History of Chimney Springs

The Chimney Springs site once was part of a settlement established in the 1830's called Post Oak. The settlement contained several 30-40 acre farms within a 2-3 mile radius. While cotton was the main cash crop, farmers raised corn, peanuts, watermelons, wheat, oats and small animals. They normally  went to Marietta twice a year - once in the spring to purchase supplies and
again in the fall to sell their farm products.

A one-room school, a post office, a store and the Old Mt. Zion church at Post Oak and Johnson Ferry Roads served the community. Among the early families were the Groovers, Lassiters, Adams, Haygoods, Hamiltons, McPhersons, Wrights, Crisseys, Tritts and Murdocks. Some of the roads still carry their names. Dirt roads were used until 1945, when Johnson Ferry Road was paved; Post Oak Tritt Road was paved in 1956.

According to Glynn Mathis, the first principal at Tritt Elementary, the Henry Adams family owned about 40 acres where Tritt School stands. Their livestock was kept across the road where part of the Chimney Springs subdivision is located. The house burned in 1862 but the old stone chimney remained.

When Arvida Company purchased land for the subdivision, several hundred acres were obtained, including the area where Tritt School is located. In 1979, Arvida sold about 24 acres across Post Oak Tritt Road to the Cobb County Board of Education for a new school, which opened September 2, 1980. The school was named after Will Tritt, a former trustee of Mountain View school and the grandfather of country singer Travis Tritt.

Before the school was built, Arvida disassembled the large freestanding rock chimney from the site and moved it to the main entrance of Chimney Springs. A smaller chimney, which still stands on Exeter Court, belonged to Martha Bullock, who married Teddy Roosevelt. Later, her maid became heir to the property, according to Ann Rhodes, a longtime resident of the area.

30 Years and Going Strong
by Carolyn and Ralph Cordaro
 On August 1st of 2005, Chimney Springs celebrated its 30th birthday. Arvida of Georgia Inc,a subsidiary of Arvida Corporation, was the developer of Chimney Springs. "Arvida" is an acronym for the first two letters in the name ARthur VInings DAvis, founder of Alcoa Aluminum. Arvida was the company that controlled his real estate assets, and later became an independent developer and real estate corporation, headquartered out of Boca Raton, Florida. Among the holdings of the corporation were the five star Boca Raton Hotel and Club, and the Sawgrass Resort in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The development of Chimney Springs was the first venture outside of the state of Florida for the corporation.

In 1975 Chimney Springs consisted of four paved streets – Country Lane, Exeter Court, Eagle Ridge Road and Chimney Springs Drive from just below Hearthstone Circle near Country Lane, to just short of Revere Circle. This side of the community was opened first because development had started here by the previous owners from whom Arvida took title. The first sales center, a trailer, was located across Post Oak Tritt Road at Country Lane, and opened in late 1975. The original homes were priced from the mid-$50,000’s to the low $70,000’s and were built by a team of 5 builders, that later expanded to 17 building companies. The clubhouse complex, including the lake, swimming pool, and four tennis courts was completed in 1976. Four additional tennis courts were added in 1978. The original development was to consist of 605 homes; however, in 1976, Westinghouse Corporation offered the property, located off Walden Lane and Post Oak Tritt Road, to Arvida of Georgia to become part of Chimney Springs. This added approximately 100 more homes to the community.

In 1975 the East Cobb area around Chimney Springs consisted of only two major communities, Indian Hills and Willow Point. Murdock Elementary School opened its doors in August of 1975 and not only served Chimney Springs, but ALL property from Johnson Ferry east on Lower Roswell Road to the Fulton County Line/Chattahoochee River, north down Johnson Ferry from Lower Roswell to Shallowford Road, the right side going west on State Route 120 from the Fulton County/Roswell line to past Old Canton, and Holly Springs Road and over to Sandy Plains. Murdock Elementary was built for 750 students, and within one year was expanded to 950, and within two years had over a dozen trailers on its property and five additional classrooms at the Sandy Plains Baptist Church located on Sandy Plains Road off Post Oak Tritt, for a total of over 1,750 students. At this time, Walton High School and Dodgen Middle School served the community. Mount Bethel Elementary opened its doors to Chimney Springs' students in 1978, and eventually Tritt Elementary opened in 1980. When Dodgen Middle School outgrew capacity, Chimney Springs' students were first enrolled at Mabry Middle School and eventually Hightower Trail Middle School. Over the years, high schoolers were served by Lassiter High School and Pope High School.

Commercial areas were few and far between. Merchant’s Walk, with its two signature stores, Ogletrees Grocery and Treasury Drug Store, was opened in summer of 1975. However, if you wanted a pizza or fast food services, you had to drive to Sandy Springs. The closest shopping mall was Cumberland. If you can believe it, traffic was a breeze. Johnson Ferry Road was a narrow, two-lane thoroughfare, and the speed limit was 55mph. Georgia 400 opened in 1975 from Abernathy Road to Holcomb Bridge Road, and you could drive that distance in less than 15 minutes, and probably never see another car on it.

Chimney Springs was the fastest growing community in Atlanta from 1976 through the early 1980’s. It continues today to have a good reputation in the real estate industry, mainly because of the strong beginnings provided by Arvida. The establishment of the Covenants and the mandatory homeowners’ association has provided all current homeowners with a continuing status of excellence. We can personally say that as the pioneers at the very beginning, on August 1, 1975, and to the present, we have been proud to call Chimney Springs home.