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Photos from our meetings

Johns Creek History meeting

History meeting

Johns Creek History lecture

Johns Creek History meeting

Johns Creek History meeting

Johns Creek History lecture

History meeting Johns Creek

SUGGESTIONS for PROGRAMS and ACTIVITIES

Is there a history topic you'd like us to present or a local history site you'd like to visit with our group?

Contact us with your ideas.

Activities & Projects:

In addition to regular scheduled meetings, there are opportunities to join others in exploring historic resources in the area and in researching inhabitants and life in the Johns Creek area during earlier times. See what's happening.

 


 

HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEETINGS

Monthly History Programs

Join us at our next meeting of the Johns Creek Historical Society!

Johns Creek Historical Society meetings are free and open to the public.

Meetings are a chance to hear about history related activities in the Johns Creek area, learn from programs and lectures, share discoveries in local history, hear memories of long-time residents, and network with others interested in capturing the past.

Pre-COVID, our meetings were usually held once a month at various locations. Due to COVID, the JC Historical Society suspended its monthly meetings.Online and in-person outreach (often in collaboration with other organizations) continued to bring history presentations to the community, groups, and businesses.

The work to research, preserve, and share Johns Creek's history never stopped. In fact, it accelerated resulting in new fascinating discoveries, preservation, and greatly expanded resources, research, and artifacts to the archives.

Scheduled meetings to hear speakers and to help with ongoing projects are planned to resume in 2024.


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

List of PAST MEETINGS - dates and topics

Tuesday April 18, 2023
Northeast/Spruill-Oaks Library
History of Johns Creek "Before We Arrived"

presented in partnership with the Spruill-Oaks Library

This was our fast-moving overview of local history that includes lots of photos, graphics, and maps to help the audience imagine the landscape of the Johns Creek area, its events, and residents from the time this was part of the Cherokee Nation to the advent of modern-day development.


Sunday, October 23, 2022
William Rogers House
William Rogers Historic House Program & Tour

This special program was limited to members of the historical society. It included information about the Rogers Cherokee family, a tour of the historic 1839 William Rogers house, and optionally, a visit to the nearby Rogers-Bell cemetery. There are very few historic structures left in Johns Creek and the William Rogers "Oakland" home is a treasure, rich in stories of its residents and association with this area's Cherokee past. We were also fortunate to have a grandson of William Wilson (owner of the house in the 1940s), share memories of visiting the house and farm as a child. Our thanks to descendants of William Rogers for allowing us access to the house for this special program.


February 27, 2022
St. James United Methodist Church, Alpharetta
"History of Black Education in North Fulton County"

presented by the N. Fulton historical societies of Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Roswell, and Milton

This program focused on the the Bailey-Johnson school built on Kimball Road to provide elementary through high school education to North Fulton African-American children from 1950-1967. Originally named the "Alpharetta Colored School" when it first opened during segregation in 1950, the Bailey-Johnson school replaced small rural Black schools including one in Shakerag built on the Findley farm in the early 1930s.

Program included:

  • A brief history of the schools consolidated to form Bailey-Johnson
  • A panel discussion by Bailey-Johnson alumns moderated by Karyn Greer, CBS-46 TV Anchor
  • Developer's presentation of the plans for adaptive reuse of the building while retaining its history

February 18, 2022
Mercer University Cecil B. Day Campus
Celebration of Scholars: 2nd Screening of A Four-Part documentary film "They Were Here"


January 27, 2022
Johns Creek High School Auditorium

February 18, 2022
Mercer University Cecil B. Day Campus


"They Were Here: Preservation and Commemoration of the Macedonia African Methodist Cemetery of Johns Creek".

Two screenings were held of four short films created by Student Leadership Johns Creek students. Each film explored a topic related to the Macedonia Cemetery, a small historic African-American burial ground in Johns Creek, GA.

The Macedonia Cemetery documentaries were first shown January 27th at Johns Creek High School in front of a large audience that included over 2 dozen US, Georgia, county, and city elected officials and dignitaries. The second screening was held February 18th at Mercer University Cecil B. Day Campus to a smaller crowd, but included Mercer University Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, students from each film group, grant team members who guided the film production, and descendants of those buried at the cemetery.

This project was a collaboration with Mercer University Tift College of Education, Student Leadership Johns Creek, and the Johns Creek Historical Society and was funded through a $2500 Georgia Humanities grant.

 


Juneteenth in Johns Creek: Uncovering African-American History
presented virtually on Facebook Thursday, June 18.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1116663362040831/

Council members Erin Elwood, John Bradberry, Stephanie Endres, & Brian Weaver and Joan Compton & Kirk Canaday of the Johns Creek Historical Society had a live discussion about African-American history in Johns Creek. Topics included the history of Juneteenth, the story of April Waters, a slave buried in Johns Creek, and the two African-American cemeteries in Johns Creek.


Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Summerour House
"A Brief History of American Folk Music"

presented by singer/songwriter/musician Kathy Reed

Kathy Reed, A Brief History of American Folk MusicKathy Reed's presentation took the audience through the fascinating history of America's traditional folk music, from its roots in European and African traditional music, through the Folk revival of the 60’s and beyond.  Kathy's pure love of traditional roots music shone through her performance and presentation!

Kathy is a native of Georgia and has deep roots in East Tennessee. She is a singer and songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her musical range and influences reflect her Southern roots as well as her classical training and education.  Kathy has toured the US and Europe performing.  She boasts that her first job after graduating from Emory University was as the "chick singer at a biker bar called The Alibi.” She and her former band, Lonesome Redwing, opened for many legendary performers, including Tony Rice, Peter Rowan, Claire Lynch, Patty Loveless, and the Steep Canyon Rangers.  Kathy has had numerous songs published and recorded, and several of her songs have been recorded by other artists.


Feb History Program

Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Summerour House
"Lost & Ghost Towns of N. Georgia"

speaker Lisa M. Russell

Ms. Russell, author and instructor at several area colleges, gave insight into how she wrote her books and presented stories about historic once-active towns that dotted north Georgia, but were abandoned or were lost to disasters, development, and civic works projects.

Ms. Russell has written two books about lost north Georgia history, Lost Towns of North Georgia and Underwater Ghost Towns of North Georgia, and is working on her third about mills in North Georgia.



Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Summerour House
"Summerour Ancestry"

speaker Charles Summerour, a Summerour descendant

Summerour descendant and local historian, Charles Summerour, told the story of the Summerour family, one of Johns Creek historically prominent and interesting families. Topics included the family's involvement in gold mining, their family farms, their large brick house (located where Regal Cinema is today), memories of the Warsaw community, their Duluth tannery, and more. All told in the 1880s house where the C.W. Summerour family lived.

This program was covered by Carson Cook of the Johns Creek Herald. Read the full article.

Summerour history program in Johns Creek Herald



Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Summerour House
"Cemetery Clues"


History in cemeteries

Historical Society board members Marnie Gordon and Joan Compton presented a program based on their on-going research about using our cemeteries to uncover genealogy and stories of earlier residents and the events that affected them.  The audience was surprised by how many cemeteries exist in Johns Creek, where they're located, and who is buried there. The program also covered gravestone carvings and their meanings, historically common causes of death, and other interesting facts.



Wednesday, Sept. 4th, 2019
Summerour House
A Cherokee History Program

History Lecture on Cherokees Wanda Patterson presented a program about Elias Boudinot, a Cherokee writer, editor of the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper, and a leader in the Cherokee Nation in the 1820s-1830s. He was a friend and compatriot of the John Rogers family (of today's Shakerag area of Johns Creek) and signer of the 1835 New Echota treaty with Rogers' sons.

Miss Patterson also discussed the sad result of the New Echota treaty - the Trail of Tears, the enforced removal of the Cherokee from here and the rest of their nation.

Miss Patterson is a charter member of the Georgia Trail of Tears Association, serving on their Speaker’s Bureau. As American Indians Committee Chair of the Fielding Lewis Chapter of DAR, she writes a monthly article called “Virtual Vision Quest”. Miss Patterson serves as Co-Chair of the State American Indians Committee and is a member of the State Regent’s Speakers’ Staff.

History Johns Creek, Cherokee program

This meeting was included in the City of Johns Creek "7-in-70" video for the week ending September 6.



History of Post Offices in Johns Creek

Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Warsaw Church

"Historic Post Offices of Johns Creek"

JCHS members Ed Malowney and Barb Latham presented a program based on a treasure trove of U.S. Post Office records that include hand-drawn maps, postal routes, postmaster appointments, and more.

Missed the meeting?  See how to find these records online and view an example of a Johns Creek area historic post office map and site location description.   Many of these records relating to Johns Creek and neighboring areas are in our archives.  Contact us if interested in seeing a particular record.


History Program_DonWells

Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Summerour House

"Mystery of the Trees"

Don Wells presented this fascinating program. "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


Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Summerour House, Autrey Mill Nature Preserve
"Sharing History"

Our February meeting was a casual meeting without a speaker. It was a great chance to meet others interested in learning and preserving history, to ask questions about local history, to share your interests or knowledge of the past, and to see some of our ongoing history research and projects.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Park Place (old Newtown School building)
"Memories of Newtown"
speaker Larry Garrard

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.



Sunday, November 11, 2018
Doors opened at 2:00pm

Alpharetta City Hall
"Veterans Day Program in Honor of the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day"

N Fulton History Alliance meeting Michael Hitt, historian

This was the first event of the North Fulton History Alliance, hosted in partnership with the Alpharetta, Roswell, and Johns Creek Historical Societies. The program included comments by Veteran Roger Wise and Presentation of the Colors by the Johns Creek Veterans Association Color Guard. Martine Broadwell told the story of WWI service by a local resident.

The featured speaker was historical writer and researcher, Michael Hitt, who related two WWI stories:

  • Nurse Camille O'Brien - the only nurse from the famous Emory Unit to die in the unit's service in Algeria and France.
  • The Steele's Bridge incident - an army convoy on a secret mission to arrest WWI army deserters hiding in southern Cherokee County. 

In the rotunda, there was an exhibit of WWI artifacts and photos of WWI service members related to local residents and the Alpharetta History Room was open before and after the program.



History program

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018 at 7:00pm
at the historic Mt. Zion (now Mustard Seed) Church
"Memories of McGinnis Ferry Road and Shakerag"
Guest speakers:
Jan Bell Webster and Charlie Boyd

This program featured Jan Bell Webster and Charlie Boyd in conversation about the history of the McGinnis Ferry Road and Shakerag area.
Both descendants of the area's early settlers, they talked about early local history and related fun stories of growing up country kids when roads were still dirt and gravel (including McGinnis Ferry Road).

Monthly History Programs


Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 at 7:00pm
at the historic Warsaw Church
"Two Families, One Farmhouse, Six Generations"
Presented by Hannelore Quigley and Beverley Canaday

History meetingThis multi-media presentation used original photos and artifacts to portray life in Maryland in 1889. After the Civil War, some freedmen remained where they were, making the choice to live and work on the farm where they had been enslaved. This presentation tells how three generations of formerly enslaved workers raised their families on the same farm, and how a 127 year-old “family photograph” reconnected descendants to their past, uncovered shared history, and established new relationships.

Read more about this program in the September 10, 2018 Johns Creek Herald article by Carson Cook


Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018 at 7:00pm
"Local Impact of World War I"
Gene Ramsay, area historian and co-author of "Images of America: Norcross" presented a program on WWI and the impact on the region.

JC History Meeting


Wednesday, April 11th, 2018 at 7pm
"Crossing the Chattahoochee"
Clarke Otten presented a program about the historic ferries and bridges that crossed the Chattahoochee River in and near our area.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 7pm
"A year in review and planning for the organization"
We presented a year-end review of accomplishments and activities in 2017 (it's the one-year anniversary of our first monthly meeting!) and gave updates on local history activities. Then, to help plan for 2018, we opened the floor to ideas for future programs, projects, and fieldtrips,


Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 7pm
"Oral Histories"
We looked at examples of oral histories from locals with long ties to the land that is today's Johns Creek. These memories of life when this area was a group of farming communities were captured on video, audio, and in written accounts that reside in both our archives and in other local resources.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 7pm
We caught up on history related activities and shared discoveries. Kirk brought "Green Books", published in 1936-1966, and introduced us to the need and importance of these travel guides to African-Americans travelling during segregation.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 7pm
"Green Family and Store"
We met at the Summerour House to hear about the Green Store and the Green family, then walked the short distance to the Green Store for a tour of the building, its contents of historic items, and learn about ongoing projects.  The store is a wonderful example of the small general stores that populated our area in the past and served local farm families.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 7pm
Jack Morton and Jim Spruell - boyhood memories living in this area when it was still a rural farming community.



Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at 7pm
Networking and sharing history discoveries


Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 4:30-6:00pm and 7-8:30pm
"Sorting a Collection of Newtown Records"

We had fun and learned collection management procedures while examining, identifying and recording the contents of 7 boxes of the Susan Miller collection of Newtown Park and history items.

   
Examining a photo of Newtown school students and other items related to the creation of Newtown Park and Newtown's history.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 7:00pm
"Sharing history"

We shared some of our research and listened to Millie Medlock Moore relate stories and memories of the area in earlier times.

Johns Creek Historical Society meeting


Wednesday, April 5 - Cancelled for threatening weather.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017- First official meeting of the historical society
"Resources for historical research
The wide variety of resources available for researching both local and family's history was presented - books, online resources, history research centers, and more.

We are encouraging membership in the Johns Creek Historical Society to support startup costs, programs, activities, and projects. Info on becoming a member.