The Story of Kings Cove
By: Joe O’Connor, a Kings Cove resident
To the best of my knowledge, the year 2015 marks the 45th anniversary of the Kings Cove neighborhood. The following is a brief history based on many facts and memories that this writer and a few other residents have donated.
In the late 1960's, Kings Cove consisted of rolling hills filled with pine trees, hardwood trees and dense woods. Back in the late 1800’s Dickerson road was originally an old dirt driveway leading to the house of Riley Jackson Dickerson. The Dickerson family originally owned most of the property from Dickerson road over to where the Dickerson cemetery is located today on Woodlawn road. Their family goes all the way back to the time when Indians lived in the area. It’s been rumored that the Dickerson family may have even purchased some of their property from them. Also, the old Merritt family owned much of the Kings Cove property located on the backside of our neighborhood near Woodlawn road.
My house backs up to Stacia Dickerson’s nearly three acre property on Dickerson road. Her father Billy and I had many talks through the years when he used to plow his vegetable garden near my back yard. When he saw me outside, he would always stop his tractor and we’d talk for hours. I always enjoyed the many fascinating tales that he always loved to tell. According to Billy, my property was one of the best places where he, his brothers and his uncles would hunt on and shoot squirrels before our house was built on the land. Sadly, Billy and his wife passed away just a few years ago. Since then, there’s been a big void in my back yard.
The large lake in Kings Cove was initially called Dr.Clark’s Lake.
Dr. Clarke was a doctor in Marietta and he had a home and a dock that went out over the lake where he spent most of his weekends.
Around 1970, The Brantley-Katz Realty company broke ground and started the sales, development and construction of all the homes in Kings Cove. Their sales slogan was “Kings Cove...Regal living fit for a King” By 1972 they had completed and sold (19) homes priced from $49,500 up to around $65,000. They originally stated on their sales literature that they planned to provide an Olympic sized swimming pool including tennis courts, a club house and a private security patrol. Unfortunately, none of these pledges ever developed. They did donate the current HOA land to the homeowners. Most likely it was because they couldn’t build any houses on it anyway. So rather than fight the developers to follow through on their promises, nearly thirty homeowners joined together and formed the Kings Cove Recreation Club. A little later, they all signed a note for a loan from the old C&S bank in Sandy Springs to build the swimming pool that we have today. After a few years, it made better sense to change the Recreation Club to a Home Owners Association operation. Tennis courts were also added as the budget improved.
There is some very interesting history, and it’s too long of a story to tell in this short article, depicting how our neighborhood came together and saved our lake from being shut down by the state of Georgia. Let’s just say that there are still a few heroic folks living in Kings Cove today that everyone still owes a great deal of thanks for saving our lake.
The O’Connors were the 19th family to purchase a new house in the Kings Cove subdivision in June, 1972. At that time, the closest grocery store was almost five miles away. If you wanted to have a nice dinner, you had to go to the Public House on the square in Roswell or the Steak & Ale in Sandy Springs. There were absolutely no malls, shopping centers, strip centers, nice restaurants or chain stores closer than five miles away. Also, Parkaire Mall was just an abandoned and decaying single runway private airport. Nearly every road was a simple two-lane road in all directions. All our friends and relatives that came to visit would always ask how we found this house way out in the country.
Further, we didn’t have any streetlights in Kings Cove. Except when there was a full moon, it was completely dark and a little scary at night. So all the neighbors came together and campaigned with the county government to have streetlights installed. In those days, neighbors knew each other and were glad to come together to address and help solve common problems. It’s also my belief that Kings Cove was the first neighborhood to have streetlights installed in East Cobb and possibly the entire county.
In 1970, the population of Cobb county was under 300,000 residents. Today the population is now over 700,000. When we bought our house in 1972, our children went to the Eastside Elementary school and studied in trailers. Later on they attended a brand new Dickerson Middle school and studied in trailers.And finally they attended a brand new Walton High school that was already over-enrolled in their first year of operation. The population in East Cobb literally exploded in the 1970's for the same reason that homes still sell so quickly today. When we moved here from Dallas, Texas 1972, we were advised that the best school district in the Metro Atlanta area was in Cobb County. That information prompted us to search for a home in Cobb County. As a result, we found a new home and settled in Kings Cove. We have enjoyed living here ever since.