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This Day in Georgia History

August 17, 1842

First Atlanta Baby

In 1837, surveyors and engineers had selected a site in the woods in DeKalb County for the southern terminus of a new railroad that would stretch northward to Chattanooga on the Tennessee River. In the years that followed, a small settlement grew up around this site. Eventually, the community would become known as Atlanta - but initially it was known as Terminus and then as Marthasville. In June 1842, Willis and Sarah Carlisle moved to the small railroad town from Marietta. Sarah was expecting, and when it came time for the birth, they traveled to her parents’ home in Marietta (as there were no doctors in Terminus). On Aug. 17, 1842, a daughter - Julia - was born. Three weeks later, the Carlisles returned home to Terminus. Though Julia was not actually born in the future site of Atlanta, she can claim to be its first baby.