Entries by Lance Russell

He left in a huff


A chief engineer identifies the terminus point, a stake is driven into the ground and, around that marker, the City of Atlanta grows. It’s a pretty neat story…except that isn’t exactly how it happened. Nothing in this world – or that world – is safe from political intrigue, as you see in this week’s Stories […]

Connected to the past


Near the core of the Georgia State campus sits a Victorian structure that seems a bit out of place. Amid the multi-story buildings that line the street, it stands out in its uniqueness. With a gabled roof and turreted facade, what is today the home of the University’s Baptist Student Union resembles none of the other buildings in the neighborhood.

A dubious first


Being a lawman in Atlanta during the Civil War was challenging enough. It was especially hard for Tom Shivers when he came face to face with the man who wanted his job. It’s a story with an ironic ending that culminates with a dubious first on this week’s Stories of Atlanta.

Not everyone shared his enthusiasm


James Litchfield Beavers is not a name that most Atlantans today are familiar with but back in his day James Beavers was “The Man”…literally. For 26 years, James Beavers was a member of Atlanta’s police force and from1911 to 1915 he was Atlanta’s “Top Cop,” the Chief of Police. In his almost three decades of […]

Moral Moviemaking


In September of 1895 at Atlanta’s Cotton States and International Exposition, Charles Jenkins demonstrated to the world what he called a Phantoscope, an early version of a movie projector. From that moment on, the world would never be the same. The invention of the movie projector led to the emergence of filmmaking as an art […]

The first, first born


They came seeking a new life in a new town. As a newlywed couple, Sarah and Willis Carlisle left a comfortable home in Marietta and moved to Terminus to make their fortune. Little did they know that just by doing what every newlywed couple does, they would make history. It’s the story of a first […]

His Honor the Urban Planner


Reuben Cone was a justice in DeKalb County when Decatur consisted of about 12 log cabins. Which means that Judge Reuben Cone was around when they laid the 1st railroad tracks that would create the City of Atlanta. He was also smart enough to know a good thing when he saw it, as you’ll see on this week’s Stories of Atlanta.

Influenced By the Best


Some folks just seem to have a knack for what they do. They find their footing at a young age, start moving forward and never look back. It’s hard to say where that type of motivation comes from. Perhaps it has something to do with the company we keep along the way. It’s the story […]

The Settlers


They walked into the woods and made lives for themselves. That’s a concept 21st-century Atlantans understandably might have trouble wrapping their heads around. But for the 19th century settlers whose names would become a part of our city’s history, it was business as usual. We meet the neighbors on this week’s Stories of Atlanta.

The job wasn't what he thought


By the end of the 1870’s, Atlanta’s population had grown to over 37,000 and in 1881 the Atlanta Constitution reported that Atlanta was in the midst of the greatest boom she had ever seen. It was into this boomtown environment that a young, first year lawyer from the University of Virginia moved. He set up […]

Familiar Notes


They became the most recognized set of musical notes in the nation and they originated right here in Atlanta, although not in the order Atlantans heard them. And, apparently, it was such a good idea that more than one radio station wants the credit. You’ll have to decide for yourself who did what and when […]

A boost for resurgence


When Sherman’s army departed Atlanta in November of 1864 the city treasury was left with a grand total of $1.64, and, apparently, that was all in confederate money. To say the least, not much of a nest egg with which to begin rebuilding a city. But that would be just one of many obstacles that […]

An eternal supply


Pay a visit to pretty much any cemetery in the world and you will notice that, in addition to the traditional gift of flowers, people leave all kinds of items behind after their visit. Stones and coins are a favored way to show that the departed has not been forgotten, as are pictures and family […]