DeKalb Wellness Center
If you are in town and need a place for a workout, run or swim, this facility is a pretty comprehensive one. There are all kinds of weight machines as well as stairmasters, treadmills, elliptical trainers and a track and pool. Fitness staff are very helpful and knowledgeable and always available to help as well as getting folks started on the right track. There are numerous classes in aerobics and a host of other health related issues. I won’t try to explain membership costs as they are so varied depending on age, number of family members and method of payment. We pay by automatic draft which gives us a discount. Along with multi-family and senior discounts it is very inexpensive compared to a lot of gyms. A unique feather of the Wellness Center is the ability to freeze your membership while out for whatever reason. If you freeze for 2 2 weeks your membership is extended 2 weeks. Visits on a daily fee basis are also available for people visiting. I think it is $10 for a day pass. Hours are 5:30 a.m-9:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m-4:00 p.m. on Saturday and 11:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.
2665 n decatur rd, 10, decatur, GA 30033
Tour of Trees
A part of the annual Decatur Arts Festival is the "Tour of Trees" which are done by local volunteers. I say volunteers instead of artists because anyone can do it - my wife and I even did one a couple of years ago. The trees are auctioned off at the end of the festival or later at the BBQ & Bluegrass Festival and ours is still displayed at a local studio. Proceeds benefit the Decatur Arts Alliance. They are always unique, sometimes wierd, sometimes humorous, frequently beautiful.
The County's Namesake
Decatur is the county seat of DeKalb County. This bust is tucked away at a lesser used end of the square and depicts Baron de Kalb whom one writer describes as having been a soldier of fortune. He volunteered to serve in the American Army and, after being commissioned as a major general in Paris, his commission was ratified by Congress and he served under Washington in the American Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. He actually came to the colonies with a group of volunteer officers which included Lafayette. From what little I know, he was not terribly successful in his 2-3 year career and was killed in South Carolina after 11 wounds. He is regarded as something of a hero of the American Revolution and I suppose that is why our county was named after him.
decatur is the county seat of dekalb county georgia. located about 10 miles east of downtown atlanta. decatur is surrounded by the atlanta urban sprawl. decatur was founded in 1823 and is named after stephen decatur. in the 1830's decatur was selected to be the southern terminus of the western and atlantic railroad. the citizens of decatur opposed the plan and the rail road was moved to what is today downtown atlanta. during the 1960's and 1970's decatur experienced "white flight" to distant suburbs and the town when into a state of decline. in the last twenty years decatur has experienced a period of urban gentrification and today decatur is a diverse and progressive city. decatur has much to offer the tourist. in the town center are a number of civil war historic sites, upscale shops and restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife. decatur is a very nice part of the metro atlanta area.
decatur was involved in the battle of atlanta during the civil war. on july 22nd 1864 confederate general joseph wheeler's cavalry was sent to decatur to attack union general james mc phearson's supply train at decatur's courthouse square. the supply train was forced out of town by wheeler's troops. later union general kenner garrard recaptured decatur and cut off confederate communication lines between atlanta and augusta. decatur was also the starting point for union general george stoneman's raid on the town of macon. stoneman failed to take macon and surrendered to the confederates at sunshine church northeast of macon. stoneman was the highest ranking union officer to be captured in the civil war.
Public Art in Decatur
This bronze sits in front of the old courthouse on the main square in downtown Decatur. I think it is called "Valentine" and is a lovely tribute to the older generation (I appreciate those more and more these days). It was part of the Arts Festival several years ago and then was donated to the city.
The poet, Robert Frost, was a frequent visitor to Agnes Scott College during his lifetime. This statue sits near the "Peace Garden" on the campus.
Thomas Jefferson writing (and editing) the Declaration of Independence was donated by a local resident in memory of Sen. Paul Coverdell who died a few years ago. It sits near "Valentine" in front of the old courthouse.
I thnk all 3 of these were done by the same artist. I will try to learn more and upgrade this album.
This bronze sculpture make me very proud of my city for several reasons. It is called "Celebration" by Gary Price and is inscribed "Imagine a world without limits, without boundaries, without predjudice and blame. Imagine an existence full of self-confidence, self-esteem and not only tolerance but love for others regardless of color, socio-economic or any other standing." It is a celebration of life and these aspirations.
Secondly , it was done to honor Elizabeth Wilson who in 1983 became the first African-American on the city commission and then the first African-American mayor. It describes her as "a civil rights activist, community health center advocate, neighborhood leader, public servant, mother, grandmother and friend. Elizabeth Wilson is a quite, dedicated trailblazer who forever changed this city with her gentle bit firm determination to create a better community for all citizens."
Thirdly, the move to honor her in this way was led by our current mayor who is not African-American but who is an excellent mayor and a honorable and dedicated man. He raised the funds for the sculpture from private donations.