Gaines and Louise Ivy owned a local retail business and lived in a home at 331 North Peachtree Street for more than 70 years.
Gaines’ grandfather, Henry Ivy, worked as a dentist and blacksmith in Atlanta in pre-Civil War times. He survived the destruction of the war, but he found that the “blare and bluster” of the growing post-war city was too much for him. So in 1868, he moved his family to Southwestern Gwinnett to enjoy a quieter, country life.
His son Milton married Susan Tallulah (Lou) Bolton in 1889, and they had three sons — Glenn, Gaines and Guy. Lou Ivy Road, off Old Peachtree near Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church, was named for Lou Ivy in appreciation for her hospitality. When road crews worked in the area years ago, the Ivy yard, with its shade trees, was a favorite spot for the workers to enjoy a lunch break.
Gaines Ivy, born on April 15, 1901, married Lela Louise Kelley, daughter of Lilburn-area physician Dr. Charles Amos Kelley, in 1928. They had three children, Kelley, Robert and Margaret, all of whom were raised on North Peachtree Street in Norcross.
Gaines Ivy purchased a building in 1946 on South Peachtree in Norcross from local resident Will McElroy, and the existing feed and seed retail business located there. The Ivy family ran that store for the next 26 years. Gaines Ivy also served as mayor and on the city council. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, as were his sons. He is also rememered as a fine singer, lending his talents to the services at the Presbyterian Church in Norcross.
Gaines Ivy died of a heart attack in 1973, a few months after family store closed. Louise Ivy continued to live at the home on North Peachtree until she passed away in 2000.
Robert Ivy recalls serving a newspaper route in the Norcross area when he was 12 or 13 years old. Though he was too young to legally drive, he obtained an old motor scooter and used it to speed his deliveries. Police Chief Grady Simpson,not one to keep an industrious young man from his work, was said to have told Robert that it was fine for him to use the scooter in the city, if he was careful. Outside the city limits, however, he was on his own if he ran afoul of the authorities.