Local history lives again in a new print edition of “The Sandy Springs Gazette,” a digital magazine of area lore published by Heritage Sandy Springs.
Full of stories about Holocaust survivors, integrating public schools and notable local figures, the magazine is available for free at local businesses, Sandy Springs City Hall and the Heritage Sandy Springs office at 6110 Blue Stone Road.
Inspired to “get history off the library shelves” and introduce residents to their city’s history, the nonprofit organization has been collecting stories and publishes online once a week, said Melissa Swindell, HSS’s director of historic resources. HSS began publishing stories in January 2016 and the book includes the weekly stories from throughout the year.
The nonprofit was able to print 1,500 copies with a Sandy Springs Society grant of nearly $75,000 that supports various Heritage Sandy Springs projects. Swindell said the organization plans to publish a similar print compilation of Gazette stories annually.
Any longtime resident of Sandy Springs with a story can volunteer to be interviewed, and anyone can volunteer to do the interview. The recording of the interview is then sent to professionals to be transcribed. For the Gazette, the story is written by Swindell or a freelance writer.
HSS takes the oral histories and adds context and other historical information. The articles include events dating from the 1800s up to almost present day, such as the history of the Sandy Springs Police Department as told by police Capt. Steve Rose, who writes the police blotter that appears in the Reporter. In the article titled, “A Rose by Any Other Name Wouldn’t be Our Captain Steve Rose,” he discusses the city’s creation and the formation of the police department.
“[Fulton County Police] had a north precinct in Sandy Springs, and they regarded us as ‘living amongst the well-to-do,’ who whined all the time about stuff, and they didn’t really have big problems up here, which wasn’t the case. Which I think was a fundamental reason why we ended up incorporated [as a city],” Rose said.
The book’s wide variety of topics also includes stories on Sandy Spring’s role in the Civil Rights Movement and World War II.
Another story details prison camps in the city in the early 1900s. Prisoners lived at three segregated prison camps, one near Wieuca Road, another on Powers Ferry Road, and a third on Roswell Road near Hammond Drive. Among the prisoners’ work was construction on Heards Ferry and Powers Ferry roads.
To tell the story of integrating Hammond Elementary School, resident Valerie Delaney was interviewed about becoming the first African American student at the school in 1966, which Swindell listed as one of the most notable and memorable stories in the book.
The book also includes Dr. John Galambos’s story of surviving the Holocaust and building a medical career in Sandy Springs. Galambos was married to Sandy Springs’ first mayor, Eva Galambos, who died in 2015.
Heritage Sandy Springs operates a museum at 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, where an exhibit called “Sandy Springs Gazette LIVE!” displays artifacts and photos highlighting some of the stories. It will be on display until August. The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and by appointment.
To view the book online or get more information, visit heritagesandysprings.org. To learn how to be interviewed or to interview a subject, call Swindell at 404-851-9111 ext. 2 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.