If you know anything about Tucker, you know that its history is critically important to those who call the City home.
“Those who live in Tucker are passionate about its history because it’s their history,” says Tucker Historical Society Vice President Trish England. “Whether their family has lived here for generations like mine or they are new to the area, something about Tucker draws people in.”
Incorporated as a city for just shy of three years, Tucker has been a recognized community since 1892. Its history actually dates to the early 1800s when a war veteran named Greenville Henderson was given 3,000 acres of land by Georgia’s governor as a reward for military service. Henderson settled on the land, which includes much of what we know today as Tucker.
“We have cemeteries dating back to the 1830s, a district courthouse that survived the Civil War, a train depot from 1892, Johns Homestead, the Peters Park Community and wonderful examples of houses spanning distinct styles throughout the 20th century,” England explains. “Understanding more about the spaces where memories are made is really important to our future.”
While much of Tucker’s history is well-documented, there are still some stories out there that aren’t known. That’s why the City contracted with New South Associates to conduct a Historic Resource Report, documenting Tucker’s history – both told and untold. The Stone Mountain-based business is no newcomer to municipal storytelling. With offices across the southeastern United States, this team of archaeologists, historians and architectural historians have looked at numerous cities, uncovering rich stories from the past.
“We want to develop an understanding of Tucker’s history. Where did it originate from?” asks Jackie Tyson, New South’s Associate Director for History. “It’s going to be interesting to find out more about the industries of Tucker, the Sears Building. Where did the workers live? What kind of stories will we be able to tell?”
The study, which kicks off with a Public Meeting on November 1, will rely heavily on Tucker residents to share stories of the previous generations. Tyson says it’s especially important to get a look at Tucker’s diversity.
“The challenge is uncovering the history of those who weren’t discussed in the older history,” she explains. “Minority communities, women…we want to tell an inclusive and full story of how they contributed to the history of Tucker.”
At the November 1 meeting (7 p.m., City Hall Annex) New South will make a brief presentation and then open the room to residents who want to share their stories. Historians will be on hand with audio recorders to take oral histories. There will be a scanner for people who have old family photos or historical documents to share..
If residents cannot attend the November 1 meeting, they will be able to share their stories with New South historians via email through January. They will take those stories, combine them with their own staff historical research and compile a narrative on the history of Tucker.
“The report will be making recommendations on what should be preserved,” Tyson says. “Are there areas the City Council need to look at before things get developed? Hopefully we’re going to shed some light on some areas folks didn’t consider before. In essence, it’s going to be a helpful planning tool.”
“It’s exciting to have New South working to discover what we may not know about Tucker’s past,” England says.
A final presentation of the Historic Resource Report is scheduled to go before the Mayor and City Council on April 8, 2019. You can keep tabs on the report process and all the other plans and studies happening in the City at tuckerga.gov/plans.
PRESERVING TUCKER'S HISTORY
Tucker’s history isn’t just something we look back on. In fact, Tucker residents are working today to preserve and celebrate our history!
Rehoboth Cemetery - A team of volunteers spent their Saturday cleaning up this historic cemetery back in September. They are looking to organize more cleanup days in 2019.
Browning Courthouse - Tucker Historical Society recently raised money to do asbestos remediation. It may not look any different, but the work done will help preserve the courthouse for future generations.
Little Miller Grove Baptist Church - The congregation at one of Tucker’s oldest community churches, nestled in the Peters Park neighborhood, gathered on October 28 to celebrate 104 years.