Forsyth Is for Families – Then and Now
The property of one Forsyth family, descendants of two Blackstock brothers who emigrated from Antirm County in Ireland to the United States in the early 1700s, will ultimately become home to more than 50 new families eager to put down their roots in the rapidly-growing area around Cumming in South Forsyth County.
On the last day of 2013, Wanda Jennings and her sister Brenda Whitt decided to sell their family’s farmland, approximately 27 acres, to Lennar Atlanta, a division of Lennar, the second largest home builder in the United States (NYSE:LEN). Construction has started in Blackstone, a well-planned and carefully designed community of spacious single family homes, and the grand opening of Lennar Atlanta’s model home is expected to take place here in July 2015.
Rooted in history
The Blackstock brothers originally settled in what today is Union County, South Carolina, according to records dating back to the 1720s. During America’s Revolutionary War, their homestead on the hills above the Tyger River was the scene of The Battle of Blackstock’s Farm in November 1780 between Lt. Colonel Tarleton’s British Legion and Patriot militia Brigadier General Thomas Sumter and the thousand men under his command.
“Sumter and his colonels decided the best course was to find a strong defensive position and wait for Tarleton to attack them. Sumter placed […] riflemen in the farm outbuildings. Some units he stationed behind stout fences and others he screened in the surrounding woods. Sumter, though wounded in this battle, beat Tarleton, one of the most hated and feared commanders in the Backcountry.” (Wikipedia)
The Battle of Blackstock’s Historic Site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
By the late 1820s, gold was discovered in Dahlonega, Georgia, and part of the Blackstock family moved from South Carolina to the area that is now Forsyth, where they established a thriving farm including crops and cattle. When the original farmhouse burned down toward the end of the century, the family rebuilt a more modern structure in the exact same spot, with a long porch along three sides – with, of course, the perfect porch swing.
Mrs. Jennings and Mrs. Whitt treasure many memories of visiting their beloved grandparents, George and Conie Blackstock.
Grandfather (Poppa) George A. Blackstock was a hero. According to a yellowing newspaper clipping dating back to 1932, he received a medal from the Carnegie Hero Fund commission for saving G. Carl Jett from suffocation at the bottom of a 43 ft. well on the property. Gas exploded just when the two men made it to the surface. Jett had been cleaning the well and was overcome by fumes.
George Blackstock’s wife was known for her green thumb. “Grandmother loved flowers, especially dahlia’s, petunia’s and larkspur. Dahlia’s were her pride and joy – I still remember how pleased she was to show us one bloom that covered an entire dinner plate,” smiles Mrs. Jennings.
“Their whole front yard was one field of flowers,” agrees Mrs. Whitt. “Big colorful borders around the house, and giant green ferns hanging from the porch.”
“This was a precious place, and the whole family gathered here every Sunday afternoon. In the summer time, we would find a cool spot under some of the big pecan trees and eat ice cream or some of our Dad’s juicy yellow watermelon,” describes Mrs. Jennings.
“Yes, and I can still taste those special strawberry cakes that our mother Geraldine made! I am so happy that our children also have such good memories of the farm. My daughter even wrote a story about ‘The Barn’,” says Mrs. Whitt.
The two sisters and their families, including two brothers and a total of eight children among them, share the Blackstock family values. “We all have a strong sense of right and wrong, and the value of hard work that our parents Roger and Geraldine taught us – and exemplified,” notes Mrs. Jennings.
“We were raised to be very patriotic, to volunteer and to share. We come from a long line of farmers, preachers and educators, and we all value our connection to history. But above all, we value our connection to family.”
Rooted in the future
Now, new families will be settling into Lennar Atlanta’s Blackstone neighborhood in South Forsyth. The single family homes will be well-crafted and built according to Lennar’s exacting standards. “We like the look of these new homes, they will be really beautiful,” says Mrs. Jennings.
Cumming is growing fast, while it is still maintaining it small town atmosphere. People who move to the area cite the ease of getting around, the excellent school system including Lanier Technical College and a branch of North Georgia College, and the many job opportunities that are springing up.
“It is a great place for both growing families as well as active adults who want to live closer to their children and grandchildren,” say the two sisters, today’s descendants of the Blackstocks who first moved to America in the early 1700s.
“We sure had a great time growing up here, and we wish nothing but the best to the new families moving into Lennar Atlanta’s Blackstone neighborhood.”
Join Lennar Atlanta at Blackstone for the Grand Opening of its model home on July 11 and 12. To learn more about living in one of these or other beautiful Lennar Atlanta communities, please call 404-931-7462 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1643 Old Atlanta Rd
Cumming, Georgia, 30040
Selling from Dogwood Park. Please visit our sales team there.
Entrance to new Blackstone community by Lennar Atlanta