentioned Mazeppa. I have not seen the are referred to as New York but interesting.
Above is a couple of articles form the Digital Library of Georgia about Ocee and some of the residents. When you search for the word Ocee you of course find the word once since the search engine see the words that way. Ocee was not mentioned until later in 1911. A lot of news about Ocee was published in the Alpharetta Free Press and can be found in the Uncle Remus Regional Library Searchable database of Morgan County, Georgia newspapers. A lot was associated with the Cross Plains Church.
We don’t see Ocee mentioned in maps until 1899. We also see the Mazeppa is in a different location.
The Alpharetta Free Press did a lot of stories of local news from the Ocee Community.
In the book “AN OLD COOT’S ESSAYS ABOUT AN EARLIER GEORGIA AND OTHER TOPICS” Morris Carter described his life in Ocee, Georgia. he said most folks were share croppers. There was about five commercial buildings there. Two Mercantile Stores that also sold gasoline. A cotton gin, cannery and the courthouse.
There was no descriptions of these business in any gazetteer I have found. The question left in my mind is what did Ocee mean? Was it an Cherokee name since there were artifacts found in Mazeppa and archeological research in substations in the area? Was it simply someone’s initials as with other cities? I will continue searching and hopefully find more details about Ocee.
Atlanta, Georgian and News February 2, 1911 Page 6
Atlanta, Georgian and News April 18 , 1911 Page 9
Milton County Map 1899, http://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/histcountymaps/milton1899map.htm
Georgia; comprising sketches of counties, towns, events, institutions, and persons, arranged in cyclopedic form .. by Candler, Allen Daniel, 1834-1910, [from old catalog] ed; Evans, Clement Anselm, 1833- [from old catalog] joint ed
AN OLD COOT’S ESSAYS ABOUT AN EARLIER GEORGIA AND OTHER TOPICS. By Eddie Rollins Page 54