The area now occupied by the park once was known
as Macedonia Park, a black community of about 400 families, in the late
1800s. The Mount Olive Methodist-Episcopal Church was
located there in the early 1900s. Its cemetery remains in a corner of the park near the
entrance. Graves are still visited, and small wreaths and
other tokens are sometimes left beside the old stones. Efforts are
underway to properly mark the cemetery and protect it from passers-by.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in a Feb. 20,
"In the late 1800s, when Buckhead was called Irbyville, the land was
tended by black tenant farmers who needed work after slavery was
abolished. They earned about $450 a year, according to Buckhead
historian Bill Bell. Some worked as domestics for wealthy families.
"In 1921, white developer John Ownes built a subdivision of modest
houses for the black workers. Macedonia Park's lots were small and
narrow and bordered a creek, Bell said.
"Locals bought fruit and bread from two grocery shops owned by Mamie
German and William Bagley. Two restaurants served pot roasts. A
blacksmith shop owned by William Bonner was on Pharr Road.
"On Sundays, people crowded into Mount Olive Methodist Church, the
oldest chapel in the neighborhood, Macedonia Baptist Church and the
White Lily Baptist Church.
"In the 1930s, the Ku Klux Klan terrorized the are with marches. In
Susan Kessler Barnard's book "Buckhead: A Place for All Timee,"
Parthenia Jetter, who lived in Macedonia Park, recalled how the Klan
would clear the streets of blacks on Saturdays wo whites could shop
alone. 'When we heared they was coming, we come home,' Jetter said in
"In 1945, Fulton County used eminent domain to acquire the black
landowners' property. They were paid anywhere from nothing to $5,000,
and the purchases continued until 1953, according to Bell."