Vista Grove, Georgia


Vista Grove, Georgia

Vista Grove is an unincorporated residential community in central DeKalb County, Georgia, United States, located north and northeast of the Atlanta suburb of Decatur. It is also referred to as Oak Grove, although Oak Grove more properly refers to the central neighborhood rather than the greater community. North Briarcliff, which primarily falls north of Briarcliff Rd. and south of Interstate 85, is on the northern edge of this community.

Vista Grove includes several distinct subdivisions, and is centered on the intersection of LaVista Rd. and Oak Grove Rd. Vista Grove is south of Interstate 85; east of Clairmont Rd.; west of the Northlake retail district; and north of both the CSX railroad tracks and North Decatur Rd. Vista Grove technically overlaps the North Decatur census-designated place. Leafmore Creek-Park Hills and Winston Place, both south of LaVista Rd. and west of Pangborn Rd., are the two primary neighborhoods that fall within the overlap area. Portions of zip code 30345 and 30033 fall within LaVista Grove. The Interstate 85 south access road is not considered part of Vista Grove.

Vista Grove has a small commercial district at the intersection of LaVista Rd. & Oak Grove Rd., and "Vista Grove Shopping Center" is located on the northeast corner of this intersection. However, there are two major commercial districts located outside the community at the east and west ends of LaVista Rd, known as the Toco Hills Shopping Center and Northlake Mall, respectively. Echo Lake is located within the community at the intersection of Briarcliff Rd. & Briarlake Rd. Although Echo Lake is located near Lakeview High School and is visible to commuters, it is not a public, recreational lake.

History

Clairmont Rd. was originally an Indian path, and LaVista Rd. was a cattle trail. [ [http://www.sagamoreonline.net/zonedisplay.asp?ZoneID=11 Sagamore Hills Civic Association: History, Notes & Lore] ] By the 19th Century, DeKalb County had substantial number of dairy farms. Nalley’s Farm, which had both dairy cattle and horses, was located at what is now Winston Place condominiums. [ [http://www.leafmore-creekpark.org/history.shtml Leafmore-Creek Neighborhood history] ] (Nalley Circle is named after the farm.) An old Civil War-era house was also located in the Spring Creek area. Two historic churches in the community were the Mt. Zion AME church, founded by freed slaves and a center of the African-American community, and Oak Grove Methodist Church, organized in 1836 as part of a circuit rider’s route. [ [http://www.leafmore-creekpark.org/history.shtml Leafmore-Creek Neighborhood history] ]

By the mid-20th Century, Atlanta and Decatur had each merged into one metropolitian area. Neighborhoods, including Leafmore-Creek Park Hills, began development in the 1950's. Toco Hills, located at the west end of LaVista Grove on LaVista Rd., had previously consisted primariy of a country store, but it soon developed into a vehicle-oriented shopping center. However, central DeKalb County has transitioned from a suburban community of Atlanta to an in-town community. Vista Grove has seen considerable "tear downs" of the mid-20th Century homes since 1990, with McMansions being constructed on the lots.

Vista Grove is an upper-middle class enclave in central DeKalb County. The public schools are comparatively strong, and the neighborhood has easy access to Atlanta via Interstate 85, making the Vista Grove a desirable in-town location for families.

Churches

*Briarcliff United Methodist Church (UMC), 4105 Briarcliff Rd.
*Briarlake Baptist Church (SBC), 3715 LaVista Rd.
*Church in Atlanta, 2345 Shallowford Rd.
*Clairmont Hills Baptist Church (SBC), 1995 Clairmont Rd.
*Mt. Zion AME Church (AME), LaVista Rd.
*Northside Community Church, 2176 Heritage Dr.
*Oak Grove Methodist Church (UMC), 1722 Oak Grove Rd.
*Shallowford Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), 2375 Shallowford Rd.

Education

* Briarlake Elementary School, 3590 LaVista Rd.
* Hawthorne Elementary School, 2535 Caladium Dr;
* Henderson Middle School, 2830 Henderson Mill Rd.
* Lakeside High School, 3801 Briarcliff Rd.
* Oak Grove Elementary School, 1857 Oak Grove Rd.
* Sagamore Hills Elementary School, 1865 Alderbrook Rd.

Neighborhoods

*Breckenridge Amberwood. North of LaVista Rd. and west of Briarlake Rd.
*Brettonwood. West of Ponderosa, off LaVista Rd.
*Briarcliff Woods . North of Briarcliff, between Shallowford Rd. and Clairmont Rd.
*Diamondhead.
*Emory Parc Manor.
*Frazier Heights.
*Leafmore-Creek Park Hills. Located between North Druid Hills Rd., Clairmont Rd., LaVista Rd. & the CSX railroad tracks
*Les Chateau. North of LaVista Rd. & east of Oak Grove Rd.
*Oak Grove Acres.
*Ponderosa. South of LaVista Rd. and west of Frazier Rd.
*Sagamore Hills. East of Clairmont Rd. & north of LaVista Rd.
*Winston Place. A condo complex off of LaVista.

Parks & Recreation

* [http://www.bwbc.net Briarcliff Woods Beach Club] , 1830 Morris Landers Dr. Private Swim-tennis club.
* Echo Lake, Briarcliff Rd. & Briarlake Rd.
* McDaniel School Park, 2225 Heritage Dr. 11 acre DeKalb County Park with mult-use fields and courts, playground, picnic area and nature trails.

Transportation

*Briarcliff Road. Northernmost east-west road that falls within Vista Grove. (The Interstate 85 south access road is outside the Vista Grove community.)
*Clairmont Road. Western boundary of Vista Grove, and a primary entry from Decatur and North Decatur.
*LaVista Road. Primary east-west road within Vista Grove, and the primary entry from Interstate 285.
*Oak Grove Road. Primary north-south road within Vista Grove.

References

Further reading

* Price, Vivian. "Historic DeKalb County: An Illustrated History" (Georgia Heritage Series). Historical Publishing Network (2007).

External links

* [http://www.sagamoreonline.net Sagamore Hills Civic Assocation]
* [http://www.leafmore-creekpark.org Leafmore-Creek Park Hills Neighborhood]
* [http://www.northbriarcliff.org North Briarcliff Civic Association]


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