Tucked away off Peachtree Industrial Boulevard between Peachtree Corners and Duluth, Berkley Lake began in the late 1940s, after WW II. Developer Frank Coggins centered the community with its landmark namesake Berkley Lake, pictured above, a water impoundment with a dam dating from 1948. Coggins named the lake after his Berkley Blue Granite quarries in Elberton, Georgia.
A scenic 77-acre lake serves as a centerpiece for a tiny Gwinnett city of a little more than 1500. (Photograph courtesy Hilary Coles.)
Berkley Lake in the beginning was a summer retreat with rustic fishing cottages and later came more elaborate homes. In the early 1950s the Berkley Realty and Investment Company began to develop the lake property with residential as well as fishing lots. In 1953 the Berkley Lake Civic Association worked toward more refinements in the community; and in 1956 the Georgia General Assembly formally established the City of Berkley Lake.
Berkley Lake is noted for its controlled growth, and ordinances have successfully protected the tranquility of the city and its environs, despite the construction, since 1994, of five new subdivisions that have rounded out land development within the city limits. Small progressive Berkley Lake, with its bird and wildlife sanctuary, has long qualified as a Tree City USA, making the community an idyllic place to live in west Gwinnett.
Dr. Paul Hudson, historian at Georgia Perimeter College, writes columns for the Norcross News.