Past and Present
For hundreds of years this area we
call Vinings was inhabited by Creek, then later by Cherokee, Native
who farmed along the Chattahoochee River.
Forced to leave by Georgia’s government in 1838, they traversed “The
Trail of Tears” west of the Mississippi River to Oklahoma. Large tracts
of the Cherokee Territory in
this area of Georgia were auctioned off in 1838. Hardy Pace, a native
entrepreneur, originally lived on the south side of
the Chattahoochee River and operated Pace’s
Ferry across the river. When Pace
learned the Legislature had chartered, in 1836, a railroad to run
area from Atlanta to Chattanooga, he won land, bought and traded
acres stretching over time from Smyrna to Buckhead.
Pace moved his family across the
river to this area, then called “Cross Roads” building a compound for
family and operating a tavern. Travelers
could stop and refresh themselves and spend the night at his home. Pace
also ran a gristmill and farmed in addition to operating his ferry.
Vinings’ eponym came to
recent research by author, Tony Doyle, in his book, Vinings Revisited
(CreateSpace/Amazon) which can be purchased at the VHPS. Doyle
discovered that William H. Vining,
Assistant Engineer of Brigade 3 under the command of Thomas Stockton and
S. Long of the Western & Atlantic Railroad, had come from the
perform surveys and construction on the railroad between July 1837 and
1838 in this area. According to Doyle,
Vining was the engineer and overseer of a difficult curved trestle
along Stillhouse Rd. This bridge was filled in with dirt and
mounded over a culvert years later then becoming known as “Vining’s
Bridge.” According to federal maps and other records,
his name then became associated with the RR station, mountain and
was called “Vining’s Station.” “Vining’s Station” officially became
1904, the same year the one lane steel bridge was constructed across the
Chattahoochee at Paces Ferry Road.
In July 1864 the Union Army marched
from Chattanooga to Atlanta moving into “Vining’s Station” and
Pace’s property and tavern. Here, it is
said, Union General William Sherman remained for 11 days while planning
battle of Atlanta. It was from Vinings
Mountain (later known as MacRae’s Hill and later called Mount Wilkiinson
he first viewed Atlanta in this campaign.
Leaving “Vining’s Station,” Sherman torched Pace’s home later burning
of Atlanta. Incidentally, as a young
lieutenant, Sherman had earlier traveled through this part of North
allowing him to become very familiar with its topography. It is said
when the troops evicted Hardy
Pace, he moved his family to Milledgeville where he died in December
Many members of the Pace
returned to “Vining’s Station” after the war and Pace’s son, Solomon,
parts of slave cabins to build his home which still stands next to the
Pavillion. Hardy Pace as well as a
number of his descendants are buried with others in the private
cemetery atop Mount Wilkinson.
After the war the Western &
Atlantic Railroad built five open-air pavilions in Georgia to encourage
travel. The only one still in existence
was built in 1873 in “Vining’s Station.”
In the late nineteenth century, young fun loving Atlantans rode the
train to this delightfully rural setting on weekends, while others came
stylish horse drawn carriages, to picnic, dance and enjoy themselves in
open air pavilion then located on Mountain Street.
For the affluent of
Atlanta, it became
socially desirable to travel to “Vining’s Station” for all day
to “take the spa waters” at the spring located behind the pavilion.
Social clubs were formed, including one
called “The Every Tuesday Club” which was often chaperoned by the
wife. In 1996, the Vinings Pavilion was
moved to the Pace History Complex on Paces Mill Rd. and the spring was
and piped into a stream.
Shortly after The Civil
northern druggist, Rufus Mathewson Rose, built a federally licensed
on Stillhouse Rd. named the R. M. Rose & Co. Distillery later
with “Four Roses” whiskey. This
distillery was owned and operated by Rufus and his brother, Origen Rose,
their two sons – hence (allegedly) the name of this premium blended
whiskey. When in 1907 Georgia voted for
state prohibition to commence Jan. 1, 1908, the distillery was moved
miles to Chattanooga, Tenn. After a
confusing title trail followed the adoption of the 18 amendment to
the U.S. Constitution outlawing the manufacture, transport or sale of
beverages (later repealed by the 21 amendment), the various brand
was sold to Joseph E. Seagram & Sons in 1941.
By the 1930’s Vinings had developed
into a cool summer retreat from the heat of Atlanta for its affluent
with the ambience of a small village. Soon Bert Adams Boy Scout Camp,
many local men can still remember, occupied a substantial part of
Mountain. The scout camp moved away in
the mid 20 century.
In the late 1960’s a local
the late Felix Cochran, began to acquire land and after 15 years of
developed Vinings Jubilee as the village center. It is replete with
delightfully quaint shops,
restaurants as well as several upscale stores with various service
in keeping with Mr. Cochran’s desire to have it feel like an olden
village. Vinings Jubilee was built in a
Victorian architectural style and was dedicated in October 1986.
Vinings still manages to provide a
village-like atmosphere with the construction of other buildings in the
original white clapboard style with green roofs. This consistency is
also due to the constant
attention and diligent efforts of its residents, working individually as
as through organizations such as the Historic Preservation Society,
Association, Civic Club, the Woman’s Club and the local Rotary Club.
With its many sidewalks and historic
buildings, some of which are on the National Historic Registry, Vinings
still a delightful place to live, work, shop, play and enjoy its
friendly neighborliness. In many of
today’s locales these are becoming increasingly rare virtues, which
be taking lightly or for granted.
sincere, honest attempt to separate fact from
Updated from the Vinings
Civic Club Directory 2007-2008
“Vinings….Then and Now”
Written by Eva Goss for Season Magazine 2003
Additions by Jody G. Smith
and Ben L. Weinberg Jr.
Condensed/edited by Tony Doyle and Betty Smith,