The Early History of Riverview

In the late 1960s, the Atlanta Athletic Club began to consider moving its golfing facility, The East Lake Country Club, to a northern location.  On June 14, 1970 the ACC celebrated the opening of its new facility on Medlock Bridge Road in Duluth. At that time most of the land in the area was farmland. The current Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Peachtree Parkway were nonexistent. One had to go through the city of Norcross to Medlock Bridge Road to reach the Athletic Club.

Tom Forkner and Joe Rogers, Sr., being residents of Avondale, had greatly enjoyed the convenience of East Lake and wanted to continue living close to the club. Therefore, on September 19, 1968, they bought 62.9 acres from W. Horace Medlock for $1,000.00 per acre. This parcel is now the property along both sides of the lower end of Riverview Drive, from the corner of Riverview Way westward toward the Chattahoochee River.

A portion of this property was swampland and the section along the river was in the flood plain. In 1970, Ralph Black’s company was hired to turn the swampland into the current lake on the south side of Riverview Drive. The land along the river was turned into a horse pasture. About this time, some other Avondale businessmen became interested, and a partnership was formed between Tom Forkner, Joe Rogers, Sonny Ackerman, Buck Hightower, Al Forsyth and Charlie Davidson. The remaining acreage was divided into lots and sold for $12,000 each. Many of  the  buyers were friends and neighbors from the Avondale area. The first lots were sold to Hal Williams and Cal Swaffer. The lots along the lake were reserved for the six developers they share equally in the ownership of the lake and the pasture.

Ralph and Marvin Black became interested in Riverview. Ralph had an option for 131 acres from T. Edwin Medlock, brother to Horace. This property adjoined the original 62.9 acres. Ralph, along with his brother Marvin, and the original six developers of Riverview (#1) banded together in November of 1969 to develop this second parcel (Riverview #2); it all later became known as Riverview Estates. The one and two plus acre lots  sold for $12,000, $17,000, $22,000 and $25,000 for the riverfront lots. The river lots sold so fast the first weekend (6) the price was raised to $30,000.

The first three houses in Riverview were occupied in November and December of 1971 by Buck and Louise Hightower, Tom and Martha Forkner and Joe and Ruth Rogers. The original road into Riverview was a dirt road off Medlock Bridge Road that entered the area about where 4826 Riverlake Drive is today. It then went west to 4546 Ridgegate Drive and turned left on what is now Riverview Way. The closest grocery store was on Winters Chapel Road.

Riverview developed into a neighborhood of diverse architectural styles with a diverse group of residents. It has been so well loved that approximately fourteen (14) families have sold their first home to buy a second home within the neighborhood.

The first meeting of Riverview Associates, the homeowners association for Riverview, was held on Tuesday March 2, 1976 at the home of Marvin and Joeanne Black, who were residing at 4603 Gatewood Circle. There were approximately sixty (60) families living in Riverview at that time, and all but twenty seven (27) of the one hundred and twenty seven (127) lots had been sold. There are currently one hundred and fifty one (151) lots in Riverview and all are sold (2006).

Ralph and Bettie Medlock Black built a home on a large tract of land (approximately sixty acres) that was at the southeast corner of Riverview. This property contained a twenty (20) acre lake. In 1992 they sold all of it to Dan Cowart who developed this into Wellington Lakes (after draining ¾ of the lake to make room for more lots).

Written by Robbie Harrison, as told by J. Rogers, T Forkner, S   Ackerman, B. Black, D. Evans, D. Crane and B. McGriff.