About Colonial Hills

Colonial Hills is a diverse, progressive neighborhood in historic East Point, Georgia. We are an incorporated nonprofit neighborhood association with volunteers of residents and other interested parties that come together to improve our neighborhood and our city.

If you are a resident, please consider membership. If you are thinking about moving into the neighborhood, feel free to contact any of the board members for further information.

The Colonial Hills neighborhood resides in East Point to the west of Main Street, north of downtown, and south of Fort McPherson. Owners and residents of the following streets are eligible to become full members of the Association:

Chambers Ave., Clermont Ave., Dauphine St., Elizabeth Ln., Hawthorne Way, Newnan Ave., St. Francis Ave., St. Joseph Ave., St. Michael Ave.

In addition, the owners and residents of the circular region north of Langford Parkway are eligible to be full members of the association as well:

McClelland Ave. (between McPherson Dr. and Womack Park), McPherson Dr., Womack Ave.

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A brief history of Colonial Hills and East Point

Early History

The Community of Colonial Hills was established as the eastern terminus of the Atlanta and West Point Railroad Company in 1857, thirty years before the City of East Point was incorporated. It included all of the land from West End to Red Oak, becoming a settled and stable area due to its relationship with Fort McPherson. Colonial Hills has a rich history, including having one of the first of two telephones in the whole City of East Point. It was put in by Dr. J.J. Knott in 1884. Serving as the gateway to and from Atlanta was fundamental in growing Colonial Hills from a one family citizenry to the present 400 home status. At its peak, Colonial Hills could boast having more than 500 homes. However, in the 1970s a new freeway cut through the northern half of the neighborhood creating our neighbors, Woodland View. This new suburban freeway, featuring many hills and curves, was GA-166, named Lakewood Freeway for the classic and now defunct Lakewood Amusement Park and surrounding suburb on the eastern end of the freeway.

A hundred years earlier, in the 1870s, the only road between East Point and Atlanta was a dirt one named Newnan, which now serves as the main artery through the neighborhood. Though it got pretty bad in wet weather, this road once handled all the traffic of East Point as the City continued its expansion further west and south. Sometimes however, the thoroughfare would become impassable for wagons and there was much talk around town about the opening of a street along the railroad, but nothing in the way developed at once, particularly because the Colonial Hills properties owner wasn’t in favor of the opening.

The earliest written history about Colonial Hills includes the story of the first owner, Major Ratterree. His origins are undetermined; however, he owned a large plantation in Cullman County, Alabama where he lived out his life in his later years. He was one of the largest landowners in the area and built one of the finest homes, built of weather boarding from long leaf, yellow heart pine. He was the leader of the local militia, a preacher, and considered a fine lawyer.

He was such a fine lawyer that when the Macon and Western Railroad surveyed for their tracks, which would run north to south though his property, 100 feet west of the Rattarree house, he negotiated them down to accepting easement rights that only gave enough space for their trains to pass. He reserved the right to keep his large shade trees, which separated the house from the tracks. For as long as he was alive the limbs were never cut back. It wasn’t until after his death that the trees were removed so the double tracks could be installed.

It’s not clear why, but Major Rattarree decided that he and his wife, Nancy, could no longer live peaceably together. He left her a significant portion of Colonial Hills, including the house, on the eastern side of the railroad tracks. She would later sell out to the Jefferson Park Lumber Company.

Major Ratterree moved into a home on the southern portion of Colonial Hills for a few years before finally moving to Alabama. Before moving, he sold some of the properties to Buck McDonnell for $20 per acre. Buck later sold to the Manchester Land Company, later to be known as the College Park Land Company, for $50 per acre. There were also some other recognizably named land purchasers: Capt. John L. Conley, J.J. Egan, and Morris Connally.

He also left a portion to his only daughter, Miss Julia Ann. It is this portion that retains the Colonial Hills name today. Miss Julia Ann had eight boys: John, Alex, Leonard, James, William, George, Pinkey, and Julia Ann. One can only assume that she was disappointed in not ever having a girl and her last boy paid for it. Lucky for him his friends called him “Bubber”. The two oldest boys, John and Alex, grew up to be railroad men. The others came to be known as renowned carpenters, working fast and hard – regardless of how big the job was. Miss Julia Ann and her mother, Nancy, were buried in the Rattarree House garden, directly underneath where Wadley Avenue in Jefferson Park is today.

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