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, the 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 the 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 begun on Phase Two of preserving the historic Lyon Farm where key agricultural buildings like the smokehouse (likely the oldest structure on the property) and sorghum mill will be stabilized. You can see the result of Phase One as the Lyon Farmhouse stands strong after decades of neglect. You can learn more about the Lyon Farm and our preservation efforts on the blog.
Continuously inhabited for over 150 years, the 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 2000’s.
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 the 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 the 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.