Type to search

Main Slider Stories of Atlanta

After five decades, Benjamin Walker decides it’s time for a change

That almost everything was something else before it became what it is today is hardly news to anyone. Knowing that fact, however, does not make the observation of the evolution of a city any less fascinating. Such is the case with the subject of this week’s Stories of Atlanta. At its heart, this story is about a family farm, a plot of land that a group of people carved out of the wilderness and from which they were able to sustain themselves for over 50 years. Not an uncommon story but, in this case, a story whose history we happen to know a bit about.

It is interesting to think about the relationship that early settlers had with their land. For many of Atlanta’s early pioneers, their land was pretty much all they ever knew and they must have known it very well. In every contour of every hillside they probably felt the pulse of the living land that sustained them. The hills and valleys, the rocky parts and the fertile parts, where water could be found and where one could get relief from the sun in the gentle breezes rolling through a stand of trees. It must have been a very special relationship.

The life of a 19th century pioneer farmer is hard to imagine when viewed through the lens of our highly mobile, hyper-connected 21st century life. And it is even harder to understand the feelings that probably went through Ben Walker’s mind when he sold his family’s farm. Walker was literally born on the farm. He grew up on the land and, with the exception of a short time in the army, he spent his entire life on a 200 acre plot of land on the outskirts of what eventually became the City of Atlanta. He surely is one of those who knew his land as if it were a family member.

And yet, in the late 1880’s, after five decades of living and working the family farm that he bought from his father, Benjamin Walker sold the property and stood back and watched as his land took on a new life. A life that today is very much part of all Atlantans.

Lance Russell

Lance Russell is an Atlanta-based filmmaker and media communicator who, for over three decades, has been entrusted by clients to tell their stories. A seasoned producer with an innate ability to cut to the heart of the matter, Lance’s instincts are tailor-made for today’s “media bite” culture. Brief, poignant and always entertaining, Lance’s current passion is bringing Atlanta’s colorful and inspiring past to life with his “rest of the story” style video series, Stories of Atlanta. “History’s best communicators,” says Lance, “have always been storytellers. It’s in our DNA. ‘Once upon a time’ is how we got to where we are now.”


You Might also Like


  1. David Patterson June 15, 2015 10:57 pm

    Another great story, Lance.  Keep ’em coming.Report

  2. Lance Russell June 16, 2015 11:51 am

    David Patterson David, when are we going to get together so I can download some of the Atlanta history that was a part of your life?Report

  3. Patrick Teague June 18, 2015 8:11 pm

    Piedmont ParkReport

  4. Britton Edwards June 18, 2015 8:36 pm

    Very cool! I didn’t know about thisReport


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.