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Welcome to the Silver Lake Civic Association web site

About Silver Lake Civic Association
The Silver Lake Civic Association is located in an unincorporated niche of Dekalb County, inside I-285. Located near the intersection of Ashford-Dunwoody Rd. and Johnson Ferry Rd., the 38-acre lake is surrounded by more than a 1000 homes in surrounding neighborhoods. A quiet sidewalked community, with a less than ten-minute drive from both Perimeter Mall and Lenox Square, Silver Lake is one of Atlanta's best-kept secrets.

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A Treasure within the Urban Sprawl Constructed in 1911, Silver Lake is truly an urban gem. Noted historian Paul Hudson, formerly of Oglethorpe University, has asserted that, “Silver Lake could easily be included in the National Register of Historic Places.” Although everyone appreciates the serenity of the lake and woods as they walk their dogs, spot the blue heron or watch for Canadian geese, not many people are aware of its rich history.

According to Dr. Hudson, in 1911 the Silver Lake Park Company dammed several unnamed tributaries of Nancy Creek creating a 28-acre lake “in a beautiful sylvan setting.” In 1927 William Randolph Hearst purchased and then donated Silver Lake to Oglethorpe University. In 1935 it was re-named Lake Phoebe in honor of Hearst’s mother. Although this name remains on some maps, it did not stick.

Silver Lake is a wonderful legacy. It was Atlanta’s first large-scale bird sanctuary, and it continues to support a variety of wildlife, including silver foxes and endangered species such as Red-cockaded and Pileated Woodpeckers.

The lake’s natural beauty has been threatened many times throughout its history. The dam was damaged during World War I, and there were even rumors of submarine warfare experiments in Silver Lake! Following the failure of an earthen dam in Toccoa, Georgia in 1978, Silver Lake’s dam was declared unsafe and the lake was drained. With the help of Oglethorpe University, those in surrounding neighborhoods acting through the Silver Lake Civic Association raised the funds to restore the dam in 1980. Once more in 2003 the Association raised funds to dredge Little Silver Lake, which was threatened by years of sedimentation from storm-water runoff and development in the area. The lake was lowered again in 2005 to permit repair of the dam. Maintaining this treasure is an on going responsibility.

Since 1911, Silver Lake has survived many challenges, but many remain. The Silver Lake Civic Association needs your help to maintain this amazing natural habitat for the preservation of wildlife and enjoyment of our families and children.


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Driving Directions option 2
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