Hardy Pace, the Founder of Vinings
In the early 1800s, Hardy Pace, an adventurous entrepreneur originally from North Carolina, moved his wife andsmall children from his father’s plantation in Putnam County, Georgia to settle in the vicinity of West Paces Ferry Road.Hardy amassedextensive land holdings through the Georgia Land Lottery of 1832. He is reputed to have owned more than 10,000 acres of land from Smyrna to Buckhead.
When Hardy moved to Vinings the area was called Crossroads which soon became Pace’s Crossing with Hardy being the first postmaster. He and his wife, Lucy, had five children; two sons, Bushrod and Solomon, and three daughters, Catherine, Karen and Parthenia. Hardy built a 17 room home at the foot of Vinings Mountain where he also ran a tavern for travelers passing through.
By the early 1830s Hardy established a successful ferry service located near the site of Canoe Restaurant today. He also built a gristmill along the river. Thus our street names, Paces Ferry Road and Paces Mill Road! In fact, anything around Atlanta named Pace is so named because of Hardy Pace.
With the winds of the Civil War, Hardy and his family left for Milledgeville and Sherman and his troops moved into Vinings, headquartering in Pace’s home.Hardy’s home was burned to the ground upon their departure. After the war, Hardy’s son, Solomon, returned to Vinings and finding the family home in ruins, built his house on the same site as Hardy’s. This is the Solomon and Penelopy Pace House that stands on Paces Mill today. Hardy and his wife are buried in the family cemetery on top of Mt. Wilkinson, formerly Vinings Mountain.A bronze statue, made by Hilarie Johnston, stands in the Paces West Office complex on Paces Ferry Road.