Oak Grove Elementary

Oak Grove Elementary 1971

Oak Grove Elementary 1971

Oak Grove

Oak Grove

Oak Grove School 1930

Oak Grove School 1930

Back during elementary school I started in Midway Elementary in a community called Midway located Midway between Alpharetta and Cumming in Forsyth County. Our family moved to Payne Mobile Home Park and I finished my last year of elementary School in Cherokee County near Acworth at a school called Oak Grove. Here is a description from Wikipedia

“Oak Grove is the unincorporated community surrounding the area of southern Cherokee County, Georgia, United States, near the intersection of Bells Ferry Road (former Georgia 205) and Georgia 92. Some maps instead center it at 92 and Wade Green Road, just to the west.

The name is no longer commonly used to refer to the surrounding area. The United States Postal Service designated Oak Grove as part of Acworth for mailing purposes with the creation of the ZIP Code system in the 1960s, and the Oak Grove identity slowly began to disappear with suburbanization. The “Acworth” designation is despite being immediately west of Woodstock (and closest to its main post office), and not much further northeast of Kennesaw. Acworth is much further than either one, and is nearly on the opposite side of Kennesaw, both of which are also across the county line in Cobb instead of Cherokee.

The formerly volunteer Oak Grove Fire Department is now part of the professional Cherokee County system. The only original vestiges remaining of the community are Oak Grove Elementary School, one of the oldest in the state, and the Oak Grove Station of the United States Postal Service. Several neighborhoods near the school have Oak Grove in their names, but these are late arrivals and didn’t exist before the area was designated as Acworth by the United States Postal Service.”

Oak Grove Elementary is located off Hwy 92 along with Rolling Hills Cemetery where my Father Harless Ralph Colbaugh is buried. So in a sense I will always have ties to this area. I remember back in the day when travelling salesmen came to the Payne MHP where we lived and sold my parents two plots in a perpetual care cemetery. It was a time when although my parents were working money was still a struggle. My first and last year at Oak Grove I remember it was difficult to fit in. I remember one girl with the last name Gable. I heard she was in the Cherokee County Historical Society. I remember being kinda hidden, kinda unknown. It was not till I made it to middle school I was noticed at E.T. Booth Middle. But that is another story.


Pictures from Cherokee Tribune Newspaper

1930 Oak Grove Pictures from Bartow Ancestors.


Allatoona Waters Covering Old Mill, Village on Etowah

Allatoona Waters Covering Old Mill, Village on Etowah
by Col. Thomas Spencer
Article Shared By Bartow Ancestors Facebook

When my map–covering sites of Historic Bartow– was printed in the Tribune News on January third, I promised you some old, and rare, pictures of places being covered by the water of the Etowah as the Allatoona Dam stops the flow of the mighty Etowah.
With this article appears two pictures–taken from old wood cuts–showing Etowah Rolling Mill and Village, also the Etowah Flouring Mill. The old Flouring Mill stood almost exactly on the spot where the new Allatoona Dam was built. Some of the remains of the old mill were destroyed with the start of the dam.
Parts of the buildings at the Rolling Mill were still visible several weeks ago. All these sites with the exception of part of Cooper Furnace will be under water. Many of those who read the article of January 3rd happened to be in the ‘’roaring mob’’ who rushed to see the dam on Sunday, January 8th.
It is interesting to note–that in two letters I have just received from some of the readers of my humble column– that they went to see the dam on Sunday of the ‘’roaring mob’’ due to having read the Tribune article. One reader wrote, ‘’I went to the New Allatoona Dam after having read your article in the Tribune–not knowing traffic-jammed almost to death.’’ The other letter stated, ‘’We get our news in the Tribune–and Sunday being our day-off–I took the family to the New Dam.’’, etc, etc.
It is of interest to note in the diary of Jenkin Lloyd Jones, a private in the Sixth Wisconsin Battery of the Federal army, that Yanks from the battery–where the old W&A crossed the Etowah–’’took many a refreshing bath in the waters of the mill-dam.’’ This refers to the lower dam’’the one west of the present New Dam.
An old ledger–found by Mr. W.E. Bivens of Emerson, shows many sales recorded from these old mills. Among the items shown are sale from the Flouring Mill, the corn mill, rolling mill, and from the Cooper Shop. Items sold included nails, castings, iron, flour, meal, merchandise, etc. Sales were made to points in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, New York and other points.
Old Georgia names included names as, Carpenter & Compton, Cassville, Ga.; Keys & Henderson; Jones & Greenwood; Dr. James LaConte; A.J. Rippey & Queen; S. Fouche; Stovall; Black Cobb & Co., Rome; Thomas R. Ripley, Atlanta; A.R. Churchill; Charles Smith; and many others. Flour was shipped to England–and shipments top Atlanta brought on a ‘’flour war’’ between the flouring mills and Atlanta competition.
Thanks are due to Major B.C.Yates for the use of the old woodcut prints, and to Mr. W.E. Bivens of Emerson, for the use of the old ledger and it’s content. Also thanks to Mr. Key of Cartersville now living, who verified the location of the Howard house and his description of the dam and how it was made. Also thanks to Mr. J.P. Abernathy of Sherman, Texas for his information regarding the mills.
The story of the engine ‘’Yonah’’ has been recounted in a previous article–written by me for the Tribune. The old ‘’Yonah’’ was the old engine used between the W&A Railroad and the Cooper Iron Works. It was used by Captain Fuller on that 12th April, 1862–in the famous old ‘’engine chase’’–a part of Bartow history.
So, the old Etowah is being backed up over many points of historic interest. The case of the modern taking over the grand and glorious past. It is well to record the past–that the future might go on to greater and bigger things–only because the past was the beginning of the greatness of the present.
January 17, 1950
Tribune News

Sugar Hill

Sugar Hill

I currently live in Sugar Hill which has the same post office as Buford which is 30518. Sugar Hill is also in Hall County. Buford was founded in the 1870’s and named for an Algernon Sydney Buford who was associated with the railroads. Buford is a nice community as my wife grew up there. Many people told me stories about the town before Atlanta came a long. I have seen many posts on nearby Suwanee. The area has really grown up.

Andersonville Update

Andersonville Station – South of Acworth | photo, 1949

Marietta Daily Journal September 30 2014

      From the news above it appears the historic remnants of Andersonville is gone. A lot of friends are angry with the Cobb County Commissioners for removing this historic Cobb Landmark. Here are some notes from friends,. “There was zoning Changes – no variance – so no public hearing and Mr. Hosack determined “technically” they was no need to perform research or due diligence and/or have a public hearing. Also, since a less than 5 year term historic planner staffer determined based on her visit and photos, it was of no historic value – that it was built in 1920s (HA) it was NOT on the agenda at the monthly County Historical Planning and Sites meeting” An another Statement, ” It sounds to me like they searched for a loophole to CYA, after community outcry over this travesty. The “Preservation Planner” could have easily learned of its significance and should have been aware of resources available showing it. I would have assumed the word “preservation” in their title should make them the concerned guardians of potential historical homes. Also, I am disturbed by the “technicality/rezoning” statement by CCDD Rob Hosack. Someone, hint, hint, in CCDD needs to assure this doesn’t happen again, by closing that loophole or technicality. There should be no excuse available for this type loss. I don’t know who the planner is that took the photos and decided its age and I don’t wish to get personal. However, that position should be either filled by someone familiar with the region and if necessary ask for assistance from local historians or citizens. I think Cobb County should have to make a significant donation to the Acworth Depot project because of the history lost when they demolished that building. That can’t be regained ever, so they should forfeit something, if nothing else, severely admonish the Preservation Planner or demote them into a lesser position where they can’t make critical mistakes. Pitiful.” 

This makes Andersonville truly one of the lost cities of Georgia. History is disappearing at the speed of Government.

The Kellogg Mine


As you can see from the picture this is what some of the mines looked like at Payne and Kellogg Mines. This book is excellent with lots of details in regard to mine around the county. 


Here is another picturesque shot of the mining along the Etowah Creek. Mills like this could be seen along Sixes Road and the Sixes mine is mentioned. 

 The Kellogg mine is mentioned is on lot 1113 in the 15th District. Kelpin Community is located in the 21st District. The book says gold was found a creek that runs trough the lot and the bottom has been worked ever since. The article mentions the property has been thoroughly mined but occasionally nuggets are found. Some years back a New York Company exposed a compact vein of light colored quartz of two feet thickness dipped with country rock,. One ore sample was given at 125 ounces, $2.50 per gold ton. The property is said to adjoin the Williams Property witch is in District 21 lot 1120. Two samples came from the property but it was considered difficult to mine in conducting water to the elevated portions of the placer. A number of veins were discovered on the property.

The Georgiana Mine located in the Southwestern portion of Cherokee County which is probably more associated with Kelpin located in lot 958 in the 21st District. Many veins were located near the head waters of Fox creek. and many tunnels and shafts were located at various points on the ridge. Mentioned on the property is a Huntington Mill operated by a twenty five horsepower engine using water from one of the shafts on the property. The mill has the capacity of one half too two tons per day. Lot 959 Mentions the Tripp Property nearby. located within a few yards of the Acworth Road. It mentions the Kitchens and Stansill Property apparently the area is rich with gold veins. 




1. A Preliminary Report on a Part of the Gold Deposits of Georgia, Issue 4, Part 1  By William Smith Yeates, Samuel Washington McCallie, Francis Plaisted King

Judge Heard: Fighter, farmer, father



This is an article I participated in about Judge John Stevens Heard. 

The man whose family cemetery is the focus of a lawsuit lived a long, prolific life, according to a Georgia researcher.

Barry Colbaugh wrote an article about Judge John Heard in October 2012 for The Georgia Confederate, the official newsletter of the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Heard was a Confederate Veteran and a prominent community figure.

Heard served as a local judge in the 1900s, and his bloodline also connects him to other political figures in Georgia history. He is believed to be a descendant of Stephen Heard, who was governor of Georgia in 1778, according to Colbaugh. One of John Heard’s descendants, Paul Heard, made an unsuccessful run for governor in 1994, according to Paul Heard’s obituary.

According to Colbaugh’s article, as well as information posted on genealogical websites, Heard wasn’t just another rank and file soldier in the Confederate Army. He also witnessed history.

Judge John Heard

Judge John Heard

Heard was in his early 30s when he surrendered with Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in Virginia in 1865, according to the article. He walked barefoot from Virginia to his family farm in Georgia, his hands ruined from injuries sustained during the war.

The location of the Heard Cemetery is all that remains of the farm.

According to Colbaugh, when Heard returned, he discovered the farm was destroyed and the livestock had been stolen. Heard rebuilt and grew a successful crop that year. He also took over the ferry that bears his name from John Isom, who had been Heard’s commander in Company B of the 9th Battalion, Georgia Artillery.

In addition to being a judge, Heard held large family reunions at the farm each year to celebrate his birthday. According to court records, in 1900, he deeded the 1 acre that would become the family cemetery, the property that is the subject of a recent lawsuit. He was said to have told his family members that he would like to “sleep by the banks of a beautiful river one day,” according to Colbaugh’s article.

Heard married twice. He married Abigail Isom, who died in 1882, and then married Athelena Dickerson, who died in 1947. Heard fathered a total of 23 children, 13 of which survived. He died in 1931 at the age of 95.


Kelpin, Georgia

Kelpin, Georgia

Kelpin Post Office

The photo above is courtesy of the Cherokee Historical Society particularly Mrs. Lisa Hillhouse Tressler. I want to take a side note here and mention a close friend of mine I worked with at Cobb EMC in Marietta, Georgia and that was Mr. Jack Hillhouse. Jack and I worked in the meter shop together installing new installations on buildings. We stopped stories about fishing and other goings on. Jack and his family lived in Cherokee County near Sixes road and the Hillhouse grocery, a family member owned. Lisa is his daughter and by mere coincidence I contacted her. Jack passed away in 2005 which I am sure was a great loss to his family. He was truly a good man and a great friend.

The information shared in a PDF reveals the first postmaster but it also reveals a place where I can look for more detail which is the 1889 State Gazetteer. The Postmaster was Joseph C. Kelpin and notice too the name was changed to Kellogg just as the Kellogg mine. Kelpin was located in the 21st District of Cherokee County.


The details provided say Kelpin is located 10 miles from Marietta, 6 Miles to Kennesaw, 8 miles to Acworth, 5 1/2 miles from Woodstock and 5 miles form Cherokee Mills. It is actually father away from Acworth than expected which would not be Baker road near Kennesaw and Acworth. I forget that Cobb County includes Town Center Mall and Bascomb Road area is closer too Cobb County than expected. I would still love to visit the actual site of Kelpin possibly an older home used as a post office i the structure still exists. It is also near the Railroad so it is just difficult to picture. Until I find more info….