DeKalb’s Last Dairy Farm
DeKalb County was at one point the dairy capital of Georgia. As the county rapidly urbanized throughout the 20th century, dairyman S. B. Vaughters sought a different future for his land. Today, we can all enjoy the meadow and historic barn he left behind.
Click here to see more images of the iconic dairy barn.
Silvey Brice “S. B.” Vaughters farmed this land for decades, raising dairy cows, beef cattle and finally horses on this patch of DeKalb County land. For much of that time, Mr. Vaughters wasn’t alone: his farm was part of a sprawling agricultural economy that occupied much of the area and which supplied Atlanta and other communities with milk and food. As urban sprawl expanded throughout DeKalb, Mr. Vaughters sought a different future for his land. He sold the property to the State of Georgia in 2002.
Just before he sold his land, Mr. Vaughters told an Atlanta-Journal Constitution writer: “Nearly all the rest of DeKalb County is covered up with homes and businesses. You can drive from Lithonia to Dunwoody and not find a piece of open land. I didn’t want that here.” His hopes were met and today, the white barn where Mr. Vaughters bred horses and raised dairy cattle is an iconic image along the multiuse PATH on Klondike Road.
Today, hikers can enjoy the historic barn as well as the meadow growing behind it. The former cow and horse pasture has been allowed to return to meadow, preserving the dairy landscape and providing important habitat for a variety of wildlife. Enjoy the Meadow Loop Trail (pictured here) and the historic barn as you hike.