History Activities
MAY 2019

Secret Gardens of Johns Creek garden tour presented by Johns Creek Beautification.
The Johns Creek Historical Society will be part of the garden tour at one of the Chartwell gardens.


History of Clear Springs Baptist Church
Alpharetta Historical Society
on May 16th at 7pm
at the Mansell House in Alpharetta

Pastor Leonard Gibbs and Assoc. Pastor Tom Jennings will share some of the history of Clear Springs Bapyist Church, located on Jones Bridge Rd. more info

JUNE 2019

Next Johns Creek Historical Society Meeting

Want to hear about future programs, activities, and history discovered?
sign-up for email news


It's time to become a member or renew your membership!

Read more about membership. Join online or print a form to mail.


Six Bridges Brewing is now open in Johns Creek and it's partnering with the Johns Creek Historical Society to use local history as part of its identity.

The name Six Bridges refers to the 6 river bridges that historically existed within Johns Creek's borders, some brews will have names of communities and crossroads of the past, and Joan Compton, muralist and president of the JC Historical Society, painted a map mural that locates the 6 bridges and illustrates bits of Johns Creek history.

History in a brewery? Yes, and it's now open!

Story of WWI Heroes Finally Awarded the Medal of Honor

For the 100th Anniversary of the end of WWI, here is a story of two veterans of World War I posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Their heroism had been ignored for almost 100 years due to their race and religion. See the YouTube video of this story told on the CBS Evening News in 2015.

Rogers Bridge Update

Rogers Bridge determined Eligible for National Register of Historic Places

Historic Rogers Bridge

An historic resources survey report was completed for GDOT in preparation for the Rogers Bridge pedestrian bridge project.

The March 9th initial report determined the bridge had no unique historic value. However, based on additional information from the Historic Bridge Foundation and input from the Georgia Department of Historic Preservation, Rogers Bridge is now recommended ELIGIBLE for the National Register of Historic Places.

See the full report (pdf)

Read the letter from the Historic Bridge Foundation that describes the construction of the bridge and their basis for its historical significance.

A Great Resource for Local History Memories


Larry Garrard has reactivated a website to collect and share written memories of life in Newtown and stories of earlier residents. Read memories collected so far or submit your own memories of Newtown when it was a rural farming community. Newtown Community Nostalgia website.

This Newtown Nostalgia website is such a great idea that the JC Historical Society website will soon try out a similar capability to capture written memories of the other 3 historic communities in Johns Creek: Ocee, Warsaw, and Shakerag.

Join us for FIELDTRIPS to local historic sites

We had a great time visiting the Mt. Zion Church and the Rogers-Bell cemetery on one of our field trips. See photos

Discover Johns Creek History with Us
History at the Garden Tour
Historical Society at the "Secret Gardens of Johns Creek" Tour

Our thanks to Johns Creek Beautification for including the Johns Creek Historical Society as part of their Secret Gardens Tour on May 4th.

We were located at a beautiful garden in Chartwell where we displayed a mini history exhibit and shared stories of the history if the area that is today's City of Johns Creek.

Roswell Cemetery Marker Cleaning Roswell Cemetery cleaning grave markers
Roswell Cemetery Marker Cleaning photos: Pat Miller, Kirk Canaday, Joan Compton

Several of our historical society members participated in cleaning grave markers at the Old Roswell Cemetery on Saturday, March 23. Our thanks to the Roswell Historical Society, their Cemetery Chairperson, Jan Johnson, and Pat Miller, the cemetery section leader who directed our work (also a member of the JC Historical Society). It was a chance to help another historical society, but also to learn the correct process for cleaning cemetery grave markers and monuments.

The Old Roswell Cemetery is 10 acres in size, much larger than any cemetery in Johns Creek, but the knowledge and expertise that the Roswell Historical Society has gained over the years is extremely helpful to us in any future efforts to help restore or preserve cemeteries within Johns Creek. We thank the Roswell Historical Society's Cemetery committee for generously sharing their experience.

While we are not yet ready to start any cemetery projects, let us know if you are interested in the preservation of cemeteries, visiting local cemeteries with our group, or researching the stories of the people buried there - contact us with your interests. info@johnscreekhistory.org


Historical Society in JC Herald newspaperJohns Creek Herald, Mar 21, 2019

Thanks to Don Wells and all who attended
"Mysteries of the Trees"

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

"The Mystery of the Trees is the story of curiously bent trees that were used by Indians as sign posts across the continent. As they traveled, often great distances, to hunt, trade, gather medicinal plants, and communicate with other tribes, the trees guided their way. Exploring a story that has been hidden for many years, this presentation also leaves the audience with an appreciation for Native people who hold a great reverence for the earth and nature. These living artifacts have many names: Indian Trail Trees, Marker trees, Thong trees, Signal trees, Prayer trees and Culturally Modified trees are a few." ~ Don Wells

Read more about the work of Don Wells and Mountain Stewards to identify and map trail trees.

Read the Johns Creek Herald article about Don Well's presentation March 6th.

Thanks to Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and the City of Johns Creek for providing a location for our March 6th meeting.

Help us determine the age of the old road signs
Old road signs

Do You Remember  . . .
The old sign posts that use to mark important local intersections?

In our rural past, these posts would have been at major road intersections in all areas of what is today's Johns Creek.  Most have disappeared as roadways moved, intersections widened, or weather and age took their toll.  Only a couple are still standing and they are badly deteriorated.  Fortunately, Tom Udell, Deputy Director of Public Works - Traffic, photographed the few he found over the years and recently the Spruill/Buice sign post was donated to the Johns Creek Historical Society as a piece of local history reminiscent of the days of dirt roads, little traffic, and rural farms.
If you can help us date these old road markers or remember where they were located, please let us know.  Our contact email is info@johnscreekhistory.org

Larry Garrard, History of Newtown Larry Garrard talking about the old barn next to the 1800s house where he grew up.

Thanks to Larry Garrard and all who attended
"Memories of Newtown"

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Our January program was focused on Newtown, one of the four historic communities in today's City of Johns Creek. Larry Garrard and others with deep local roots talked about the history of the area and attending Newtown School.

Our thanks to Park Place and the City of Johns Creek for allowing us to use the old Newtown School building for this meeting.

Read more about the meeting in the Johns Creek Herald article by Carson Cook.

Want to hear about future programs, activities, and history discovered?
sign-up for our email news
Tour of historic Warsaw School
Tour of the Warsaw School in December

Our thanks to Mark Burkhalter for leading the historical society on a tour of the old Warsaw School building in December.  It was a wonderful chance to learn about the building, how Mark saved and carefully renovated it, and hear memories of attending the school when this area was still rural.

We in the City of Johns Creek owe Mark our gratitude for preserving part of the area's history by repurposing the old school building while maintaining its historic integrity. 

Mark has also offered to let us copy his collection of Warsaw School photos and documents.  Several people will be needed to help with the scanning.  Contact us at info@johnscreekhistory.org if you want to help.

Historic steel McGinnis Ferry bridge

Thanks Shady Grove Church and Linda Swafford for organizing this event!

On Saturday, August 25th, six members of the Johns Creek Historical Society met with Shady Grove Church members and other long-time residents of Shakerag to hear old memories of life in the community and scan photos and documents they brought to share.

The scanned items will be stored in our digital archives as part of the record of Shakerag history. Scanned photos include:

  • a photo of Warsaw Academy students and teachers in the early 1900s,
  • a photo of Albert Matthew Bell (he was the boy who witnessed the 1864 Civil War skirmish along Bell Road),

Read more and view some photos of the event

Please contact us at info@johnscreek history.org if you have memories, photos, documents, or objects from the Johns Creek area's past or if you would like to help us research and capture local history.


Johns Creek Historical Society begins capturing oral histories with help from the City of Johns Creek

Oral History Project

As part of its mission to preserve and promote local history, the Johns Creek Historical Society has started a project to collect recorded memories and family stories of this area's past.

We've made a test run of the process by interviewing Judy Webb, a long-time resident with deep family roots in the area, who is known for her community activism and knowledge of local history.



We're compiling a list for the next set of interviews. Let us know if you are a descendant of the early farm families of this area or are a long-time resident with memories of the area when it was still a rural farming community.
Please contact us.

The oral histories collected will be retained in the Johns Creek Historical Society's archives for research, education, and promotion of local history.

Our thanks to the City of Johns Creek Communications Department for videotaping and editing the oral history interviews.