The History of Dunwoody

The roots of the city of Dunwoody date back to 100s of years, and even in the earliest days, this area has always been a center associated with commerce.

Many years ago, the area was first inhabited by the Cherokee Indian tribe from the Creek Confederation, largely due to the location of the Chattahoochee River. It was also once the busiest and biggest trading center within this vicinity.

By the year 1820, Cherokee farms settled throughout the area, in close proximity to the Chattahoochee. Soon after, the white settlers started to arrive in the area where they created their own homesteads and a community where the population in the area started to expand.

Charles Archibald Alexander Dunwoody, who was the son of John Dunwoody was responsible for founding the Roswell Manufacturing Company mills along with other founders in the neighboring Roswell, Georgia. By the year 1853, this area had 2 cotton mills established. The mills employed around 300 people and at this stage was the biggest factory complex based in North Georgia.

A railroad that ran between Atlanta and Roswell was then built, which was mainly utilized to transport the mill products onto Atlanta during the era of the Civil War and was the first link for the Dunwoody area to Atlanta. The majority of this line was destroyed in the war. When the fight came to an end, Charles Dunwoody made a decision to build his new home close to what is known today as Spalding Drive and Chamblee-Dunwoody Road.

After the war a new railroad was constructed which adopted the name of Roswell Railroad. The new railroad line ran between Chamblee and Roswell with a stop off in Dunwoody, carrying the fabric from mills based in Roswell and produce from Dunwoody. Dunwoody soon became the crossroads community and went onto prosper and thrive even when the railroad was shut-down in the year 1921.

Today, visitors to Dunwoody, GA have the opportunity to visit a number of historical sites that include the Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church, the oldest building in this city which was constructed in the year 1829. This church is still active and also the home to a cemetery where most of the founding fathers of this area are buried. Other historical buildings that are open to the public are inclusive of the Railroad Section Gang House constructed in the year 1880, The Swancy Farmhouse which was built in 1889, and the Cheek-Spruill Farmhouse built in 1906.

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