Frank Mills’s home at 246 Main Street in the town of Toomsboro, forty miles east of Macon in Wilkinson County, is not for sale. This would not be particularly noteworthy if not for the fact that practically the entire town around this eighty-nine-year-old man is.
Tucked between the Chattahoochee River and Bolton Road south of Vinings, Whittier Mill Village was built to house workers for the nearby textile mill during the cotton boom of the 1890s. It’s one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods—and, comprising 30 acres and roughly 110 homes, it’s also one of the smallest.
The swath of north Atlanta west of I-75 inside I-285 was developed in the 19th century as an industrial hub around the CSX line. The area is home to quiet neighborhoods. But lately development, from warehouse conversions to a much-needed grocery store, has been booming in the area.
The metamorphosis of Alpharetta’s formerly sleepy downtown was no accident, albeit a few years behind the rest of metro Atlanta’s post–Great Recession construction boom.
At some point, I suppose, it will stop being a surprise that movie folks ask Atlanta to stand in for so many other places. Odd enough that Woodruff Park was a facsimile of seventies-era NYC complete with overflowing garbage cans and yellow cabs for Anchorman 2. But today, while strolling around our neighborhood, my husband and I came across a crew hard at work constructing a faux Rhode Island streetscape on a long-vacant lot at the corner of Kirkwood Avenue and Pearl Street in Cabbagetown, about the most quintessentially Southern pocket of Atlanta you could hope for.