Incorporated in 2005, Sandy Springs is Georgia’s sixth largest city and the second largest city in the metropolitan Atlanta area.
Sandy Springs originated as a watering stop for Native-Americans who frequented its bubbling springs, and quickly became a community in the 1800’s as settlers moved into the area. In 1842, the oldest house in Sandy Springs, the Austin-Johnson House, was erected on what is now Johnson Ferry Road, and in 1851 Wilson Spruill donated 5 acres of land for the founding of the Sandy Springs United Methodist Church near the springs. So began the development of the area that would become the city’s center.
Today, the original “sandy springs” can be found at Heritage Green, a four-acre city park that is operated by Heritage Sandy Springs, a non-profit organization dedicated to the history and culture of the community.
The community remained rural until the mid-1950s. In the 1960s, Interstate 285 and the first phase of GA 400 were opened, connecting Sandy Springs to metro Atlanta and initiating a housing boom that brought new residents and major land development. Efforts to incorporate Sandy Springs began in 1966, in response to attempts by the city of Atlanta to annex this unincorporated area of North Fulton County. Sandy Springs residents, led by Eva Galambos, fought for 40 years to obtain their own government and become a city. In June 2005, an overwhelming 94 percent of residents voted for incorporation. Voters then returned to the polls and elected Galambos as the City’s first mayor.