Drake Field

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The area on Lake Peachtree we now call Drake Field has a neat history well before that day it was so named.

In 1956, several real estate agents in Atlanta, a graduate of Georgia Tech with a degree in industrial management, the father of one of his fraternity brothers, and a Fayette County native born and raised in Tyrone, all met during the next year and realized they shared a common goal, to create a new town from farmland.

They were all good at their individual tasks and at working together. To shorten this story, in 1959 the city of Peachtree City was created via the state legislature, with that Georgia Tech grad, Joel Cowan, serving as its first mayor.

About 1965-1966, he realized that in inviting prospective businessmen to the area, he needed a place for them to stay the night closer than Atlanta. So a building was created with three individual rooms and one a little larger to be a suite.

In 1967 a number of locals created the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce and I was running it out of my living room. The next year the state chamber encouraged small towns to stop a couple of families going through its town and treat them to an overnight stay and some meals. Sometime I’ll write more later about the two families we stopped – the story is a riot.

Beforehand, I had asked Joel if we could house them in his business motel and of course, he said yes. That evening Peachtree City resident, Luther Glass, had a barbecue in his back yard for all of us. The next morning a restaurant in Fayetteville fed our guests breakfast, and they were then on their way north again.

By 1971 Joel and the town officials realized they needed a doctor in town. Rather than try to put together the funds to created a medical building, they would convert their business motel. Dr. Henry C. Drake came to town and moved in to the facility.

It’s important to add here that in November, 1972 Glenloch Horse Stables was opened.

In 1976 the nation’s bi-centennial was being celebrated with a Conestoga wagon train being started in most of the states of the continental United States. The one beginning in Georgia started at Stone Mountain and was going to come through Fayette County and had to be housed here that night. We also had to produce a show or entertainment of some kind. We knew all this a month ahead of time and I was appointed chairman of the event.

I remember I conned the Fayette County High School band to perform in June, among others that graciously added to the entertainment. Mayor Howard Morgan, the city’s fourth mayor, shared the stage with me and added to the festivities.

The wagon folks were glad to be able to house their horses in an actual stable. We did not have to feed the wagon folks, but they were thrilled to be fed the next day. They had to travel south through Fayette County and got to Brooks about noontime. At that time, Brooks had a barbecue canning plant, and lovingly fed then all, free of charge. I heard later that was one of the few times they got a free meal.

This building was taken down in the early 1980s but Dr. Drake’s name remains associated with that six acre track of land situated on a much used 250 acre lake.