Skip to main content

Elizabeth Meriwether records of the Fulton County Botanical Garden Commission

Collection number: ahc.MSS10f

Scope and Content

This collection contains correspondence, budgets, minutes, and a roster of members of the Fulton County Botanical Garden Commission. Correspondence includes discussion of the development of both the botanical garden and an airport in the same vicinity, now known as Fulton County Airport-Brown Field.


  • 1946-1952, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

In the late 1930s, the idea to create a Fulton County Botanical Garden for Atlanta, Georgia, was proposed and supported by several organizations including the Atlanta Federation of Women's Clubs, the West End Businessmen's Association, and the Georgia Botanical Society. In 1938, Fulton County allocated 459 acres for the botanical garden to be used for recreation, educational, and conservation purposes in the vicinity of what is now known as Bakers Ferry Road SW, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW, and Fulton Industrial Boulevard SW. County Commissioner Troy Chastain oversaw the early stages of development of the botanical garden, along with Claude Mills, superintendent of the garden; Eugene Schofield, president of the Georgia Botanical Society and surveyor of the property; and William L. Monroe, landscape architect of Monroe's Landscape and Nursery Company. In 1945, part of the botanical garden was dedicated to Atlanta servicemen and women and was known as the Memorial Forest. The Fulton County Botanical Garden Commission was formed in 1946 to oversee the development of the botanical garden and made up of officers appointed by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. The Works Progress Administration provided additional funding and manual labor. School groups, garden clubs, botanists, fishermen, and outdoor enthusiasts visited the garden which was likely segregated due to Jim Crow laws of the time. The Commission was disbanded in 1952 and the garden later succumbed to the expansion of Atlanta, the opening of the Fulton County Airport-Brown Field, and the development of the Fulton County Industrial District.

Administrative/Biographical History

Elizabeth "Betty" Little Meriwether (1905-2000) was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to James R. (1864-1944) and Roberta Perryman Little (1871-1947). Meriwether graduated from Agnes Scott College in 1926 and married Charles A. Meriwether (1899-1972) in 1930. They had three children: Elizabeth Little Meriwether Moore (1933-1982); Margaret Meriwether Ottley (1937- ); and Charles A. Jr. (1944- ). Meriwether served as secretary and president of the Fulton County Botanical Garden Commission from 1949 to 1952, succeeding her mother, Roberta Little, who was Chairman of the Commission from 1946 to 1947. Meriwether was an active member of the Ivy Garden Club; teacher and founder of the kindergarten at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia; served as president of the Rabun Gap Nacoochee Club; and was a docent for the Swan House at the Atlanta History Center.


1 folder(s)



Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1985

Description Control

This collection was reprocessed in 2013.

Elizabeth Meriwether records of the Fulton County Botanical Garden Commission
Paul Crater, Jennie Oldfield
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305