About McFarlane Park ...
The 11-acre property and home have connections to many well-known family names in the development of the metro Atlanta area. The farm was the centerpiece of extensive agricultural acreage owned by the late Atlanta attorney Hughes Spalding Sr. The property adjoined farmland of noted attorney and Judge John A. Sibley.
Spalding commissioned the design of the house in 1941 for his farm manager Floyd Spruill. The architect he chose was Henry Toombs, who also designed the Little White House in Warm Springs, GA for President Roosevelt. The house has chimneys on either end made of stone from the Sope Creek quarry and a slate roof moved from the Spalding's home called Deerland which stood where Piedmont Hospital now is in Midtown Atlanta.
Florence and Wiilliam McFarlane purchased the property in 1958. The couple boarded polo ponies and raised lineage dogs on the property. They stipulated that after their death, the property be kept in a natural state and used as a neighborhood green space, maintaining the serenity of the property. Mrs. McFarlane died in October 1990.
After Florence's death, there were several years before legalities were resolved. During this time the house and property fell into a state of disrepair. Thousands of contributed dollars and hours were required to make the house habitable and the grounds attractive again. Neighbors and friends cut ivy off the house and repaired plumbing.Buildings were cleaned and painted. Overgrown plants were pruned or removed. Individuals and organizations have come forward to handle the task.
The Cobb Land Trust came to hold the lease in 1992 and became responsible for protecting the land which was named McFarlane Nature Park. The local Chattahoochee Plantation Community Association donated funding for the initial expensive and extensive repairs required and has remained the primary contributing organization. Workdays were scheduled during which adjacent homeowners helped accomplish the work required. A slate sidewalk was uncovered leading to the house.
The Chattahoochee Plantation Women's Club has been a major supporter of the park, providing funds for the construction of a permanent restroom facility, adopting McFarlane as their charity in both 2009 and 2010, raising funds for the restoration of the original stable where park history will be displayed for visitors. In 2013-2016, the club held a major fund raiser, Art For The Park, featuring over 40 fine artists in a two day sale. Boy Scouts from local Boy Scout Troops cut paths through the woods to neighboring residential areas and built pedestrian entrances and benches. They have continued to contribute to the park through Eagle Scout projects to enhance the property.
The McFarlane Gardens are maintained by the Cobb Master Gardeners monthly. These volunteers spend countless hours to help beautify the Park. They created sections and rooms and use native plants which are labeled. Our entire community enjoys their creativity and hard work on a daily basis.