Q: How did Locust Grove, south of Atlanta, get its name?
Legend has it that the community was named for a group of locust trees growing outside the home of William Carroll, an early resident.
“Locust Grove actually got its name from a grove of flowering locust trees that they say was visible from any point in town in the days before the railroads came to Locust Grove in 1882,” said Anna Williams, manager of Locust Grove Main Street, which promotes its downtown area.
Carroll founded the original post office in Locust Grove. The locust trees acted long ago like a natural GPS to Carroll’s home, which would have been near the current location of Grove Road and Ga. 42.
About 10 years ago, former Mayor Lorene Lindsey transplanted some of the locust trees from outside the city to locations across town, bringing Locust Grove’s namesake back into the town’s scenery.
Locust trees around town include one in front of City Hall, which is housed in a building that once belonged to the Locust Grove Institute, a former college preparatory school.
“They have thorns on them, four or five inches long, and some of them you can use for fence posts and make fence posts,” says Mayor Robert Price. “The ones that we have here have the thorns on them, so you have to be careful. You can’t plant it like an oak tree or anything like that. It had pencil-like thorns on it.”
Locust Grove, a Henry County city that was incorporated in 1893, has more than 5,600 residents (plus all those bargain hunters at Tanger Outlets), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
On April 22, Locust Grove Day will include a parade in downtown and a craft fair, food vendors, live music and other activities at the town’s Claude Gray Park.
Q: How long has the peach been the official state fruit?
A: The fuzzy, sweet summertime crop was designated the official state fruit in April 1995 by Gov. Zell Miller.
Peaches were first introduced to Georgia’s St. Simons and Cumberland islands in 1571 by Franciscan monks, according to the Georgia Peach Council. Samuel Henry Rumph, who grew the fruit in middle Georgia in the late 1800s (including a variety he named after his wife, Elberta) has been called the “father of the Georgia peach industry.”
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