A block from the MARTA station on Peachtree Road in Brookhaven sits a house that was built in the early 1800s that has been passed down through eight generations of Lynda Martin’s family.
The estate started out as a farm, and was later rezoned in the 1960s as a commercial property. As a result of the rezoning, Martin’s family began renting the home out for events and giving tours several times a month.
Martin and her sisters Elaine and Monique decided several years ago that the family needed to move the house and sell the property. The family is now offering the home free of charge to be relocated.
“When land is in this highly developed of an area you can no longer rent out a quirky old house and keep it going. The taxes keep going up and maintaining an old house is expensive,” Martin said. “We’re all getting older and it would be nice to find it a nice safe place.”
When younger, Martin and her family lived for several years in the servant’s quarters in the back of the house and she spent a lot of time there throughout her childhood. Now, she said that the family wants to do everything they can to keep the house in DeKalb County.
The house is considered the oldest standing house in DeKalb County by the DeKalb History Center. There was also an old family cemetery on the property that was moved several years ago.
“Everyone would love to have it stay here but it takes money to move it and take care of it,” Martin said.
Martin said that she would like to see the house go to a non-profit in the area or even to someone who could turn it into a community arts center. Another factor that played into the sisters’ decision to get rid of the house was that there isn’t anyone for them to pass it down to because all of their children have moved away.
“I’ve cried buckets of tears. I sound pretty straightforward about it now but I’m not. It’s just not good for the long-term viability of the house,” Martin said.
Until January the house will still be open for tours given by Martin’s father on the third Sunday of every month from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Martin said that if no one from DeKalb County is able to take it, they will most likely give it to someone in another part of the state.
“It’s lasted eight generations and it would just be wonderful for it to have a place in DeKalb County and it could be used by the community,” Martin said.