Where Flat Rock Begins
Located in the shadow of Panola Mountain, the Lyon Homestead offers insight into the lives of Georgia’s early white farmers as well as the enslaved people who created resilient communities following emancipation.
One of the oldest homesteads in once-rural DeKalb County, Lyon Farm stands today as a reminder of the area’s history and a glimpse into the agricultural lifestyle that once dominated the county. It also is key to the history of Flat Rock, one of the oldest African-American communities in Georgia: people were enslaved at the site prior to the Civil War.
Enslaved people from Lyon Farm went on to help found the community of Flat Rock after the Civil War. Today, Flat Rock is one of the oldest African-American communities in Georgia.
Preservation in Progress
Work has completed on Phase 3 of preserving the historic Lyon Farm, installing new interpretive signs about life on the farm and the cultivation of muscadine, sorghum and other products. The smokehouse (likely the oldest structure on the property), the sorghum mill and a three-seater outhouse were also stabilized.
The next step of the preservation will involve renovating and refurbishing the inside of main house to make it look as it did generations ago when the farm was still functional. You can learn more about Lyon Farm and our preservation efforts on the blog.
Continuously inhabited for over 150 years, Lyon Farm is indicative of the small homesteads that dotted the Georgia Piedmont region. The Lyon family settled here following the removal of the Muscogee (Creek) people, joining a wave of white settlement in the area as the United States expanded westward. Successive generations continued to farm here until the early 2000s.
Here, you can see George Lyon, one of the last family members to farm at the site, plowing the land with his mule.
Born into slavery in the early 1850s, Hill Lyons lived near Lyon Farm (notice the similar names) after Emancipation, and he later served as one of the founding fathers of the Flat Rock Methodist Church. The formerly enslaved people from Lyon Farm and other surrounding farms created a close-knit and resilient community following the Civil War, enabling themselves to flourish in the rural South. Today, you can learn about Hill Lyons and other members of the Flat Rock community with a Flat Rock Archives tour. Tours begin at the Lyon site.