Pioneer Vinings Settler
In the early 1820s, a man named Hardy Pace acquired former Creek Indian property in the Georgia Land Lotteries.
He left his father’s plantation in Putnam County, moving his wife and five small children to a remote area 80 miles northwest. There, he built a house on Land Lot 158; West Paces Ferry Road at Castlegate Drive in present-day Buckhead.
Over the next decade, Pace acquired more land through additional lotteries, trades and purchases.
By the early 1830s, he had assumed operations of a ferry service that crossed the Chattahoochee River between the grounds of today’s Lovett School and Canoe restaurant.
In 1839, Western & Atlantic Railroad was beginning to lay track between Chattanooga and Atlanta (which was then just a frontier with no name and a few railroad employees). Pace likely knew that Vinings would become a construction hub for the railroad, and he moved across the river to settle in the area called Crossroads.
He built a home. He operated an inn and tavern to accommodate drovers and their livestock. He owned farms. And just upstream from the ferry, he ran a grist mill to produce flour and corn meal.
In the summer of 1864, with Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s troops headed toward Atlanta, Pace, age 78, left Vinings. From July 5-17, Union troops moved into Vinings and Pace's house, where they prepared for the Battle of Atlanta.
Pace died later that year. He and his wife, Lucy, are buried in the family cemetery on top of Vinings Mountain.
After the war, Hardy’s son Solomon returned to Vinings and built a new house. This is the Solomon and Penelopy Pace House that stands on Paces Mill Road today.
In addition to Vinings itself, one of Hardy Pace's most enduring legacies is his name, used throughout Vinings and Buckhead for a multitude of streets, lakes, neighborhoods and businesses.