In 1955, when a group of young couples determined that Atlanta’s northwest area should have a social club for families, they lost no time in forming one. Only one month after the first organizational meeting at the home of “Hoss” and Pat Williams, twenty-one individuals became founding members of the club they christened “Cherokee.”
Four more gatherings took place at the Williams’ home over the next few months. During this time, the group asked Lamar Pierson to begin looking for a suitable site for the club, while Pat Williams and Nell Walker began the search for financing. By January 16, 1956, capital had been secured, six hundred people had become members, and the Club had received its charter. Cherokee held its first general business meeting on January 31, 1956, at the old Erlanger Theater, originally an opera house built in the 1920s on Peachtree Street near North Avenue.
By mid-year, the members had found their clubhouse. When the Grant Estate -- one of Atlanta’s grand residences built during World War I -- became available for purchase, the new Club took an option to lease, with a provision to purchase the property for $200,000. On October 13, 1956, members were able to hold their first official social function, a brunch, preceding a Georgia Tech football game, in the building known today as the “Town Club.” Their first formal dinner dance took place on December 8, 1956, in the original ballroom of the Grant Estate, now the Town Club’s expansive Main Lounge.
During this time, a farmhouse and tract of land ideally suited for a championship golf course were found northwest of Sandy Springs along the rolling banks of the Chattahoochee River. Here Country Club operations began in 1957 in the renovated building, and a new wing was added in 1961.
In 1965, the Town Club grew with the addition of a grander ballroom and new kitchen facility. During the same year, the original farmhouse on Hightower Trail was razed to make room for administrative offices and a spacious lobby area. In 1985, another major expansion at the Town Club took place with the construction of a complete fitness center and informal dining room named the Grant Pub after the estate’s original owners. The Country Club Golf Course opened its fourth nine holes in September of the same year.
Throughout this time, Cherokee was steadily building a reputation for excellence. In 1989, the Town Club kitchen facility was modernized to bring it to “state-of-the-art” in food preparation, equipment, and efficiency. To modernize, expand and enhance the facilities at the Country Club, construction of a new clubhouse began in the winter of 1993 and was completed in the spring of 1994. The brand new 47,000 square foot facility opened to the membership on June 7, 1994.
In 1997, the final phase of a multi-year master plan for the tennis facility at the Town Club was completed, which makes it the finest of its kind in the South, with 16 courts, new fencing with California corners, new landscaping and retaining walls, a patio for spectators and service complex equipped with restroom facilities. In 1998 and 1999, the club in conjunction with Tom Fazio Design Group rebuilt all 36 holes of golf at the Country Club. Shortly thereafter, the club opened one of the most technically advanced and environmentally sensitive Turf Centers in the United States.
Cherokee again underwent a major expansion of the Town Club clubhouse in 2008/2009. This addition added another 25,000 square feet to the existing building. All kitchen facilities and dining spaces were redesigned and upgraded. Overall, the excellence of Cherokee’s facilities, combined with its commitment to the highest standards in dining and member services, has brought the club a number of honors and awards throughout the years.