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Early Atlanta RR history

w. Aardsma
 

a recent article in another rr historical society raised some questions about the origin of Atlanta and her railroads.
i'm trying to get confirmation of this but have not been able to find the answers on the web or in the books that i have
when i lived in metro Atlanta i heard that a certain RR had been building towards a community but was denied admission, the route was deflected and the track laying stopped. what i;m trying to get confirmation for is:
  • the name of the community that refused them admission was Decatur, GA. 
  • the track laying stopped at a surveyor's reference point called "Lone Pine."
  • the railroad involved was the Georgia R.R.
there seem to be some diverse opinions about the details on the web.

A final question: did Atlanta start at Lone Pine or did the r.r. have to lay more track to reach Milepost 0 (what became Atlanta)?

any help on this is greatly appreciated

Walt A.

Robert Hanson
 

I've heard and read the story about Decatur, also.  I believe it is in Franklin Garrett's Atlanta and Environs.  The railroad was, indeed, the Georgia Railroad.

I've not heard the story of a surveyor's reference to "Lone Pine."

The original surveyor's stake was driven in September of 1837 and the site of the future city of Atlanta was generally referred to by the construction gangs as "the terminus" - lower case T, as this was a reference to a location, not a town.  Again, Franklin Garrett mentions that the name "terminus" was not applied to any municipality, only a generic reference to a location.

The original name of Atlanta was Marthasville, named for Martha Lumpkin, daughter of Georgia governor Wilson Lumpkin.  (Lumpkin County is named for this man.)

When the Georgia Railroad was ready to inaugurate service to Marthasville in September of 1845, Superintendent Richard Peters felt that the name "Marthasville" sounded to small for an important railroad junction and wrote to John Edgar Thomson, Chief Engineer and General Superintendent for advice.  Thomson wrote back, suggesting the name "Atlanta" as the name of the Georgia Railroad station serving Marthasville. 

Note - They were naming the Georgia Railroad station, not the city.  After some indignation, the city followed suit and was renamed Atlanta the following year.

Probably more than you ever wanted to know.

Bob Hanson
Loganville, GA


From: w. Aardsma <wj2a2mo@...>
To: SoutheasternRailroadHistory <SoutheasternRailroadHistory@groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Mar 15, 2018 1:30 pm
Subject: [SoutheasternRailroadHistory] Early Atlanta RR history

a recent article in another rr historical society raised some questions about the origin of Atlanta and her railroads.
i'm trying to get confirmation of this but have not been able to find the answers on the web or in the books that i have
when i lived in metro Atlanta i heard that a certain RR had been building towards a community but was denied admission, the route was deflected and the track laying stopped. what i;m trying to get confirmation for is:
  • the name of the community that refused them admission was Decatur, GA. 
  • the track laying stopped at a surveyor's reference point called "Lone Pine."
  • the railroad involved was the Georgia R.R.
there seem to be some diverse opinions about the details on the web.

A final question: did Atlanta start at Lone Pine or did the r.r. have to lay more track to reach Milepost 0 (what became Atlanta)?

any help on this is greatly appreciated

Walt A.

w. Aardsma
 

Many thanks, Bob. No overkill, quite informative. did not know that the "Martha" referred to the governor's daughter.

i had heard that "Atlanta" is derived from "Atlantic."