In 1842, the Austin-Johnson House was erected on what is now Johnson Ferry Road. It is the oldest house in Sandy Springs. In 1851, Wilson Spruill donated five acres (two hectares) of land for the founding of the Sandy Springs United Methodist Church, near the natural spring for which the city is named. In 1905, the Hammond School was built at Johnson Ferry Road and Mt. Vernon Highway, across the street from the church.
In 1950, the state legislature blocked Atlanta from annexing the community, which remained rural until the Interstate Highway System was authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. In 1959, after a fire at Hammond Elementary School, Atlanta Mayor William Hartsfield urged residents to support annexation so that the area would have better firefighting protection. Community opposition killed the proposal. In the early 1960s, Georgia 400 and Interstate 285 were constructed, connecting Sandy Springs to metro Atlanta and initiating a housing boom that brought new residents and major land development. In 1966, annexation by Atlanta was defeated in a referendum, with two-thirds voting against.
Debate over incorporation began in the 1970s when the city of Atlanta attempted to use a state law to force annexation of Sandy Springs. The attempt failed when the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled that the law was unconstitutional. In response, the Committee for Sandy Springs was formed in 1975. In every legislative session, state legislators representing the area introduced a bill in the Georgia General Assembly to authorize a referendum on incorporation. Legislators representing Atlanta and southwestern Fulton County, who feared tax revenue that would be lost from incorporation, blocked the bills using the procedural requirement that all local legislation be approved first by a delegation of representatives from the affected area. In 1989, a push was made for Sandy Springs to join neighboring Chattahoochee Plantation in Cobb County. This move was blocked by Speaker of the House Tom Murphy.
When the Republican Party gained a majority in both houses of the General Assembly in 2005, the procedural rules previously used to prevent a vote by the full chamber were changed so that the bill was handled as a state bill and not as a local bill. The assembly also repealed the requirement that new cities must be at least three miles (4.8 km) from existing cities, because the new city limits border both Roswell and Atlanta. The bill allowing for a referendum on incorporation was introduced and passed as HB 37. The referendum initiative was approved by the Assembly and signed by Governor Sonny Perdue.
The referendum was held on June 21, 2005, and residents voted 94% to 6% in favor of incorporation. Many residents expressed displeasure with county services, claiming, based upon financial information provided by the county, that the county was redistributing revenues to fund services in less financially-stable areas of the county, ignoring local opposition to rezoning, and allowing excessive development. Many residents of unincorporated and less-developed south Fulton County strongly opposed incorporation, fearing the loss of tax revenues which fund county services. County residents outside Sandy Springs were not allowed to vote on the matter. Efforts such as requesting the U.S. Justice Department to reject the plan were unsuccessful.
A mayor and six city council members were elected in early November 2005, with Eva Galambos, who had initiated and led the charge for incorporation, elected mayor by a wide margin. Formal incorporation occurred on December 1, making Sandy Springs the third-largest city ever to incorporate in the U.S. The city's police force and fire department began service in 2006. In 2010, the city became the first jurisdiction in Georgia to successfully "bail out" from the preclearance requirements of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. 
The boundaries of Sandy Springs are Atlanta to the south, Cobb County (at the Chattahoochee River) to the west and north, Roswell (also at the river) to the north, and Dunwoody and Brookhaven, at the DeKalb County line, to the east. A small panhandle in the northeast extends between the Chattahoochee River to the north and Dunwoody to the south, ending in a very small border with Peachtree Corners in Gwinnett County.
Northside Tower, a landmark for downtown Sandy Springs at Roswell Road and Sandy Springs PlaceNeighborhoods
Downtown: Although it does not resemble a traditional downtown, the area around bounded by Abernathy Road to the north, I-285 to the south, and Sandy Springs Circle to the west, and Hildebrand Drive to the east is defined by the city and business groups as "Downtown Sandy Springs." Northside Tower, located at Roswell Road and Sandy Springs Place, has served as an unofficial landmark for the center of the district since its completion in 1971. Downtown is also the site of the actual sandy springs that spurred the name of the city. The city owns the former site of the Target store on Johnson Ferry Road at Sandy Springs Circle, with long-term plans of redeveloping the site into a mixed-use municipal complex, complete with a city hall. Also, the city is seeking to add more roads to the district so it resembles a more traditional street grid pattern.
Riverside: Riverside is the western district of the city, bordering the Chattahoochee River and forming the western border with Cobb County. It is a residential area marked by winding, hilly roads. The main roads are Heards Ferry Road and Riverside Drive, and it is located off the Riverside Drive exit of I-285.
Perimeter Center: Perimeter Center is a commercial edge city and business district surrounding Perimeter Mall. Although about 40% of Perimeter Center, including the mall, is located in Dunwoody, the western 60%, including most of the area's office towers, are located in Sandy Springs. Pill Hill is located in the Sandy Springs section of Perimeter Center, and is the largest medical center in Georgia. It includes Northside Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital, and Children's Health Care of Atlanta. Landmarks include Hammond Park and the Sandy Springs and Medical Center MARTA stations.
Dunwoody Panhandle: The Dunwoody Panhandle is a residential area bounded by the Dunwoody city limit to the south, the Chattahoochee River to the north, Georgia 400 to the west, and the Peachtree Corners city limit to the east. The district's name is derived from the fact that it is wedged between the river and Dunwoody, forming a geographic panhandle. Major roads include Dunwoody Club Drive and Spalding Drive, and Interstate access is through the Northridge Road exit of Georgia 400. The Dunwoody Pandhandle is a controversial area for the city, as it had been considered Dunwoody for many years. Tension mounted when Dunwoody street sign toppers were removed and replaced with Sandy Springs street sign toppers, and a street sign topper compromise proposed by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association was rejected by the Sandy Springs city council. The area also resisted being within the city limits, with residents stating that they considered themselves Dunwoody. Sandy Springs responded with a claim that the area would be marketed as Dunwoody in Sandy Springs, much like Buckhead in Atlanta, but this has yet to be seen. Many residents still refer to their address as Dunwoody.
North Springs: North Springs is the large northernmost area of the city, and is generally defined as the area west of Georgia 400, east of Brandon Mill Road and the Chattahoochee River, and north of Abernathy Road. The North Springs MARTA station, the terminus of the MARTA North-South line, serves the district.
Sandy Springs ITP: A small portion of Sandy Springs extends inside the Perimeter to the Atlanta city limit. Most of this area is extremely affluent and centers around scenic, mansion-filled single-lane roads such as Northside Drive, Mt. Paran Road, and Powers Ferry Road. 
(Note: the 2000 census numbers are for Sandy Springs prior to incorporation, but cover the same area.)
According to the 2010 US Census in 2010 the population of Sandy Springs was 93,853. There were 42,334 households. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 65.0% white, 20.0% black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 5.0% Asian, 6.9% from some other race and 2.7% from two or more races. 14.2% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
In the official census of 2000, when there were 85,781 people, 39,288 households, and 19,683 families residing in the CDP, the population density was 2,274.1 people per square mile (878.1/km²). There were 42,794 housing units at an average density of 1,134.5 per square mile (438.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 77.55% White, 12.04% African American, 0.18% Native American, 3.29% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 4.94% from other races, and 1.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.93% of the population. According to a 2006 report by the Atlanta Jewish Federation, 15,300 Jews reside in Sandy Springs and the adjacent city of Dunwoody.
There were 48,288 households, out of which 21.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.1% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.9% were non-families. 35.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.87.
In the CDP the age distribution of the population shows 17.8% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 40.3% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 9.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.0 males.
According to a 2008 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $106,240, and the median income for a family was $129,810. The average income for a household was $116,406 and the average income for a family was $169,815. Males had a median income of $60,053 versus $50,030 for females. The per capita income for the city was $70,790. About 3.1% of families and 7.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.9% of those under age 18 and 1.9% of those age 65 or over. 
Sandy Springs is home to over 8,000 business and the headquarters of 3 Fortune 500 companies. United Parcel Service, Newell Rubbermaid, and First Data are all headquartered in Sandy Springs. Global Payments, Inc., Mirant Corp., Spectrum Brands, and Wendy's/Arby's Group, which are Fortune 1000 companies, are also based in the city. The city is also home to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, InterContinental Hotels Group, IBM Internet Security Systems, Northside Hospital, Porsche Cars North America and Saint Joseph's Hospital.
The city's largest business district is the Roswell Road corridor and Perimeter Center (although Perimeter Mall itself lies in adjacent DeKalb County). Perimeter Center, which is the biggest edge city in the Atlanta area, includes many high-rise buildings, including the 570-foot (170 m) Concourse Towers, which are often identified locally as the "king and queen" towers because of their distinctive architecture. Just south of this business district, across I-285, is a major medical center, anchored by Northside Hospital, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and Saint Joseph's Hospital.
AFC Enterprises (owner of Popeye's Chicken and Cinnabon) has its headquarters in Sandy Springs. Church's Chicken has its headquarters in Sandy Springs. First Data has its headquarters in Sandy Springs. Wendy's/Arby's Group, Inc. and its subsidiary Arby's have their headquarters in Sandy Springs. Cox Enterprises and subsidiary Cox Radio are headquartered in Sandy Springs.
According to the City's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|3||United Parcel Service||1,545|
|8||Affiliated Computer Services||495|
Arts & culture
The fifth annual Sandy Springs Cycling Challenge, a professional bike race, will take place on May 6, 2012 and is the finalee to the US Crits Speed Week that starts in Athens, Georgia. This year it will include a wine and food classic. Proceeds from this event go to support the Sandy Springs Police and Fire departments. Returning as the main sponsor is Global Imports.
The Annual Chattahoochee River Summer Splash begins at Morgan Falls to Powers Island Sandy Springs, Georgia on July 28, 2012 Bring your kayak or raft and beat the heat with a six-mile float along the Chattahoochee River during the annual Summer Splash in July. After completing the float, enjoy an afternoon of live music, food and fun for the entire family during festivities at Powers Island. Guests can bring their own kayak, canoe or raft, or rent one from one of our local outfitters. Pre Register and get more info by calling CRNRA at (678) 538-1200 or their Website:www.nps.gov/chat
The Sandy Springs Festival is an annual pet-friendly, celebration to help raise proceeds to maintain and protect the remaining green space of Sandy Springs. They have the Kiwanis Pet Parade and Award Ceremony, a two-hour blast-from-the-past 80's music fest, singing groups and marching bands. It will be on September 25 and 26. 
Points of interest
The Heritage Sandy Springs Museum that opened on March 20, 2010. It is dedicated to the history of the Sandy Springs community and is located in the repurposed Williams-Payne house at Heritage Green. Two notable exhibits are "Sandy Springs: Land and People" which tells the changing story of Sandy Springs as the home of Native Americans, rural farmers, and modern suburbanites and "A Land Nearby" which features a collection of 20 photographs of Georgia's Barrier Island taken by Dr. Curt Hames Jr. Sandy Springs also has a museum devoted to Anne Frank.
Parks & recreation
Bull Sluice Lake, located in Morgan Falls Overlook Park
Sandy Springs is home to twelve parks and green space areas, three of which provide recreational facilities.
Hammond Park - Multipurpose building, gym, game room, AstroTurf soccer field, lighted tennis courts, basketball courts, picnic pavilions, playground, restrooms
Morgan Falls Overlook - Picnic pavilions, children's playground, boat dock/fishing pier, hiking trail, fire pit, porch swings, scenic views, restrooms
Morgan Falls Athletic Complex - Baseball fields, T-ball fields, football fields, picnic pavilions, playgrounds, concessions stand, restrooms
Sandy Springs Tennis Center - Clubhouse, pro shop, restrooms, locker rooms, lighted tennis courts, jogging trail
Abernathy Park - Tennis courts, playground, picnic tables, arts center
Allen - Playground, multipurpose court, walking trail, basketball court
John Ripley Forbes Big Trees Forest Nature - trails, tree, plant and wildlife sanctuary
Ridgeview - Nature trails, picnic pavilion, playground