The History of Johns Creek

The history of Johns Creek is forever intertwined with the local Native Americans. The Native Americans lived in the territory in agrarian villages where the Cherokee Indians had established legislature, a judiciary system, and an alphabet similar to the American system where rules, regulations, and laws were part of daily life. An agrarian village was a small town with a fortress around it for protection. There was a common market area that was open for trade between the Cherokee and white settlers, a schoolhouse, farm animals, vegetable gardens, a communal well, and small houses.

White settlers lived in harmony with the Cherokee Indians until the discovery of gold inside Cherokee territory in foothills of northeast Georgia, 4 miles north of where Johns Creek is today. The North Georgia Gold Rush led to the establishment of the Georgia Land Lottery in the 1820s and the government sold land parcels to anyone who could afford to buy it. Eventually, this led to the Cherokees being forced off their land by the American Indian Removal Act initiated by President Andrew Jackson in 1830. This Act caused the forced flight of Cherokee Indians known as the “Trail of Tears” as they were forced to travel to Oklahoma and other areas to the west where reservations had been created for them by the government.

One of the few Cherokees who remained was Sarah Cordery who married the pioneer John Rogers. John Rogers and his half-blood Cherokee wife had twelve children, one of whom was William Rogers who fought for the rights of Cherokees in Georgia. Rogers was an influential, respected plantation owner, a colleague of President Andrew Jackson, and an Indian countryman. As well as being an overnight stopover for President Jackson, his 1804 private home in Johns Creek was later visited by the famous journalist Will Rogers who was a great, great nephew of his.

Much of the former Cherokee land was joined into one county called “Cherokee County” in 1831, and in 1858, when Milton County was formed, the Johns Creek area was absorbed into it. In turn, Milton County was folded into Fulton County during the 1930s Depression. Four crossroads communities developed into the business, educational, and social centers of unincorporated Fulton County known as Newtown, Warsaw, Shakerag, and Ocee.

In 1981 the Technology Park/Atlanta founders purchased 1,700 acres of land along Medlock Bridge and McGinnis Ferry Roads for the development of a second planned community. While studying an old map of the area the tiny town of Johns Creek was noticed and they decided to name their new mixed-use community “Technology Park Johns Creek”. This first reference to Johns Creek established it as a place and put it back on the map. Over the years it grew into a strong community with highly desirable companies, (many of which are Fortune 500s), with almost 11,000 people in an area of 6 million sq. ft. of residential, office, industrial, and retail space.

Soon after the incorporation of Sandy Springs, the citizens of Johns Creek started to push for incorporation. At that time it was one of only three main communities of Chattahoochee Metro Atlanta not yet incorporated. In November the first officials were elected and voted into office and the City of Johns Creek became official on December 1, 2006.