is a historic neighborhood of some 700
households located in the southeastern area of the City of Decatur, Georgia
was incorporated in 1823 as the county seat of the newly created DeKalb
- two decades before the Georgia Railroad chose a site six miles to the west as
the terminus of its new railroad. The "Terminus" settlement, later
incorporated as Marthasville, eventually grew up to become the city of
In 1907, the town annexed the
areas then known as "greater
," which included the land that was being developed as Winnona
Park. The 1910s and 1920s marked a period of much residential development in
Decatur, fueled by the establishment of streetcar (trolley) service and automobile
Atlanta. During this period,
publicly opted to promote its residential qualities rather than trying to
attract commercial or industrial enterprises like Atlanta
and other nearby smaller towns. It is a theme that still persists today in Decatur, whose city logo promotes it as a community of homes, schools and churches.
itself had its beginnings in the early 1900s when George Bucher Scott (of the
Scott family that founded nearby Agnes Scott College and Scottdale Mills) acquired land from Dr.
James C. Avary to develop and build the neighborhood. Scott named the new
in honor of his wife's family, the Winns. An advertisement in a 1912 edition of
the Decatur New Era newspaper promoted
as "the Druid Hills of
" and "
Atlanta's most beautiful neighborhood."
One of the earliest
structures in the developing Winnona
Park area was the Decatur Athletic Club, built in 1915 and located on Avery Street
near Winnona Drive. The club had a pool, tennis courts and a dance floor.
At about the same time the
first homes and a recreational facility were being built, Joseph Hughey
purchased a lot on East College Avenue
at South Candler Street
in 1913 for the area's first business district. He reportedly operated a drug
store; the site was also the location of a streetcar waiting station and was
adjacent to the
train depot and Agnes
Scott College. Hughey's business area is now the location of the business strip that
currently houses Trackside Tavern, 5th Earl Diner, and children’s
clothing and gift store, Wiggles.
In 1923, construction was
begun on Winnona
Park School. The school
opened its doors at 510 Avery Street
on Sept. 17, 1924, with six grammar school grades for 175 students. Today
remains very much a neighborhood school, serving about 250 students in
kindergarten through fifth grade. Its property includes a large playing field,
basketball courts, and a creek-side playground that also serve as a neighborhood
neighborhood was identified as the youngest of four historical areas in South
Decatur by a survey conducted by Darlene Roth & Associates, Inc., for the
in 1987. Though the school and the homes on
are considered historic, they have not yet received any official historical
designation. According to the survey, the area contains excellent examples of
English country-style houses, including English Vernacular Revival, Craftsman
bungalows and Georgian Revival bungalows. Several homes, including 203 and 306
Avery, are the designs of well-known Atlanta
architect Leila Ross Wilburn.
The Agnes Scott/South Candler
Historic District, boasting college buildings and Victorian homes built in the
last quarter of the 19th century, borders Winnona
on the west.
The present-day Winnona Park neighborhood is roughly bordered by East College
Avenue and the railroad tracks on the north, South Columbia Drive (and Columbia Theological Seminary
and the Methodist Children's Home) on the east, Kirk Road (with the Mimosa and
Candler Oaks areas extending south off Kirk) on the south, and South Candler
(and Agnes Scott College) on the west.
includes the Winnona
and Mimosa subdivisions, all platted and at least partially built before World
War II temporarily halted construction in the 1940s. The land where these homes
were built was annexed by Decatur
in the 1920s. Streets include Shadowmoor Drive, Inman Drive,
Heatherdown Road, Derrydown Way,
Hilldale Drive, Missionary Drive,
Missionary Court, Mimosa Drive
and Mimosa Way
The most common housing style
in these areas is the Minimal Traditional, a diluted or pared-down version of
earlier English Country styles, with some Tudoresque details. "The fact
that the preference for English-styled homes (and street names) persisted after
its popularity had waned nationally is locally significant and suggests some
important regional variations from national architectural patterns," notes
the 1987 Roth study concerning this area.
Three small, later
developments - Kirk Crossing and Candler Oaks off
off South Candler - all traditionally styled townhouses constructed in the
1980s or '90s, are also in the current
neighborhood. Kirk Road, with historic pre-war houses located nearer South Candler and larger post-war
South Columbia, is also part of the area.
Winnona Park was very proud
to have its nomination to the National Register of Historic Places accepted in
Winnona: the Civil War
The area that is now Winnona
Park was undoubtedly the site of much fighting and military staging during the Civil
War. An 1864 map of Decatur shows a line of federal trenches extending across
the south side of the railroad tracks from what is now South Columbia west to
about Adams Street. Reportedly, the trenches were rather hastily dug when Union
General Schofield and the Army of the
forcefully occupied Decatur
in July 1864. Their primary target in Decatur
was the railroad.
Confederate cavalry under
General Wheeler succeeded in driving the federal soldiers from their trenches
north through Decatur
and out to the cemetery. However, when Confederate Gen. Hardee's troops, who
were supposed to rendezvous with Wheeler's men in
Decatur, needed help against Union Gen. McPherson's army, Wheeler gave up his gains in Decatur
to rally to Hardee's support. When
was next - leading to the Battle of Atlanta a few days later.
Many of Winnona Park's streets bear the names of local families who were early
settlers in the area.
Street: The neighborhood entrance
street off East College was named for Dr. James C. Avary, who settled in the
area before the Civil War and whose 1868 farmhouse still stands on South
Columbia Drive. (An 1860 list of slave holders in DeKalb County notes that he
owned 19 slaves.) The Avary-Fulton House is believed to be the oldest standing
house in south Decatur and is still owned by the
family, who acquired it later in the century.
Like the neighborhood, it was named for the Winn family who settled in the
area in the first half of the 19th century. James J. Winn is described in
Vivian Price's book, The History of
1822-1900, as both a surgeon in the Confederate Army and an area clergyman.
His children, besides Mrs. George Bucher Scott, whose husband developed Winnona
Park, included longtime Decatur resident Mrs. Kate Winn Kirkpatrick and two
minister sons, the Reverends Paul P. and Samuel K. Winn.
The Candler family, for whom South Candler is named, is well known for its civic
leaders, including U.S. Rep. Milton A. Candler Sr.; his son, Georgia Senator and
Rep. Charles Murphey Candler; and his grandson, Decatur Mayor and DeKalb
Commissioner Scott Candler. All lived in homes on South Candler.
(originally Hough Road
): Charles Murphey Candler married
Mary Hough Scott, daughter of George Washington Scott (founder of
) and Rebecca Bucher Scott. Mary's sister, Nellie Scott, married Charles'
brother, Milton Anthony Candler Jr., further linking the two prominent
families. Mary and Nellie's brother, Bucher Scott, built a home, the Scott-Sams
House at 312 South Candler, near the current Bucher Drive
was named for James H. Kirkpatrick, who came to the area in 1827 and acquired
thousands of acres that became one of the largest estates in
history. Kirkpatricks also had a 300-acre farm on the present-day Kirk Road
, which reportedly included a well-known recreation spot, Kirk's Spring.
Before English style homes were built in the Winnona
area and it and nearby streets took English names, Shadowmoor was known as State Street
): This thoroughfare street takes
its name from
, which was established as
in 1889, becoming Agnes Scott a year later after the mother of founder George
Washington Scott. The street was formerly called either
and was reportedly one of 23
streets listed in an 1877 survey, and the only one south of the railroad
Originally known as
in the northern section and Flat Shoals in the southern section, it was renamed
after Columbia Seminary relocated there from
, in 1927.
Mimosa Place: These streets off
probably derive their names from the avenue of mimosa trees that lined the long
drive to the farm of Milton A. Candler. Milton
's family later built the Candler-Clarke House at 146 South Candler, where his
granddaughter, Caroline McKinney Clarke, author of The Story of Decatur:
1823-1899, lived all her life.
Crossing: These two streets, located
east of Winnona
Park, take their names from members of the Augustus Sams family who settled there.
In the Spring of 2002, the WPNA Zoning and Development Committee undertook the substantial task of filing the necessary applications and back-up documentation necessary to be considered for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. This 6-month process resulted in Winnona Park being named to the Register, the Federal government's official list of significant "historic buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts worthy of preservation."
This designation carries no restrictions or aesthetic review procedures for modifying or renovating homes in Winnona Park, but rather reminds us of the value of preserving the special character of our neighborhood with thoughtful development. The official Certificate of Designation was framed and presented for display to Winnona Park School in September, 2002..
NOTE: Do you have
information about the history of
or memories of growing up in the area? We'd love to hear from you and add your
information to our archives. E-mail the Winnona
Neighborhood Association at email@example.com.