Overview / History of Atlanta GA

The city of Atlanta, GA was founded in the year 1837. At first, it was named Marthasville to honor the governor’s daughter. It was also nicknamed Terminus during that period as a result of it being located at the end of the Western & Atlantic railroad line before being changed to Atlanta.

As of today, the city is one of the fastest growing in America and serves as a major transportation hub. It is home to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport which happens to be the busiest airport in handling daily passenger flights. Apart from transportation, the city is also a hub of banking and commerce transactions.

The following are some of the historical markers that helped shape the city:


The present Atlanta is located on what is considered to be on the frontier between the Cherokee and Creek Indians. However, the first non-native settlers arrived at Fort Peachtree in the year 1813. This fort no longer exists, but a replica was eventually built by the city.

In the year 1837, the Georgia Railroad was being built towards the west while the Western & Atlantic Railroad was built eastward. The eventual meeting place of these two rails was given a marker by a Western & Atlantic employee. The meeting point eventually became known as a zero-mile marker.

Growth and Development

Due to the advent of railroads, to the town in December 1842, the city began to grow and this continued till eventually a town center was built. In 1848, the city held its first election between the Free & Rowdy Party and the Moral Party. The Free & Rowdy Party won the vote.

After the elections, the telegraph arrived at the city, and more railroads were built to reach Atlanta in subsequent years. The year 1854 saw the creation of the Georgia legislature in Fulton County and Atlanta and its suburbs were included.

Civil War

The American Civil War brought about a target in the city. Due to its importance as a distribution hub, it became the target of Union campaigns in 1864, William Sherman and his Union troops led a charge on the city, and it was set on fire with some of the assets destroyed. Hospitals, churches, and buildings were also affected.

Post- Civil War

Before the outbreak of the war, Atlanta had a population around 8000. After the war, the city rebuilt itself, and the population multiplied. More manufacturing companies were built in the town, and it still retained its role as a
transportation hub in the country.

In 1886, the manufacturing company Coca-Cola was launched in the city, and it eventually spread its wings outwards to become a major world power in consumer beverages. The Freedmen’s Bureau was also established after the war and was in operation until 1870. The efforts of the Bureau led to the establishment of Clark College and Atlanta University.

The oldest Atlanta Hospital in operation St. Joseph’s Hospital was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in the year 1880.

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