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Piedmont Park
January 4, 1887 Piedmont Driving Club (horses, not cars) in Atlanta is formed by 100 white men (a requirement to join the club)
  Piedmont Park
April 9, 1887 Piedmont Exposition is officially proposed
  Piedmont Park
April 14, 1887 The Gentlemen's Driving Club agrees that "Doc" Walker's estate is the future home of the club
  Piedmont Park
October 8, 1887 Piedmont Park opens (for whites only)
  Piedmont Park
October 10, 1887 The Piedmont Exposition opens
  Piedmont Park
October 17, 1887 U. S. President Grover Cleveland visits the Piedmont Exposition in Atlanta
  Piedmont Park
February 10, 1892 First football game in the state is played at Piedmont Park, Atlanta, between the "state university" and Auburn
  Piedmont Park
September 18, 1895 Booker T. Washington makes his famous "Atlanta Compromise" speech at the opening of the 1895 Piedmont Cotton Exposition (Atlanta).
  Piedmont Park
October 8, 1895 The Liberty Bell arrives from Philadelphia to be displayed at Atlanta's Piedmont Cotton Exposition
  Piedmont Park
October 15, 1895 Two inventors, C. Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat demonstrate the "Phontoscope," a primative version of a motion picture projector at the Piedmont Exposition in Atlanta
  Piedmont Park
October 27, 1895 President Grover Cleveland visits the Piedmont Exposition (Atlanta)
  Piedmont Park
October 27, 1895 Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show appears at the Piedmont Exposition
  Piedmont Park
December 31, 1895 Cotton Exposition closes after entertaining more than 800,000 people in just over 3 months.
  Piedmont Park
May 23, 1904 City council okays the purchase of Piedmont Park from the Piedmont Exposition Company. They pay $93,000 for roughly 185 acres.
  Piedmont Park
October 20, 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt visits Roswell (Roswell, Georgia history) and Atlanta (Atlanta, Georgia history). The President's train stopped at Chamblee (Roswell Station), where he boarded the train to Roswell. He crossed the Chattahoochee River and visited both Bulloch Hall and Roswell Square, where he made brief comments. Roosevelt then had lunch at the Piedmont Driving Club (now Piedmont Park) and spoke at Georgia Tech before leaving for Jacksonville, Florida later that evening.
  Atlanta, Georgia (1900-2000)
  Piedmont Park
January 11, 1906 Fire destroys much of Piedmont Park, including part of the Piedmont Driving Club
  Piedmont Park
  Atlanta, Georgia (1900-2000)
October 11, 1911 Allen G. Newman's Peace Monument, a symbol of the reconciliation that occurred between the North and the South is dedicated at Atlanta's Piedmont Park
  Atlanta, Georgia (1900-2000)
  Piedmont Park
November 29, 1935 In Warm Springs for Thanksgiving, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stops in Atlanta on his return trip to Washington D. C., speaking at Techwood Homes, Atlanta University and Piedmont Park
  Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  Piedmont Park
May 11, 1969 The Allman Brothers Band play at Piedmont Park
  Piedmont Park
September 10, 2003 Atlanta's Piedmont Park begins planning an expansion into 53 acres of undeveloped land the city purchased with the original park
  Piedmont Park


The story of Piedmont Park begins with Samuel Walker, an early settler who owned a tract of land north of Atlanta. He actually bought the land for $450 dollars in 1834 before Atlanta or Fulton County was formed. His son Benjamin "Doc" Walker built a home on Plaster Bridge Road in 1868. This home became the original Gentlemen's Driving Club organized by a group of well-known Atlantans headed by Henry Grady and Joel Hurt.

The group seriously considered 5 places around the city but settled on Walker's property for a variety of reasons, part of which included the relative ease it would require to create the track for driving horses. Among the noted names on the first list of members published in September, 1887 are George Adair, Rufus Bullock, J. D. Collins, C. A. Collier, Lauren De Give, Grady, W. A. Hemphill, Hurt, 4 members of the Inman family, E. W. Marsh, Hoke Smith, Jack Spalding, and Sam Venable.

After purchasing the land on July 1, 1887, the men leased the park to the Piedmont Exposition to develop large community events. Many of the 100 men were involved in both the driving club and the expositions.




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