My family and Atlanta go back before the founding of the city to the days of Cherokee and Creek trails, such as Standing Pitchtree. This trade route became Peachtree Street, the major artery into the new city.
Below is an amazing survival from the burning of Atlanta during the Civil War in 1862. This is the second oldest house in Atlanta, after the Lemuel Grant House of Grant Park. The Grant house became a partial survival, having lost major sections of floorplans.
My great-great-great grandfather, Meredith Collier, built this substantial homeplace for his family above Clear Creek in what developed into Ansley Park and Sherwood Forest. The neighborhood was laid out around Collier’s house on the hill. The brothers and my great-great grandmother grew up on this last undeveloped land lot in what became Atlanta.
The house was sacked and burned in 1862, but was rebuilt accurately and was restored to the family. Great-great-great grandparents, Meredith and Elizabeth Collier were later buried at this homeplace by son, George Washington Collier. When Westview Cemetery was developed, they were reinterred there. The heirs divided slaves and land when Meredith Collier’s will was settled. Elizabeth Collier married Thomas Haney Liddell of Gwinnett County and settled with her slave inheritance into the 1840 plantation home where the family would remain for 135 years.
The Clear Creek property was sold out of the family and was developed as upscale Ansley Park and Sherwood Forest housing developments. The Meredith Collier house was professionally restored by a noted architect and lived in for many years by a politician, James Bentley. The Collier land holdings were developed, making the family some of Atlanta’s richest and most influential citizens. The remaining Collier sons’ land holdings became Collier Woods.
G. W. Collier served as grocer and postmaster in Five Points in Atlanta. He developed a large land holding into the famed, luxurious Aragon Hotel in Five Points.
The first photograph is the Meredith Collier Clear Creek Homeplace on Lady Marian Lane in Sherwood Forest, Atlanta, Ga.
The second photograph is of Elizabeth Collier Liddell and great-great grandmother of the author. The third photograph is of the 1840 plantation home of Thomas Haney Liddell and Elizabeth Collier Liddell. The fourth photograph is a portrait of Thomas Haney Liddell of Gwinnett County. The last photograph is of my mother, Charlotte Ann Liddell Green (May 2, 1932- September 17, 2012) who was born and raised in the Gwinnett Plantation home.
December 24, 2012