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In Their Own Words

December 18, 1894

Late 19th Century Summer Resort in Atlanta

Until the 1970s, Atlanta’s Lakewood Park Fairgrounds hosted the annual Southeastern Fair. Today, it is principally known for concerts by popular music entertainers. But it originally began with a different purpose, as noted in this article published in the Dec. 18, 1894 Atlanta Constitution:

“Atlanta is to have a summer resort next season that will meet the wants of the pleasure loving people of the city.

“The old waterworks property and lake south of the city has been leased for the purpose, and to its natural advantages as a delightful place will be added several thousand dollars worth of modern means of improvement and entertainment.

“The property has been secured for a number of years by the Hale Investment Company and will at once be transformed into a pleasure resort which will be the delight of Atlantans… .

“The plan of improvement consists of the building of an immense bathhouse, music stand, an open air theater, an aquarium, and a large and elegant pavilion. In addition to that several dozen rowboats and a number of elegant electric launches will be placed on the lake… .

“Electrical displays will be arranged around the lake and the grounds will be made suitable for the holding of picnics, by fitting them up with water coolers, swings, croquet sets and other things for the amusement of the people.

“The new electric railroad to the grounds will be known as the Atlanta electric railway and will run from a central point of the city… .”

Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1966 reprint of 1954 original volume), Vol. II, p. 299.