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The Secret Word Is:
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought it would be a good idea to take the camera along on one of the trips (I made almost every day) to the DeKalb/Fulton area and maybe explore some places we usually don't see on the forums. Enjoy! :)

Georgia 400: Limited Access Highway Construction Update!
Also known as 400 to locals. It's a limited access highway between Atlanta and Dawson County. From there it becomes a divided highway with stop lights. Work was started not too long ago to add more travel lanes (widening) around the Fulton/Forsyth County line. It's almost finished!





This heavy-rail transit station is very cool! :eek: We'll look at it again on the way back. ;)



We are entering The Perimeter Business District. The only skyscrapers on this photo tour. :D



Concourse at Landmark Center. Two of my favorite buildings are at this complex.



This is the corporate headquarters (above) for Spectrum Brands, Inc. (maker of Rayovac batteries). They are #722 on the Fortune 1000.







I will avoid the toll booth and take the next non-Interstate exit.



The surprise at the top of the exit ramp! :eek:



We should drive around and see what else is in the area before getting back on the highway.



This is one of the buildings you don't see in skyline photos or from the highway, due to the trees. This street was beautifully landscaped!



Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hospital.



The AT&T Wireless Building is beautiful!



Now we are back on the highway again. Since there are so many photo threads of Atlanta out there, we should do something different! Any ideas?



A very unusual name for a town! Do you want to go there? Why not!



I consider the trip there an important part of the adventure!



The traffic though... :(







I told you we would see the transit station again on the way back! :D



Very cool!



The small town we are going to is several miles from I-285, so enjoy the mountains and buildings along the way.



We finally reach Forsyth County. Fulton County is a very long county to drive through!



This water tower is located just outside the town limits.



The new hospital, built around 2005 or 2006, if I remember correctly?



Several great Georgia towns are located along highway 20.



These are the Sawnee Mountains, located in Forsyth County. You can see them from the street-level in both Fulton and Gwinnett counties.



A forum member at WSTB said May 14-18 is National Bike to Work Week!



This place had one of everything (retail-restaurants), from small local places to a Super Target.





A 280,000 square foot shopping center! :eek: And they have land to build more!









This is what we are here to see (above). A small town skyline with a beautiful mountain backdrop!

Cumming, Georgia
is the county seat of Forsyth County in metro Atlanta. The town was founded in 1833; one year after Forsyth County was created. The post office officially opened in January 1834 and the town incorporated in December 1834. The town grew with the Georgia Gold Rush in the 1830's and 1840's. The Federal Road also brought growth, but the town fell into decline when gold was discovered in California in 1849 and the railroads took traffic away from the Federal Road. After construction was completed on State Highway 400 in the late 1980's, the town grew again as a popular suburb of Atlanta and Forsyth County today is one of the nation's fastest growing counties! :eek:



The town was named for Colonel William Cumming. The Colonel graduated from Princeton and studied law at Gould's Law School. He earned his fame in The War of 1812. He was appointed Quarter Master General in 1847 by President Monroe and Major General by President Polk, but declined both appointments and spent the remainder of his life in Augusta, where he died February 18, 1863.



Free Classic Queen Anne (above) House Architecture
These Victorian Queen Anne houses use classical columns, instead of turned posts with spindle work detailing. This style of house became popular after 1890 and has much in common with some early Colonial Revival homes.



Water towers from this town are featured on many websites.



I love to look at the old houses on these trips.



Queen Anne is my favorite style of house! This Free Classic Queen Anne (above) was under major renovation!



Downtown! :eek: I took these photos on May 4th. It did rain later that night. The Atlanta area is in a drought and the day I take photos is the day it rains. :( The clouds do enjoy following my camera. I think the metro area may hire me to take photos to end the drought! :D



I found several interesting old buildings and some interesting old signs on the photo adventure.



A pocket-park on the edge of downtown.









The city and county have completed a large amount of construction over the past few years and made major investments in downtown.





The Administration Building was built in 1996.



This is a county of change! The number of farms in this county is decreasing rapidly.



Forsyth County is the 5th fastest growing county in the United States, with 150,968 residents (Census estimate 2006). That is an increase of 52,561 residents since 2000! Not bad for a county with only 44,083 residents in 1990 and only 12,170 residents in 1960.



BellSouth Building (now AT&T Building)






The 700 seat Cumming Baptist Church was huge!



In the middle of the complex, I found the original building, called Historic Chapel (above).



Sawnee Mountains.



Always searching for grit, this is the best the town had to offer.



A historic car too!



This town has a lot of potential! This development will look great downtown! The site is cleared and ready to develop. If you're interested in office space or condos in this small town, call the number above.



This is the star of the show (above)!



The 1970's Bank of America Building (above).



Street signs downtown have the town seal on them, which includes an illustration of Lake Lanier with the mountains and a sail boat! We’ll see the lake at the end of the tour!





This historic building was interesting enough architecturally for a close-up photo! You can also see the town seal on the Main Street sign.



If the sun was out, the images of this building would be beautiful!





Read the history of Forsyth County and The Colonel!



The old Courthouse burned-down in 1973.



This building was completed in 1976 as the replacement.


Georgia State Archives

The 1905 Forsyth County Courthouse; destroyed by fire in 1973.


Georgia State Archives

The new building isn't bad for 1970's construction, but nothing compares to the old building! Georgia is known for beautiful historic courthouses!









City Hall is the tallest building in the city. The clock tower stands 79 feet/24 meters tall.



The cornerstone from the 1905 Forsyth County Courthouse. There are plans for a new courthouse in a similar style to the 1905 building, to match City Hall! :eek:



City Hall was built in 2002 and was designed in a similar style to the original 1905 Courthouse.



This is a large city government building for a town of 5,802!



The town grew by 1,582 residents between 2000 and 2005!



An interesting Dairy Queen.



Do you want to see the lake? Let's go!



Looking towards the Gwinnett-Forsyth County Line. The terrain is beautiful in metro Atlanta's northern suburbs.



Lake Sidney Lanier:
Here we are! Lake Sidney Lanier (below)! Sidney Lanier was a well-known Georgia born poet and musician in the 1800's.



The lake has a major resort area called Lake Lanier Islands with golf, conference facilities, a 216 room hotel and a water park on the Hall-Gwinnett side! We are looking at the Forsyth side for this tour!



Lake Lanier is nicknamed "Atlanta's Great Lake" for the size (38,000 acres with 540 miles of shoreline) and beauty of the lake.



Due to the hilly terrain in the Forsyth, Hall, Gwinnett and Dawson County area, the lake has islands and a very unusual shape.



Looking out at the Appalachian Mountains near the Forsyth-Gwinnett County Line. From this location, you can see several counties on a clear day and see the lake and mountains together.

All lake photos taken on the Forsyth County side of the lake.

Thank you for your time and let me know if you enjoyed this tour of Atlanta's Northern Suburbs - Georgia 400 North. I would like to make a series of Atlanta Suburb threads. These small towns are very interesting to visit.

-Matt D.
 

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I think that was a joke at one point:

Q: Why are the people in Buford (in north Gwinnett) happy?

A: They're always close to Cumming!

:tongue2:
 

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I like the 285/400 area, and Concourse. I was up there this weekend, if I were to move to Atlanta I'd choose either Perimeter or Vinings.
 

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Deep South Pillsbury
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That's a great photo tour Matthew. That's always the way I go to get to the lake when I'm up there (and I've eaten at that Steak N Shake...mmmmm....Steak N Shake milkshakes, so good......oh, um....sorry).

People always ask why Atlanta is so top-heavy with people, and I'm like, well, when you look at the beauty of the land in north Atlanta, it'd be almost worth it to put up with the horrible traffic to live in an area like that.
 

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Matthew, for the first part of the tour I was a bit concerned. I thought that you are either an impostor, pretending to be Matthew, or you are sick. No historic data provided? Then, when the Cumming tour started, I knew it was truly you :lol:

Good work, Matthew :eek:kay:
 

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I definitely don't miss GA 400.

You neglected to include one important part of Forsyth County's history - racism. In the early 1900's the Whites forced all the Blacks to leave the county. Forsyth County would remain an all White county until the 1990's, after the skirmish featuring David Duke with the Hosea Williams led Black civil rights march. The march was around 1990, & proceeded into Forsyth County as numerous White counter-protesters featuring David Duke & the KKK threw rocks & other objects at the Blacks.

Forsyth County quietly transformed from a regional racist hot spot into the incredibly disjointed sprawling cess-pool it is now, which includes races who can afford to live in the northern Alpharetta area along McGinnes Bridge Rd.
 

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Deep South Pillsbury
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^ Indeed, Tom Wolf mentioned it in his book as a way Charlie Croker gained money for his suburban tower in a Man in Full. Although in the book it happens in Cherokee County.

I believe Forsythe County was one of the so-called sundown places where blacks could not be after dark. My dad claims that driving through Forsythe County he saw a sign claiming that blacks were not allowed in the county---this was the late 80s.

I find it interesting that a county so obsessed with keeping blacks out for so long now has a sizable Hispanic population. :)
 

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Yeah, ol' W has done such an awesome job of protecting Iraq, I'm dying to have him protect me...

Sonny Bubba can kiss my ass.
 

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The Secret Word Is:
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for the replies!

Take a close look at the water tower (pictured above) located just outside the town limits. It says Siemens. It does appear almost as a joke. On one forum, where I posted this, I had to remove the town name as part of the forum rules. So it appears as The Baptist Church, The Colonel, The Town.

I could tell the town was very conservative. I saw something on this happening in 1912 when researching the history for this thread, but almost every big city and small town in the deep south has these stories in their history, so I didn't include it. I didn't realize how bad the problem was? Usually they are distant past stories. I guess that's why the population didn't grow for so many years? It is growing now though. This one of the nation's top five fastest growing counties. That alone made this an interesting place to visit, but the town hasn't grown as fast. I'm guessing the name is part of their problem? I'm sure a conservative town like this one could find someone postive in their history to rename their town after and have full support of citizens and business leaders?

400 isn't a highway I take too often. I usually travel 85 to MARTA and take trains and the bus, since the core city isn't much fun to drive into and parking costs are so high. I wasn't happy with the slow service from MARTA though on the past few trips I made.

What is Buford like? I see a sign on 20 for an historic downtown and it has a rough drawing of what appears to be a nice downtown. I was thinking about Lawrenceville also. Usually county seats (major government centers) have great downtowns. This town (pictured above) should've routed 20 around their downtown also. The traffic in the core was heavy, but the drivers are very friendly to pedestrians though.
 

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Thanks for the ride! You should have kept going up 400 to one of my favorite hiding spots in Georgia...Dahlonega. Great camping around the beautiful Amicalola Falls! We hit that area for camping and nature every year or so....
 

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Matt - Buford has a charming & very small downtown tucked within the sprawl. You can find it for a few blocks along the rail road track.

Lawrenceville is similar too - but a nicer downtown complete with a historic court house.

Regarding the history of counties that expelled Blacks - it is more common in along the foothills & mountains. Primarily in counties with no major agricultural crop, the typical Black settler at the time had only a simple plot of land.
 

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Lawrenceville is similar too - but a nicer downtown complete with a historic court house.
Isn't the Lawrenceville courthouse where someone shot Larry Flynt, of Hustler? I think it happened during his trial for obscenity or something...
 

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^That is correct. He was shot on the Courthouse Square during the course of the trail.

Downtown Lawrenceville is quite nice right around the Square. They have a master plan in place to really densify and are embracing mixed-use now.

Some of the other notable small downtowns around the Metro: Norcross - quite lovely along the railroad tracks. Very Mayberryish.

Duluth - Building a new downtown from scratch, basically. Great town green with a small amphitheatre, surrounded by mixed-use lofts.

Woodstock - This is the one to watch. In the process of overlaying an entirely new, very dense mixed-use downtown on top of the original, incorporating the original buildings.

Roswell - Very nice, old, walkable in the center. Lot's of history, quite scenic with the river.

Decatur - Mine, and just about everyone else's fave. Dense, walkable, LOTS of places to eat & drink- almost all with sidewalk & or deck seating. Lot's of condo infill going on, with a subway station under the Courthouse Square. Probably one of the absolute best areas of the entire Metro, but getting very pricey.

There are quite a few more worth mentioning, but I'm in a hurry..........
 

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Deep South Pillsbury
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Regarding the history of counties that expelled Blacks - it is more common in along the foothills & mountains. Primarily in counties with no major agricultural crop, the typical Black settler at the time had only a simple plot of land.
Also out west, especially California.

Decatur rules for downtowns in metro Atlanta, but downtown Alpharetta is pretty cool as well. Very neat shops, some good restaurants......
 

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Decatur rules for downtowns in metro Atlanta
I like Decatur, too. It feels like a separate city, but also part of the metro.
 

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The Secret Word Is:
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Not anymore! I found a Movies 400 theatre in the retail area. On the mountains, I also saw an amazing church built on the side of a mountain.

I did a little research on Lawrenceville and it appears more impressive. Are the neighborhoods around the downtown area safe? I walk these trips and I'm thinking of walking from the old Courthouse to the old Train Station and Seminary, which I read is now a county museum. They are located outside the core of downtown in different directions. Are these safe areas to walk around? I'm guessing they are?

I would like to go to Dahlonega when I can see all the attractions. That is a more touristy area. I think they have a racing museum, gold panning and the original US Mint. I've also heard they have drag racing or burn-out competitions at a city government building at different times during the year? Very unusual!
 
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