Karen Melnzen McEnerny
City Council, Dist. 6
Bravo! Your articles on the preservation of the historic chimneys at the soon-to-be-developed Morgan Falls Overlook Park have kept this important matter in the forefront for community action to save them. The leadership and vision requisite to protect the chimneys are inexorably bubbling up from the community, both from across the river in Cobb County and from key Sandy Springs organizations such as the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods and Heritage Sandy Springs.
Respectful reconstruction of the lone standing chimney after grading of the cabin site is not enough to protect this historical asset; in fact, it would destroy its integrity. (But the mayor’s protection of the chimney through its reconstruction is a lot better than using the chimney stones in a new fire pit on the site! Such was the suggestion of the consultant engaged to plan the design of the park at an April 23 meeting attended by the Sandy Springs Conservancy, the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area park superintendent, the city manager, the City Council member in whose district the park lies and me.)
Proof of the chain of title to the Power family has been established through recorded documents and provided to the city. They reflect that Joseph Power, brother to James Power, who was granted a state charter to run a ferry in the area of today’s I-285 river crossing, gifted a fractional interest in Land Lot 83 to his son William Power in 1839, along with the house already on the property. Upon William Power’s death in 1883, the estate was divided, and his son William H. Power was conveyed the land lot and house in 1885. It was in his possession as of the date of the recorded deposition, which was May 23, 1912.
The current master plan design calls for the site to be graded and lowered three feet, with the chimney to be reconstructed in the general area of the original cabin. I agree with your editorial that the council should delay any grading of this site until an archaeological assessment is conducted that will further prove its age and context as one of our earliest farmhouse structures in Sandy Springs.
This site is part of your community and deserves perpetual protection as an interpretive site in your new city park at Morgan Falls. We already own it. It’s not a matter of finances. It’s about vision. Be a guardian of your future and past by helping persuade the other council members and the mayor to join me in its protection. Thank you.