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L. Burroughs | all galleries >> Lakewood Antiques Market - The Last Days: A Photo Diary > The History of Lakewood: The Legacy Dies
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The History of Lakewood: The Legacy Dies

The Lakewood Fairgrounds Antique Mall is not a mall at all. It is more than a place that sits on 117-acres of long-lost Creek Indian land. It was established in 1916 as home of the Southeastern Fair. Its seven Spanish colonial livestock exhibition halls were home to over 15,000 antique dealers until the weekend of October 13-15, 2006 when it closed down for good. Atlantans can recall its prior life as a circus with a huge carousel that remained until 1967. Children visited often, whether for the fair in the spring and summer months or in the winter when one of the buildings was converted into a southern anomaly: an ice skating rink.

Now, after 20 years, the Lakewood Fairgrounds Antique Mall is no more. For 20 years on the second weekend of every month, over 12,00 people found something just for themselves, for five cents or five thousand dollars. If you wanted it, it was there. It was originally taken on as a 50 year lease from the City of Atlanta by Ed Spivia, who grew it into an Atlanta icon. It now has moved to Alpharetta and is the Lakewood 400 Antiques market. You can visit it at lakewoodantiques.com. Thanks to the Spivia's they've preserved the feel of the market and have a great collection of archival photos.

It was great while it lasted. Thanks to all of you who've added your memories here. I'll try to create a more permanent home for these photos so the old community can still stay in touch and will link to it soon.


(Some information taken from W. Sarginson, 10/10/06 WXIA-TV-Atlanta and googlenews.)

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AB 31-Mar-2014 17:56
My grandfather owned and operated the children's train and go-cart ride at the fair. Also, since he was a police captain, he was head of security. My mom used to go to the fair when she and my dad were dating in about 1960 and my dad was working on the rides. She remembers going in the freakshow tent and seeing a banner advertising 'Lobster Boy.' Dad still has pain in one of his arms from reaching out to grab those go-carts and stop them when they were coming in to the exit lane too fast.
B J (Sams) Hamilton 13-Mar-2013 23:05
HAve many memories of "The Fair". When the Southeastern Fair came to town in the fall we were given half day out of school on a Friday. In those days it was safe for my older brother and I to go by outselves, riding the bus to and from. Other times of the year we went to the skating rink..not the ice one that I think came later but the roller skating. Also memories of my Daddy taking me with him to watch the car races. Guess we couldn't afford to pay to get in, always sat on a big bank across from track on Lakewood Ave. We livee on the southwest side, Pulliam Street and Washington Street during grammar school then Capitol Homes while in high school. Attended James L Key Elementary 1945 to 1952, Hoke Smith High School '52 to '57. Later lived in the Lakewood Village Apartments on Pryor Road on corner right where the fence for the fairgounds began. During the fair had to go straight home from work or get there very late to be able find a parking place. Fun just sitting here with my memories of that time coming back to me.
B J (Sams) Hamilton 13-Mar-2013 23:05
HAve many memories of "The Fair". When the Southeastern Fair came to town in the fall we were given half day out of school on a Friday. In those days it was safe for my older brother and I to go by outselves, riding the bus to and from. Other times of the year we went to the skating rink..not the ice one that I think came later but the roller skating. Also memories of my Daddy taking me with him to watch the car races. Guess we couldn't afford to pay to get in, always sat on a big bank across from track on Lakewood Ave. We livee on the southwest side, Pulliam Street and Washington Street during grammar school then Capitol Homes while in high school. Attended James L Key Elementary 1945 to 1952, Hoke Smith High School '52 to '57. Later lived in the Lakewood Village Apartments on Pryor Road on corner right where the fence for the fairgounds began. During the fair had to go straight home from work or get there very late to be able find a parking place. Fun just sitting here with my memories of that time coming back to me.
jimmy king 26-Apr-2011 11:48
I miss the old boys club in the 50s and 60s, I lived next door to it, in that old brown house.
Jammy 20-Mar-2011 02:06
It's now being converted to TV and movie studios. Screen Gems has a 50 year lease on it w/ the city of Atlanta.
Al Whitton 06-Dec-2010 02:27
Growing up in the Atlanta area was a place only a few of us remember, and lucky enough to have experienced. I was born in the old Piedmont hospital, and grew up in Sandy Springs. There was not much there except great friends and neighbors. Going to the old Fairgrounds was a real treat, and a bit of a drive too as kids. The Greyhound sounded as if it was going to fall apart everytime we rode. I had a friend send me a video of him being on Officer Don & a live video of the show from 1960 on Saturday. There is something to be said of being from the old Atl, most would not believe the stories. Now I am starting to look and sound like that old Greyhound, White and a little Wore out, but still remember every square inch of the old school. AlWhitton@windstream.net
Larry Duncan 06-Jul-2010 00:22
Danny,
I can relate. I was raised in Lakewood Heights in the 1950s and early 1960s. It was somewhat like Mayberry back then to me. Brown's and Combee's Drug Store with the Soda Fountains. Miss Georgia and The Custard Ice Cream Stores. Washington's Barber Shop. Mr. Stancil's City Services filling station. Lakewood Heights Baptist Church. Etc. etc. Seems like yesterday. Larry Duncan (email larry.duncan@att.com)
Danny Bowman 24-Apr-2010 14:01
Sorry: I guess I should have told you my name from my previous post: Danny D. Bowman. Capitol View Elementary (1957); Lakewood Heights Elementary (1958-1963); and Fulton High School (1963-1968).
Guest 24-Apr-2010 13:59
Although I'm 60 now, I can't quite get Lakewood Heights out of my mind. My home in 1950 was 102 Lakewood Way; directly across the street from the Lakewood Fairgrounds. The green, yellow and red lights of of the fairgrounds lit up my bedroom while the fair was in town. Jimmy: I read in the Atlanta newspapers that one of your classmates, Hugh McCain, Jr., died last week. He had a PhD and was married to the former Gail Zimmerman. Gail and I were classmates in 1957 at Captiol View Elementary School (Miss Teague's class.) I've been a firefighter for 42 years now, retiring from the Fulton County Fire Department. I came out of retirement in 2001, and am now the Fire Chief in Forsyth County, Georgia. My e-mail is ddbowman@forsythco.com should you desire any further information on Hugh McCain. Best wishes to all who grew up in Lakewood Heights and Sylvan Hills. I miss our old "digs".
Jimmy Vester 12-Nov-2009 21:50
Enjoyed many happy times at the Fair from 1955 on! Rode the Old Mill Stream, Greyhound and Octopus with Officer Don of the Popeye Club! Was a regular at Lakewood Speedway too! I'm 62 now and live in Nashville, Tn. Former Perkerson and Sylvan High graduate.Thanks for the article.
Dale Robie 29-Feb-2008 08:19
Lakewood was my introduction to buying antiques- Even later, when I really needed to go to Scotts on that weekend, I couldn't justify not somehow getting to Lakewood. Nothing will really ever replace it- and nothing else will entice me to drive to Georgia every month. I wonder how many people feel this way- I suspect a lot.
Dale
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