19 things you didn’t know about Atlanta’s past

Atlanta was founded on sprawl—and hospitality

The first white settlements in the area did not emanate from a distinct town center. In the 1830s the community was comprised of scattered homesteads established by ferrymen at the best points to cross the Chattahoochee. Westward-moving pioneers, adventurers, and traders tended to veer south of the Appalachians, and these ferrymen helped them across the river. Other entrepreneurs built up watering holes and inns along the stagecoach routes.