I read something similar to this about a year ago when I moved to Alpharetta. Although I have an Alpharetta address, I technically live in unicorporated Fulton County. It’s kind of funny. I grew up inside the city limits of Montezuma, GA. My entire life before this I never lived in the “country.” Of course, there’s nothing very country about where I live. A block away are two shopping centers, little strip malls, restaurants, a couple of fast food places, etc. There’s more on that corner than in my home town. However, when I first moved here, I was intrigued by the signs that welcome one into the “Ocee Community.” And I found a little info. about it on the web, only to have that web site vanish later. So, I found this today and figured it was worth copying into my journal just in case.
To give adequate credit, this comes from the Ocee Elementary School website:
The Ocee Community
During the 1800’s several small communities were close together, which made it easy for the people who lived there to travel a short distance to shop. Originally this community was called New York, but the Post Office refused to deliver mail to New York, Georgia. Therefore, the community decided to call itself Mazeppa. Later, the community changed the name to Ocee after they had forgotten why they had chosen Mazeppa! Indian origin is often speculated when compared to true Indian names like “Ocoee” and “Oconee”. Some say the name came from the vantage point because of the high elevation and the cotton fields landscape of the nineteenth century.
For many years, Ocee consisted of three stores, two of which contained gas pumps, a Justice of the Peace office, a blacksmith, and several churches. Mr. O.C. Shirley founded one of the bigger stores, hence, some believe, the name for the community. Being bounded by Big Creek, Johns Creek, and the Chattahoochee River, most of the community roads were named for the people who built the ferries and bridges over these waterways. John Kimball was an early settler of the area, for example, even before the Cherokee were removed.
In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, Ocee was a very large community. Henry Brooks operated a blacksmith shop. O.C. Shirley, the Turner family, and the Barnett family operated stores around the Congregational Church, which was located on the Circle K property at the intersection of Kimball Bridge and Jones Bridge Roads. They even had a small Justice of the Peace office where county work was done. Saturdays were often spent around Mr. Brook’s front porch after the Saturday shopping in the various stores was completed. Sundays were spent in the community’s four churches. Today, you can see road signs that say you are entering the Ocee community!