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Clarkston HistoryCity of Clarkston

A New Image -- A New Direction

A Community on the edge of Atlanta

The City Of Clarkston owes much of its beginnings to the Georgia Railroad. Beginning in the 1830's, the Georgia Railroad  began construction of rail lines that, by 1845, would eventually connect surrounding Atlanta towns, to include Clarkston, with the merchants of Athens, with outlets in Augusta and South Carolina. Originally called "New Siding" after Jake New, a Section Foreman that worked for the Georgia Railroad, the City of Clarkston was officially chartered by Governor Alexander H. Stevens on December 12, 1882. Clarkston was named in honor of Colonel W.W. Clark, a Covington Lawyer and a Director of the Georgia Railroad.

Because the railroad made Atlanta so accessible for commuting, Clarkston became a community of homeowners who worked in Atlanta. Clarkston became one of the South's first "suburban" communities. Commuting citizens accounted for much of Clarkston's early growth.old well

Around the turn of the century, one colorful folktale mentions the early origination of "Goatsville" and "Angora Heights" as names bestowed on Clarkston. It was said that in the early 1900s high prestige was derived in the number of goats a person owned so many Clarkstonians owned fifteen to twenty of these prized creatures. The goats, believed to be the high quality Angoras variety, grazed open range and therefore had to be run out of the school house and other establishments for the citizens to conduct their business. Visitors soon nicknamed the city "Goatsville" which was later changed to the more prestigious "Angora Heights." Though these monikers have faded from current usage, the Clarkston High School pays homage to this history, by having adopted the Angora Goat as their school mascot.

The City of Clarkston is centrally located in DeKalb County approximately 10 miles northeast of Atlanta and 5 miles east of Decatur and 5 miles west of Stone Mountain. Clarkston has remained a small city, encompasses approximately 700 acres or 1.1 square miles. The residents and elected officials of Clarkston have enjoyed the small town feel and have therefore never striven to greatly expand the boundaries of the City. Today the railroad still runs through Clarkston as a steadfast reminder of the cities historic beginning.

The Clarkston Woman's Club

The Clarkston Woman's Club was built in 1913 and is the third oldest Woman's Club building in the state of Georgia. The land was given to the club by the Clarkston School Board which had been given the land by the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company in 1894. The Club House, built in the center of town, was the first one in Dekalb County toClarkston Womens Club History be owned by a Woman's group.

The Clarkston Woman's Club had its beginning in the Progressive Arts Circle, a study club formed in 1902. In 1912 the Circle changed its name to Clarkston Civic Circle for the purpose of establishing a library. I n 1913 it joined the Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs and in 1955 a new charter was obtained under the name, Clarkston Woman's Club.

The Club House is covered with brown siding and features diamond-paned windows so popular in bungalow construction in the early 1900's. A fieldstone fireplace and antique piano and library tables are features here as is a stained glass window.

Clarkston women have shared their building which, in time of need, has been used for school classes, Sunday school classes and as a meeting facility for many community and civic organizations. Now, no longer an active Woman's Club, in the early 1990s the building was offered to the City of Clarkston as a historic landmark which can now be rented for small social events.

Milam Park

Milam Park In 1927 Mrs. Sadie Ray observed that children didn’t seem to be out running and playing and making the most of the freedom of childhood. Galvanized into action and marshaled by the tenacity of Mrs. A.P. Milam, the mothers and women of Clarkston forged a plan to ask the city council to support a public park. Mr. P.R.G. Clark legally made it possible for the city to have his land and just three short months later, in the first week of August 1927, Clark Park opened as the first public park and playground in Dekalb County. Later dedicated to honor the woman that made it possible, Milam Park still operates. Spanning 7.6 acres the park maintains six pavilions for picnics, modern playground equipment, two tennis courts, one softball field and one multi use field.
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