One of the most desirable neighborhoods in the City of Decatur is located just off Clairemont Avenue. Some of the most beautiful Decatur Homes are found in Great Lakes, which was named for long-vanished Lake Seneca, now a mostly dry stream in Waddell Park.
History of Great Lakes
The surrounding streets were named for the famous French explorer, Samuel de Champlain and the Great Lakeshe discovered in the early 1600’s – Lake Huron, Lake Superior, Lake Erie, Lake Seneca, and Lake Ontario.
Champlain was the first European to explore and describe the Great Lakes, providing some of the first maps and descriptions of the Great Lakes area – the largest fresh water system on Earth. Lake Erie, which meant Lake of the Cat, was named for the Erie Indians who occupied the southern shore, literally called People of the Panther; Lake Huron, named Lac des Hurons, was the Lake of the Huron Indians; Lake Seneca the land of the Seneca Indians; and Lake Superior was referred to by the early French explorers as Le lac Superieur, which translated to “Upper Lake”.
Clairemont Avenue, which borders the historic Great Lakesneighborhood, was originally part of a Native American trail leading to a crossing at the Chattahoochee, known as Shallowford Trail.
Architecture of Great Lakes
Great Lakes was developed beginning in 1913 through the 1930’s and contains some of the most interesting architecture in Decatur. Craftsmen-style bungalows predominate, but a large variety of Decatur homesexist, including English Tudor and Georgia Vernacular bungalows, as well as newer construction that mimics prevailing styles on a larger scale. Great Lakes now falls within a Historic District which was established in 2001.
Waddell Park, a ravine-like oasis and green space, is located at the corner of Huron Street and Champlain Street and serves as a local meeting place and play area, featuring a small nature trail. Originally named “Closeburn Park”, but donated by the neighborhood in 1994 to the City of Decatur and renamed at that time for a local benefactor.
Atlanta Decatur Homes, a local Atlanta real estate company serving Decatur, Atlanta, Druid Hills, Emory University and Tucker neighborhoods for over 25 years!