The famed author of “Gone With the Wind” never lived in the Buckhead neighborhood that now bears her name.
As the local Margaret Mitchell Civic Association puts it, “Peggy never lived this ‘far out.’” But residents love the unusually named neighborhood for its greenery, family-oriented environment and outstanding schools.
“People are desperate to get into our neighborhood,” says Kate Burke, who knows the Margaret Mitchell neighborhood as both a local real estate agent and as a resident of leafy Sequoyah Drive. She lives there with husband, Wells, son Owen, daughter Margaret, and dogs Foxy and Eena.
The civic association defines the neighborhood as running along West Wesley Road to the west of I-75, roughly between Moores Mill Road and Nancy Creek. The neighborhood took its name, the homeowners group says in its website, from a local elementary school named for the Atlanta writer whose friends called her “Peggy.”
The local school now is named for Atlanta businessman Morris Brandon, whose sons contributed the land.
Burke said schools help define the neighborhood.
“We are sandwiched between the best public elementary school and the triad of the three best private schools,” she said, referring to the Lovett School, Trinity School and The Westminster Schools.
The schools have helped spark a “complete transformative turnover” in demographics, she said.
“It used to be empty-nesters. Now it’s strollers,” she said. “It’s a very, very young neighborhood.”
“I ride my bike with my son to kindergarten” at Morris Brandon, she said, describing the daily parade of parents.
The neighborhood is largely comprised of single-family homes, including many 1950s ranch-style houses on large lots. Burke said that demand is so high, the latest three home sales were unlisted, and one went for $90,000 above the asking price.
The Margaret Mitchell Civic Association is a major local organization that has a seat on the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods. The $250 annual membership fee pays for a private security patrol and several ongoing social events and seasonal parties.
Burke said she’s partial to the “Wine Not? Ladies’ Night Out.” Held four times a year, it’s an event where attendees bring a bottle of wine and their own glass so the host doesn’t have to clean up. “That’s one of the better events for ladies,” she said.
“The best event in our neighborhood is Halloween,” Burke said. “Everybody goes down to the Morris Brandon Primary Center dressed up” and enjoys a free dinner. “Then the trick-or-treat is on. It’s crazy—so crazy I have my mom visit from Kentucky to man the door. You buy your candy at Costco, not at Kroger.”
That’s one of the ways Margaret Mitchell is “a true neighborhood. People come out in droves.”