Vista Grove, Georgia
Vista Grove is an unincorporated residential community in central DeKalb County, Georgia, United States, located north and northeast of the Atlanta suburb of Decatur. It is also referred to as Oak Grove, although Oak Grove more properly refers to the central neighborhood rather than the greater community. North Briarcliff, which primarily falls north of Briarcliff Rd. and south of Interstate 85, is on the northern edge of this community.
Vista Grove includes several distinct subdivisions, and is centered on the intersection of LaVista Rd. and Oak Grove Rd. Vista Grove is south of Interstate 85; east of Clairmont Rd.; west of the Northlake retail district; and north of both the CSX railroad tracks and North Decatur Rd. Vista Grove technically overlaps the North Decatur census-designated place. Leafmore Creek-Park Hills and Winston Place, both south of LaVista Rd. and west of Pangborn Rd., are the two primary neighborhoods that fall within the overlap area. Portions of zip code 30345 and 30033 fall within Vista Grove. The Interstate 85 south access road is not considered part of Vista Grove.
Vista Grove has a small commercial district at the intersection of LaVista Rd. & Oak Grove Rd., and "Vista Grove Shopping Center" is located on the northeast corner of this intersection. However, there are two major commercial districts located outside the community at the east and west ends of LaVista Rd, known as the Toco Hill Shopping Center and Northlake Mall, respectively. Echo Lake is located within the community at the intersection of Briarcliff Rd. & Briarlake Rd. Although Echo Lake is located near Lakeside High School and is visible to commuters, it is not a public, recreational lake.
Clairmont Rd. was originally an Indian path, and LaVista Rd. was a cattle trail.[dead link] By the 19th century, DeKalb County had substantial number of dairy farms. Nalley’s Farm, which had both dairy cattle and horses, was located at what is now Winston Place condominiums. (Nalley Circle is named after the farm.) An old Civil War-era house was also located in the Spring Creek area.
Two historic churches in the community were the Mt. Zion AME church, founded by freed slaves and a center of the African-American community, and Oak Grove Methodist Church, organized in 1836 as part of a circuit rider’s route.[dead link]
By the mid-20th Century, Atlanta and Decatur had each merged into one metropolitan area. Neighborhoods, including Leafmore-Creek Park Hills, began development in the 1950s. Toco Hill, located at the west end of LaVista Grove on LaVista Rd., had previously consisted primarily of a country store, but it soon developed into a vehicle-oriented shopping center. However, central DeKalb County has transitioned from a suburban community of Atlanta to an in-town community. Vista Grove has seen considerable tear downs of the mid-20th century homes since 1990, with larger homes being constructed on the lots.
- Price, Vivian. Historic DeKalb County: An Illustrated History (Georgia Heritage Series). Historical Publishing Network (2007).