An Unintentional Name

How Crossroads Became Vinings

In the late 1830s, following the forced removal of Native Americans from Georgia, the state was rapidly evolving. Lawmakers wanted to connect the port of Savannah with the industrial Midwest, so they created the Western & Atlantic Railroad. The initial route was planned to run between present-day Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tenn.

U.S. Coast Survey Map, 1865

Col. Stephen H. Long, a U.S. Army engineer on leave of absence, was hired as the railroad’s chief engineer to conduct surveys and identify the best routes. He gave an assistant one of the most difficult projects: building the rail line in eastern Cobb County around what was then called Pace’s Mountain. The terrain – a curved, steep slope and a creek (paralleling today’s Stillhouse Lane) – required constructing a wooden trestle bridge with an angle and curve that would support a turning locomotive.

The assistant engineer, a young man from Delaware, was  named William H. Vining.

The trestle bridge was a relatively lengthy project, and soon was known colloquially as Vining’s Bridge. Likewise, the men who came to help build the bridge lived in the temporary Vining's Camp. And after the railroad became operational, a depot was built at the tracks by present-day Paces Mill Road. Its official name: Vining’s Station.

Both Vining’s Bridge and Vining’s Station can be seen on maps and documents from the 1840s through the Civil War. Over time, people shortened the name, and in 1904, the village was officially recognized as Vinings.

Read more:

Vinings Revisited, Anthony Doyle