Hidden within a heavily wooded lot along Loridans Drive, an old cemetery tells the stories of North Buckhead’s earliest days. The Lowery-Stevens family cemetery accepted its first documented burial after a quarrel between two Buckhead settlers ended in murder. James Lowery, Jr., was shot and killed by George Washington Evins after the men quarreled at a nearby property sale in 1852. Evins was arrested and thrown into the DeKalb County jail only to later escape; in 1853, the Governor of Georgia issued a $150 reward for his capture. Meanwhile, Lowery was laid to rest on land owned by his farmer father, James Lowery, Sr., who was later buried in the cemetery, too.
In 1877, James Lowery, Sr., sold over 100 acres in the area to William H. Stevens, who reported shortly thereafter growing 5 acres of wheat fields, 25 acres of corn fields, and 6 acres of cotton fields within his land holdings. Stevens also owned a mill–remnants of which remain at the Wieuca Overlook–that ground corn into meal. In fact, Wieuca Road was once called Stevens Mill Road. In 1903, William H. Stevens was laid to rest in the cemetery next to his wife.
In 1930, famed Atlanta historian Franklin Garrett surveyed the cemetery and found the graves of the younger and older Lowery along with Stevens and his wife, Mary. He also noted “approximately 25 other graves, many, obviously, of children, which do not bear inscribed headstones.”
The one-acre overgrown cemetery site was identified during the Buckhead Green Space Action Plan as a potential future park at the northernmost part of the newly envisioned PATH400. In May 2013 the cemetery property was transferred to the City of Atlanta with the intention that it become a public green space.
“The Lowery-Stevens Cemetery: An Historic Green Space for North Buckhead,” written by Erica Danylchak for North Buckhead Civic Association
Franklin Garrett’s Atlanta Necrology database for Lowery-Stephens Cemetery, accessed at the Atlanta History Center.
Buckhead Heritage Society
3180 Mathieson Drive, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30305