The Sandy Springs Garden Club began with seventeen women interested in their community who were present at the first meeting. Sponsored by the Iris Garden Club of Atlanta, the new garden club members chose the club's name to represent what was then an unincorporated area of Fulton County. The group put together the first set of Constitution and By-laws, and the members chose an old house on the grounds of a local schoolhouse as their meeting place.
Together the first members decided on a series of programs that set the pace for the years to come. First there was a flower exchange; then landscaping in front of the school; and then a club flower show. Monies were raised by rummage sales, benefit bridge parties, yard sales, bazaars, and a club members' cookbook. One year all the proceeds from a Tour of Homes went towards landscaping Ridgeview High School. Other funds were used to landscape other high schools in the area, as well as to donate trees and bluebird houses. Financial support from the club was given to hospitals located in the area including Northside, Scottish Rite, and
In keeping with the sense of civic-mindedness shared by the members of the club, the SSGC president approached the Portman-Barry Developers in 1984 about obtaining an old house near the present intersection of Mount Vernon Highway and GA 400. The garden club wanted to convert the house into a Community Garden Center and meeting rooms, as well as a permanent home for the Fulton County Federation of Garden Clubs. The club members raised $35,000 dollars for the project, and Portman-Barry agreed to gift the house to the county and also pledged $15,000 to cover the cost to move the farm house to the new location. The land around the springs for which Sandy Springs was named had been acquired by Fulton County, and this became the perfect setting for the historic house. It was moved to the area near the springs on October 9, 1985. The areas around the house were planted in keeping with its historical background, and the park grounds continue to be maintained by members of the garden club and others. Research soon confirmed that this suburban cottage was in fact a remodeled farmhouse, circa 1869, one of eight known 19th-century structures remaining in the Sandy Springs area.
The Sandy Springs Garden Club is still involved with the Williams-Payne House as an ongoing projects. Some of our members are now active in learning to be Master Gardeners, flower arrangers, horticulturists, and preservationists. Members attend classes offered by the Garden Club of Georgia to learn how to stage and participate in flower shows.The members worked with the City of Sandy Springs