Monday, January 14, 2019

Oldest House in Atlanta

Oldest House in Atlanta

Marthasville was the previous name of Atlanta, Georgia. Marthasville was named after Governor Wilson Lumpkin's daughter, Martha; it was  officially incorporated on December 23, 1843. Prior to the name "Marthasville", it was called Terminus.

The name was later changed to Atlanta by act of the Georgia General Assembly which was approved December 26, 1845 and signed into law on  December 29, 1845. In the same act, the election precinct known as the Whitehall precinct (in the home of Charner Humphries) . But Archibald Holland had drawn all of Land Lot 14 in the 1826 Land Lottery. At that time, it was Henry County. Shortly afterwards, he removed his  family to the new land, specifically, to Capitol Avenue where his first son, William Edward Holland was born. There was no name for the town at that time. 

In 1836 the Western and Atlantic Railroad voted to provide a trade route to the mid western United States. The construction commenced after the Cherokees were removed. So a name was given,  Terminus until 1837 when it was renamed Marthasville in 1842 after Governor Lumpkin's daughter. In 1847, it was named Atlanta and the city charter was approved.  When he took office, a house which had been constructed about 1842 on the railroad property was removed to Trinity Avenue, on the site of today's Trinity Baptist Church. Afterwards, the Mayor sold the house to Edward W. Holland. I have searched high and low to discover who this Edward W. Holland was. The reason is the name of Archibald Holland's first son was William Edward Holland, born on Capitol Avenue. He appears to be William Edward Holland born 1806 in South Carolina, who relocated his tannery business to Gainesville by 1880.

Now, here is the crutch. Archibald Holland's home was apparently on the present-day site of the capitol, on Capitol Avenue. He cleared the forest and built his farm, but had difficulty with his cows miring down in the mud. Anyone who grew up in Atlanta remembers the days before they built "Underground Atlanta" where there were viaducts everywhere to compensate for the low land. The downtown area was built in a valley. Eventually streets, bridges, and homes were constructed over the old low lying town. Archibald's cows would have been pastured in the terrain around Washington Street.   In 1833, Archibald found a farm in Paulding County and eventually left his Atlanta farm.  Less than 10 years later, someone had built a house on his old lottery farm  near the railroad station. But by the 1847 charter for Atlanta, this house was removed to Trinity Avenue, on the site of the Archibald Holland farm. Apparently, Atlanta was developing from the high ground of Archibald's old farm. It is believed that the house stood near the site of the State State Capitol. The above house was still standing in 1903, according to the Atlanta Journal.

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