In the 1960s, Marietta’s David Rambo often took customers to Alabama to show them where his employer’s products were made.

During those trips, he fell in love with the Gorgas House, a Greek Revival-style building on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa that once housed the university’s professors and its seventh president, Confederate Gen. Josiah Gorgas.

When the time came to build his own house, Rambo went to the University of Alabama with a local architect and a landscape planner and took measurements, his son-in-law, Jimmy Drew, told the MDJ.

The house he built in 1966 and the 17 wooded acres that surround it are now on the market for the first time, at $4.3 million. Shelby Little, the city of Marietta’s planning and zoning manager, said it is among the largest undeveloped tracts left in the city.

“It was the country in 1966,” Beth Drew, Rambo’s daughter, said in a recent interview. The house sits at 731 Colston Road, in the Kings Mountain neighborhood. When it was first built, Colston Road ended at the family’s driveway, and for the first five years, they had the area all to themselves.

The five-bedroom house is almost 5,000 square feet, with four full bathrooms. It features a three-car garage, four indoor fireplaces, a swimming pool and a woodshop.

“It’s a big responsibility, it’s a big house,” Beth Drew said. Selling the house will allow her and her husband to move closer to their children in North Carolina.

Little, the zoning manager, said the property as zoned could fit up to 34 houses. Any more, and a developer would have to get permission from the City Council.

If that were to happen, council members would likely defer to the city’s long-term development plan. According to that plan, the area is fit for “low density residential,” a category that tops out at four units per acre, Little said. But developers who have come to her with proposals for the property before it hit the market were not interested in seeking a rezoning, she added.

When asked what she hopes will happen to the family house, Beth Drew said it would be ideal for a single, big family who wanted a lot of space or a group of friends.

“There are several different little enclaves around Marietta where friends have gotten together and bought acreage and have built houses so they can have their own little — you know, know their neighbors, have their friends as neighbors,” she said.

But she and her husband are OK with whatever happens to it, they were quick to note.

“It could stay as wood or it could be developed beautifully. Either way, that would make us happy,” she said.

The neighborhood is part of the heart of Old Marietta, said Hicks Malonson, one of two real estate agents (the other being Lindsey Ramsey) with Harry Norman Realtors who have listed the property. City movers and shakers, including Mayor Steve Tumlin, grew up nearby, Malonson noted.

The house may be surrounded by subdivisions, but with 17 acres of woodlands, it can still feel like a slice of old Marietta.

Just this year, a heard of deer gave birth to six foals on the property, Jimmy Drew said.

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(1) comment

Tom Hamm

Current Cobb County appraisal is $1,116,300

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