A Most Diverse City
Declared by Time Magazine as "the most diverse square mile in the country," Clarkston is home to one of the largest and most diverse communities of refugees in the southeast. Because of its affordability and proximity to downtown Decatur, Clarkston is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after areas in the Greater Decatur area.
The Georgia Railroad probably had a lot to do with that. In the 1830s, the railroad began building rail lines; eventually, those lines connected Atlanta to Clarkston and Clarkston to Athens and August and cities in South Carolina. Because of the immediate success of these lines, Clarkston became the home of Atlanta workers, who owned homes in Clarkston but commuted into the city for work every day, thereby making Clarkston one of the first suburban communities in the Atlanta area.
In the early 90s, various refugee resettlement programs named Clarkston as an excellent fit for the many refugees that were being served, as the rental market was open, residents were moving out, and the city was located on the last MARTA stop. Fifteen years later, Clarkston High School homed students from more than 50 countries, churches of all denominations were booming, and half of the population was from outside the United States.
Clarkston is a small city, taking up around 700 acres and 1.1 square miles. Both residents and government officials like the quaint, small-town atmosphere and refuse to expand the city boundaries.
Clarkston has many outdoor recreation options, including Milam Park, which offers a new playground, ADA walking trail, swimming pool, tennis courts, bike paths, and a dog park. Residents also enjoy a wildlife nature preserve and a lake with fishing opportunities. There are also dozens of walking and biking trails that snake throughout the city.
Clarkston Fun Fact: In the early 1900s, prestige in Clarkston was determined by the number of goats a person had. These goats were free-range, and almost took over the city, leading Clarkston to be nicknamed "Goatsville" and later "Angora Heights."