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Friday, May 21, 2010

My Ancestor Owned all of Downtown Atlanta

In 1826 my ancestor, Archibald Holland owned all of the land in the 14th district, and here is the plat to prove it.  This is Atlanta. How did he get it? Why, he drew it in the land lottery.  The house sat on Capitol Avenue on the present-day site of the Georgia State Capitol building.  Archibald's first son was born there. Of course in 1826 Atlanta was not yet a town and did not get a name until later  (Terminus). So, what happened? Why did he leave after 8 years of hard work establishing a farm? Archibald was twenty-six years of age and raising a family.  His cows continually got bogged down in the mud. Atlanta used to be one level lower than it is today.  In Underground Atlanta you can see the service entrance to old buildings.

During the 1940s when I was growing up, many old buildings still stood on Whitehall and Washington Streets, although viaducts were being constructed to funnel the traffic over this low ground.  Archibald received a letter dated 1833 from a friend who had found some good farm land in Paulding County which had recently opened up to the white man. The Cherokees were in the process of leaving for Oklahoma by order of the Federal Government. 

About 1834, Archibald bundled up his family and removed to Paulding County. But not before taking a seedling from a massive oak tree.  In those days Capitol Avenue was filled with oaks, and Archibald wanted to plant one of them on his new farm.  This is a picture of the tree today. The farm is located on High Shoals Road near Dallas.  The Holland Ancestry has been traced by Jeannette Holland Austin back to the year 1000 and is available to members of Georgia Pioneers

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