In 1832 the Cherokee Indians had been removed from Cobb County. The State held a lottery to divide their land. If you were a citizen of Ga. for 3 years and single you got 1 chance at the lottery, if you were married you got 2 chances. You did not have to occupy the land for it to be yours; a lot of the people who drew a lottery sold their 40 acres for $25. Because Wesley Chapel Community was near Sweat Mountain each of the 4630 lots was only 40 acres because it was thought gold may be on the land. All other 3300 lots that were not near the mountain contained 160 acres. The lots near the mountain contained no gold and were full of rocks and contained a lot of steep hills. It was hard for families to make a living farming these lots. Families had to be self sufficient to survive. Many of the people who drew a lottery lot settled on it. Robert Watson Mabry settled on what is now Mabry Road in 1841, he was one of the first settlers. In 1832 Roswell King visited the North East area of Cobb County to investigate if gold mining was feasible, he came back in 1837 and established the town of Roswell. Roswell was the nearest town to the community and the largest town in Cobb County until 1850 when the rail road came through Marietta. Roswell was in Cobb County until 1932. The Chattahoochee River was the East border of Cobb County until 1932 when Cobb County gave Fulton County all the land east of Willeo Creek to the Chattahoochee River. This meant that Fulton County could annex Milton County. Milton County was bankrupt and Fulton County was a prosperous county because of all the industry in Atlanta. Fulton County also annexed Campbell County to the south. This is the reason Fulton County has an irregular shape.
Having a place to worship was important to the early settlers. They established Little River Methodist Church in 1830 and Holly Springs Methodist Church in 1835. The church closed its doors in the 1980’s, now only the cemetery remains. Marietta Methodist Campground was established in 1837. It was later in 1879 that Thomas Wesley Garrison donated 4.5 acres for a church and Wesley Chapel Methodist church (a 1 room building) was built from lumber sawed from trees in the nearby forest. The first church trustees were H. B. Brown, Thomas Garrison, James H. Mabry, George Burtz, and L. G. Hagood. The Trustees and Robert Mabry provided most of the labor and materials to build the church. The church became part of a circuit of churches served by 1 pastor. The preacher visited the church 1 time each month. The church had Sunday school every Sunday. The parsonage for the minister was located at the Marietta Methodist Camp Ground. The church services saw the men seated on 1 side and the ladies seated on the other side of the church. The church cemetery was started when the church started. In 1890 a 1 room school house was built on the church property and it served up to 50 students from the community. My father, who attended the school, told me this story: In the fall and spring when school ended for the day he had to run home to start doing his farm chores, his friend Leslie Fricks could walk home because his father worked at public works. Thomas Wesley Garrison Sr. and his wife, Malinda, settled where Garrison Mill Elementary School is now located before the Civil War. They owned a large plantation and they built a dam on the stream that ran through the plantation. The dam was located near the bridge on Wesley Chapel Road and the water over the dam turned a water wheel that powered a sawmill, a corn-grinding mill, and a cotton gin. Since most farmers had very little cash the fee for grinding corn, ginning cotton, and sawing lumber was paid with a portion of the corn, cotton and lumber. In 1859 when Ester Mabry, wife of Robert Watson Mabry, died there was no community cemetery close to the Mabry Farm. A family cemetery was established on the farm. When Robert Watson died in 1870 and Robert Mabry, his son, died in 1905 they were buried in the family cemetery. When Eliza Mabry, wife of Robert Mabry, died in 1915 she did not want to be buried in that old hot field where the Mabry Cemetery was located, so she chose to be buried in the cemetery that had been created when Wesley Chapel Methodist Church was built.
Wesley Chapel Church served the community well until the spring of 1913 when a tornado demolished the church on March 13, 1913. Virgil Mabry and his wife Mamie lived near the intersection of Mountain Road and Sandy Plains road. She was home with her 3 children and saw the tornado (which she called a cyclone) moving East along Sandy Plains Road. The winds were strong blowing through the house but Mamie and the children were not injured and the house was not destroyed. The tornado continued on its path and destroyed the Wesley Chapel Church as well as blowing down a lot of large trees in the nearby forest. The school house that was on the church property was damaged, but not destroyed. With the church destroyed and the school damaged church services were held in the school house after repairs were made to it. Virgil Mabry and Harley, his brother, contracted to rebuild the church for $633. The new 1 room church was completed in time to hold the first service in the new church June 1, 1914. One of the church members was Virgil Mabry, who before he was married purchased a 40 acre lot in 1904 from a gentleman in Boston Mass. for $100. The 40 acre lot was across Sandy Plains Rd. from the church. When he purchased the lot it was the start of Mabry Farm. It took a lot of work to arrange the purchase. The person who won the lot in the lottery did not settle on it and it had virgin timber growing on it when Virgil purchased it. In 1913 & 1914 Virgil sawed some of the timber from the 40 acre lot and built a farm house that stood until 2018 when it was demolished to build a subdivision. Before 1946 Sandy Plains RD was a dirt road. Traveling South from Wesley Chapel Church the road followed Mountain RD and N Mountain RD instead of going down the steep hill and crossing 2 streams then going up a steep hill. It was routed this way because it was hard to build and maintain bridges and mules had a hard time pulling a loaded wagon up a steep hill.
In 1946 the road was straightened from Mountain RD to North Mountain RD and culverts were installed where the road crossed two streams. At the same time the road was paved with tar and gravel from the Fulton county line to the canton road highway. Tar and gravel paving consisted of making the dirt road smooth, spraying a heavy coat of a asphalt material and spreading gravel on it. After the asphalt material hardened it made an all weather road free from mud holes.
In most places Sandy Plains RD follows the high ground, water that falls on the North side of the road flows into Acworth Lake and water that falls on the South side of the road flows to the Chattahoochee River. The road was routed this way to eliminate several bridges that would have to be build and maintained.