Early 1900s

After the Civil War, East Atlanta recovered quickly becoming a developing unincorporated town – a suburb of Atlanta. Moreland Avenue was little more than a dirt path along the county line, while Flat shoals and Glenwood Avenues were the major highways that brought the farmers and their goods to town. The Marbut and Minor Mercantile Store was established at the crossroads of these two thoroughfares to effectively capture this trade before it reached downtown Atlanta.

 

The Metropolitan Streetcar Company was founded by Asa Candler, Joel Hurt, Frederic Patterson, and Aaron Haas. These men became developers of the McPherson Park subdivision to provide ridership for their new electric streetcar line as well as housing for the clerks in the new stores that were springing up in the area. In 1905, William Zuber, a lumber and railroad baron, built a large white columned frame mansion as a wedding present for his new bride on acreage that fronted Flat Shoals Avenue. The house is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

By 1909, East Atlanta had been annexed as a neighborhood of the City of Atlanta. The East Atlanta Banking Company entered the East Atlanta community in 1911, moving into its new building at Flat Shoals and Glenwood – shaped like an old fashioned “flat iron”. A post office, a newspaper, a silent movie theatre and a carriage dealership were also added to the commercial district. The Baptists and the Methodists both established congregations in the area that immediately began to grow.

The land to the south of Glenwood Avenue was owned by Governor Joseph Emerson Brown. With his cooperation, a grid of streets was laid out around a 13-acre public green space, a model for “urban utopian living” that was being touted at the time. After 1915, in a series of votes, the residents chose to be annexed into the city limits of Atlanta in order to gain access to fire protection and public education. A side benefit was water and sewer service, which enables the residents to enjoy indoor plumbing.

Nicolia Gruendler