The History of Hyde Farm
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James Cooper Power and his wife Rosa Dodd Power build a log home near the Chattahoochee River in Cobb County, GA on what had recently been Cherokee Indian territory. That original log cabin still exists within the Hyde farmhouse. This is the farm that will eventually become Hyde Farm. A Native American village was located just upstream from the farm. Those villagers were forced to leave during the Trail of Tears.
James Hyde, a Civil War veteran, and his family move to the Mt. Bethel community of east Cobb County to assist James Power with the cotton crop.
James Hyde's son, Jesse, is born on Lower Roswell Road in east Cobb County. The Hyde family continues to sharecrop with the Power family.
Jesse Hyde continues farming with his family, but also works on the construction of Morgan Falls Dam on the Chattahoochee River, one of Georgia's first hydroelectric dam, completed in 1904.
The James Power homeplace with 135 acres comes up for sale in 1917. The devastating Chattahoochee River flood of 1919 helps reduce the price of the farm and enables Jesse Hyde to purchase what now becomes the Hyde Farm. In 1920 Jesse Hyde and his wife Lela move their family of 6 children by horse and wagon to their new home. Their children, Buck, Pearl, JC, Maglee, Gladys, and Rosalee will all grow up working and enjoying their farm on the Chattahoochee River.
JC and Buck continue farming in the old time methods learned from their father and grandfather. Plowing with mules, hunting, growing sweet potatoes, corn, beans, okra, and potatoes, the Hyde brothers are largely self-sufficient. They sell their quality produce on the square in Marietta for decades. They continue using their well for drinking water and their potbellied stove for heat. As surrounding east Cobb County begins a furious building boom, the Hydes manage to preserve a peaceful, agrarian way of life that becomes a living picture of yesteryear to those who are fortunate enough to visit the farm in these years.
Buck Hyde dies in 1988, bringing not only grief but a huge inheritance tax burden to the Hyde family. In order not to lose the farm, JC Hyde sells 40 acres of the family's beloved bottomlands in 1993 to the Trust for Public Land for eventual inclusion in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. JC retains the right to farm all the land, unimpeded, until his death. The remaining 95 acres of the farm remain in JC's ownership with an agreement that Trust for Public Land would have first chance to buy the rest of the farm, if and when it should it be sold.
JC Hyde dies at home in early March 2004. His legacy, beyond the wisdom and gentleness that he shared with so many of us, is the farm, still as it has been for decades, a beautiful living treasure that deserves protection and preservation.
2005 AND BEYOND...
With help from many friends, Hyde Farm will be preserved in its entirety, protecting the Chattahoochee watershed, sharing its beauty, green space, history, recreation and wildlife habitat for generations to come.