Piedmont Heights Walking Tour
Walker’s Mill & Clear Creek
Just what is the spirit of Piedmont Heights? Does our neighborhood even have a spirit? If so, what is it—and why?
“The Atlanta Spirit,” a 1948 book by former Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen, opens with, “Atlanta has always been different from its neighboring Southern cities.” It goes on to say that Atlanta was “...a pure accident...the end of nowhere...” It does, however, enjoy the highest average elevation of any U.S. city its size east of Denver, Colorado, giving Atlanta “Altitude.”
Following its destruction during the Civil War, Atlanta’s attitude of “We are different” helped it rise from its ashes and leverage the railroad into today’s international transportation hub.
Mayor Allen called the Atlanta spirit “Altitude + Attitude.”
Years before Atlanta was founded, there was Walker’s Mill on Clear Creek, once a large rushing stream, where local farmers ginned their cotton and ground their grain in the early 1800s. It was at the “end of nowhere” but spawned a town called Easton, “a pure accident,” which is today’s Piedmont Heights. The ensuing roads to and through Easton resulted in a post office and a depot for the Airline Belle.
Multiple roads, railroads, and the Atlanta BeltLine surround and crisscross our community and make it very different from its neighbors.
The 2006 Greater Piedmont Heights Master Framework Plan celebrates these differences—no, our uniquenesses—that set us apart. We have examined our roots and embraced the reality of being a “Small Town in the Big City.” The Civic Association has scrapped its misplaced conception of being just another “homeowner’s association.” It now invites renters and local businesses to join so that everyone in the community has a voice in community affairs.