Terminus #atozchallenge

terminus

Greetings from Terminus, Georgia! That, believe it or not, was the original name of Atlanta. The Georgia State Assembly decided in 1836 they needed a railroad to get goods from the Port of Savannah to Chattanooga for further transport to the Midwest and established The Western and Atlantic Railroad for the task. They needed to establish a point where the train from Chattanooga would meet the train from Savannah, and chose a point east of the Chattahoochee River for the terminus. They drove a milepost into the ground, and soon a settlement developed around it. The settlement was initially called Terminus, then Thrasherville (after the owner of the general store) and Marthasville (after the governor’s daughter) before the chief engineer of the railroad suggested the name “Atlantica-Pacifica.” They settled on a shortened form (thank heaven), “Atlanta,” and the rest was history.

History was not one of my better subjects, though, so I invite you to read up on it on Wikipedia.

Seal of the City of Atlanta, Georgia (Public Domain)

Atlanta is home to the Braves (baseball), Falcons (football), and Hawks (basketball). We’ve tried hockey several times, with the IHL Knights and NHL Flames and Thrashers, all of which have either folded or relocated. It’s also the home to The Georgia Institue of Technology (better known as Georgia Tech), Georgia State University, Oglethorpe University, Emory University, and the Black colleges Clark Atlanta University, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College. It’s the home of So So Def Recordings, a major rap and hip-hop label, and a number of music acts, including the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Kriss Kross, and TLC. Joe South and Billy Joe Royal are from the nearby town of Marietta (coincidentally where we live), and Tony Joe White was living here when he wrote the Brook Benton classic, “A Rainy Night In Georgia.”

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, named for two former mayors, William B. Hartsfield (who was mayor when it was built) and Maynard Jackson (who owned many of the concessions by the time the airport was renamed for him) is the busiest airport in the nation, with almost 51 million passengers enplaning in 2016. Three Interstate highways run through the city, I-75, I-85, and I-20, and are all connected by a circular bypass, I-285. Additionally, US Highway 41 runs through Atlanta on its trip from Miami through Chicago and Milwaukee all the way up to Copper Harbor in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. On Highway 41 and Georgia Highway 120 in Marietta sits “The Big Chicken,” a KFC restaurant built to look like a chicken, complete with beak that opens and closes and an eye that rolls around. Much navigation in the Atlanta area is relative to the Big Chicken. In fact, when word got out that PepsiCo, which owned KFC at the time, planned on getting rid of the Big Chicken, people were up in arms, worried that they wouldn’t be able to find anything. The company relented and actually repaired the beak and the eye, which had stopped moving for some reason…

Thebigchicken

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

27 thoughts on “Terminus #atozchallenge”

    1. Well, Toronto does have the CN Tower, but something like the Big Chicken is a lot homier. Maybe Tim Horton’s could build a restaurant shaped like a big donut or something…

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  1. Hi John – so interesting to read the name changes … how funny – and some of them extraordinary .. Thrasherville, Marthasville – much better Atlanta .. but thanks for letting us know about Terminus! Cheers Hilary

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  2. Atlanta is a much nicer sounding name than Terminus. Terminus sounds like a disease. LOL about people not finding their way if you remove the chicken. People couldn’t find our house after we put the new siding on it! Happy Monday!

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    1. I’m sure they could find their way around, but there’d probably be people who would then refer to it as “where the Big Chicken used to be.”

      Terminal terminus… that’d be interesting…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Random thoughts –

    Braves used to be in Milwaukee – I’m sure Hank Aaron and other players enjoyed the warmer temperatures at their new home city.

    And none of those players became rambling wrecks or a heck of an enginee, despite proximity to Georgia Tech… ;>}

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    1. Right, Fulton County Stadium wasn’t far from Tech. How’d you know that?

      Aaron, Eddie Mathews and Phil Niekro were all on that inaugural 1966 team and all are in the Hall of Fame. Mathews is the only one to play in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta.

      Another guy on that team was Felipe Alou. The night the Braves played their last game at Fulton County, their opponent was the Montreal Expos, who were managed by, of all people, Felipe Alou. After the game the Braves had a ceremony where they invited back a lot of the old players. I was hoping they’d invite Alou to join them on the field, but he wasn’t there….

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  4. Hi John!

    The most I know about Atlanta is their massive airport, so this was fascinating! To think that you could stick a milepost in the ground and have a town grow up around it – wow!

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  5. I used to live near Green Bay WI and Hwy 41 was our main highway, I never realized it went all the way down to Atlanta. The Terminus angle gives a bit more meaning to that one Walking Dead storyline too, since they start out in Atlanta. I’m late keeping up but I’ll get through your very intersting AtoZ, promise! 🙂 Good luck down the final stretch!
    Jamie Lyn Weigt | Theme: Odds and Ends Dragons | Writing Dragons

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    1. Before the Interstates, the US Highways were the only way to travel. 41 is one of the original highways and went all the way from the UP to Florida (originally Tampa, then to Naples and Miami).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. John,

    Great history on how Atlanta got its name. The first time we drove through Atlanta it was during rush hour and let me say, that taught us a fast lesson. Ever since that time we avoid Atlanta at rush hour at all cost. The best time we found to pass through the city is in the wee hours of the morning. We rarely get snarled up in traffic. lol Atlanta is the first megacity that we visited back in the early 80s. There was a string of killings targetting young black men if I recall correctly and I was actually afraid to visit that DH convinced me it would be ok. Thanks for stopping by yesterday and have a good day!

    ~Curious as a Cathy
    A2Z iPad Art Sketch ‘T’ Turtle Couple

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    1. Going around Atlanta is much easier than going through it, especially during rush hour. I used to take I-285 around the city when I’d go to the airport. A friend of mine measured it, and it’s almost the same distance from my house, and a whole lot less aggravating.

      That was a guy named Wayne Williams who was killing the young Black men, and he’s been locked up for life, though now he’s saying he didn’t do it. There’s always the possibility he’s innocent, but considering the murders stopped after he was arrested, it’s not likely…

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