The vanished log cabin at Emory

In a more rustic era, a variety of simple structures like the one below graced the Emory campus, lending the place an air of a Boy Scout camp or a Civilian Conservation Corps site. Notice the tracks running past it.

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Photo from Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

I was reminded of this image a couple of weeks ago when Jim Morey, English professor and resident of Druid Hills, wrote to me with a question about something I had posted in a brief story about the original Druid Hills campus.  The map in that post is one I pulled as a screenshot from Google Maps. Jim noted the “Emory Trolley Line Substation” in that image and wondered whether that referred to the small brick building at the corner of Oxford Road and Eagle Row. You can see that notation on the map below.

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There is, indeed, a Georgia Power substation on that corner, and aerial photos suggest that the small red-brick building in that area dates from the late 1940s, while the high brick wall behind it, surrounding the large steel structure and high-tension wires of the substation, may be a somewhat later construction, or may have been enlarged as the demand for power in the neighborhood increased.

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It’s interesting but odd that Google Maps would identify that space with the Emory trolley!

It’s true that until about 1947, a trolley ran from Briarcliff Road along the Byway to Oxford Road and then to a stop near the Emory Village intersection. There — at about where Chipotle and Romeo’s Pizza now share a building — the trolley reversed direction and returned to Atlanta (this was long before Emory was officially part of the city). The route appears as a red line in the map below.

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The location of the little shelter at the trolley stop also appears on a campus map from 1940-41, below.

1940-41 map

That trolley stopped running in 1947 — coincidentally, the same year that Gilbert and Thompson residence halls were constructed near that corner. Perhaps the small brick structure for the substation went up at the same time.

It’s fascinating to imagine that recent decisions by Atlanta, MARTA, and Emory might one day bring back to Emory light rail reminiscent of the trolley. But the log cabin likely will remain a thing of the past.

Gary Hauk


One thought on “The vanished log cabin at Emory”

  1. Fascinating on its own, made even more so with the Google Maps reference to the Trolley Station. I’d love to know more about the recent MARTA decisions that give hope for a resurrected light-rail between Emory and ATL. Thank you for this wonderful resource, Prof. Hauk!


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