Originally dairy farms dotted the land that would become Chamblee. The town really took shape following the construction of two railroads — one carried passengers from Atlanta to Charlotte, North Carolina. The other ferried people and products back from Roswell to Atlanta. A settlement known as Roswell Junction formed. But the name was too similar to Roswell so the name Chamblee was chosen from a list of petitioners. Chamblee was incorporated in 1907.
During World War I and World War II, Chamblee served as the site of U.S. military operations. During World War I, the U.S. operated Camp Gordon, home to 40,000 servicemen. This created a building boom. Camp Gordon was closed and reopened as a Navy Flight Training Center at the advent of World War II. After World War II, Chamblee grew because of blue-collar industry its proximity to the General Motors plant in Doraville.
By the time of the 1996 Summer Olympics, Chamblee had evolved into a multi-cultural city. In fact, it has a modern Chinatown, dubbed “Atlanta Chinatown, even though it’s in Chamblee. During the first decade of the 2000s, the city grew as it refined its image, constructing a new city hall in 2002. In 2010, Chamblee annexed an area directly to the northwest that includes Huntley Hills. That old GM plant has become a big new development project. It includes Third Rail Studios, a $10 million film and television studio with 60,000 square feet of stages, 30,000 square feet of production offices and nearly 40,000 square feet of “mill” space where sets and props are built. Third Rail was completed in fall 2016 and is already hosting productions.
Chamblee is located south of Dunwoody, southwest of Doraville, northeast of Brookhaven, and north of Interstate 85. As of 2016, the population of Chamblee was 28,244 with a median age of 32.4. About 44% of people are married and 35% are married with children. The average household size is 2.69 people. The town has been named among the top 5 most diverse communities in Georgia and ranked 6th as the best place for millennial's.
The DeKalb County School System serves Chamblee. Schools include Huntley Hills Elementary, a public Montessori school (Chamblee), Dresden Elementary (Chamblee), Ashford Park School (Brookhaven), Montclair Elementary (Brookhaven), Montgomery Elementary (Brookhaven), Kittredge Magnet School for High Achievers in Brookhaven, Chamblee Middle, Sequoyah Middle School (Doraville, serves a section of southern Chamblee), and Chamblee Charter High School, Cross Keys High School (Brookhaven, serves a section of southern Chamblee).
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