Whittier Mill Article
It was only the third time neighbors met for the annual spring festival, but the sense of community in the village dates back to the turn of the 20th century.
Not many residents are left from the old days, when there was an operating mill, but newcomers have worked to keep the neighborhood close as it has grown and changed.
"It's really good," Sadie Edwards, 93, said of the neighborhood's renaissance since the old textile mill closed in 1971, a revival that began in the late 1980s and has now taken off. "The people moving in are young people, and it's really good."
Recalling the old days
Edwards moved to the Whittier Mill neighborhood in 1923 when her father, T.B. Tribble, became the pastor at the First Baptist Church of Chattahoochee. Edwards has lived in the same house, just down the street from the church, since 1940, when there were few streetlights and no yuppies.
"This community was a very close-knit family," she recalled, sitting in her wheelchair. "If one person laughed, everyone laughed with 'em. If one cried, we all cried. It's like that now. If my father could see this, he'd be pleased. He was a very progressive person, ahead of his time."
"It was a fun place to grow up and live, and it's a fun place now," said Inez Overstreet, 79, who has lived in Whittier Mill Village since she was 5. "I love all the young people who live here now. Two of 'em cut my grass."
A married couple across the street, both attorneys, look out for Overstreet, who is asthmatic and recently took a fall. When an ever-vigilant young neighbor down the block saw an unfamiliar pickup truck stop at Overstreet's house, she quickly phoned and asked, "Inez, who is that man who just pulled up?"
"He's OK, just a reporter," assured Overstreet, sitting on the couch in her living room.
Overstreet was 5 when her father, Thomas Brannon, a mill worker, died in 1932. Her mother, Naomi, had to go to work in the textile mill to support her daughter. "She worked herself to death," Overstreet said. "Fortunately, I never had to. She said, 'You'll never work in that mill.' "
The small wooden houses were once rented for $1.50 a room per month. Most of the original mill houses were six-room, one-story cottages. Overstreet recalled that, in the early 1980s, she and her husband bought their house for $4,800. "It was $600 a room," she said, "plus the bank got their [financing] money."
Today, that house —- with its now-carpeted hardwood floors and a fireplace in every room —- would now sell for well more than $200,000. Some of the 124 homes in the village go for far more, especially since the village is on the National Historic Register.
"I grew up happy," said Overstreet, who fondly recalls the mill's annual July 4th barbecue, walking to school at nearby Chattahoochee Elementary, the ballfield down by the mill. Each Saturday, the mighty Whittier Mill baseball team —- featuring the Osmond Brothers, Tiny and Larry, in their gray flannel uniforms —- would play another mill team.
"If anything happened to you, people would come right around to help you with food, money, anything," Overstreet said. "Back then, if someone died, people sat up with you."
Youth movement
There was even a nine-hole golf course adjacent to the mill property. Men and boys from the mill caddied there; the great golfer Bobby Jones even played the course once or twice. "They took children from the church over to the course for Easter egg hunts," Edwards said. "Hard-boiled eggs. We ate 'em afterward."
Now, new homes are being built on the old golf course property: Townhouses starting at the high $200,000's, single-family homes from the $300,000's.
Don Rooney's house cost considerably less when he bought it in 1985.
"When I moved in, it was like, 'A young person living in this village? What a sur- prise,' " said Rooney, 49, a historian and the curator of urban and regional history at the Atlanta History Center.
"I think I was one of the first five people under retirement age in the village. Now, to find anyone over retirement age there is rare.
"When I first saw what it was like, I mean, how many villages are there within seven miles [of downtown Atlanta]?" he said. "It truly is a village. It's a social definition, as well as a geographic one. The way people interact with each other, the way they walk the streets, it's a village.
"The old people will tell you, 'Life was hard,'" Rooney said. "But there is something that got these people through it that [shows] it is a community. And that continues to this day."
A comfortable mix
At the First Baptist Church of Chattahoochee, dozens of mostly middle-aged folks meet each Wednesday night for the $5 fellowship supper. Like Bob Telford, 50, who works for the Environmental Protection Division and, at the urging of his wife, Jackie, moved from the Chamblee-Tucker area to Whittier Mill in 2000.
"I saw the neighborhood, saw people walking. It's peaceful and friendly, a lot of social interaction," Telford said. "It's nice. You have yuppies, some old-timers, some blue-collar and some white-collar."
"It's great," said Janey Goss, 15, who moved here three years ago with her parents, Rebecca and Greg Collins, both musicians. "There's a great community here. They have nice lots, a nice park.
"We live in one of the old mill houses and it's great," she said. "Has a few drawbacks. It's old, hard to keep warm. But it has high ceilings and wood floors. And it's a historical district."
Whittier Family Home
Thank you,

David Rhodes
Atlanta Fire Rescue
Battalion Chief
2nd Battalion - A Shift

for sending this advertisement. Below are David’s notes - 

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of the Atlanta Board of 
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Whittier Mill Village
By Jack Wilkinson
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 05/20/07
If, indeed, it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an old mill village to raise some Parkapalooza hell.
That's what the residents of historic Whittier Mill Village did Saturday. In their century-old mill town in northwest Atlanta, just seven miles from downtown and near the banks of the Chattahoochee River, they gathered in the neighborhood park for Parkapalooza 2007.