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The town of Oakhurst (incorporated in 1910) originally developed as a streetcar suburb of Atlanta, following the North Decatur trolley line, which was constructed in 1892.

The invention of the automobile and its availability to middle classes changed the fabric of American life.

No longer needing to follow the grid of a railroad or trolley line, roads in these new suburbs tended to follow the natural topography, with winding, hilly streets.

In the years between 19, evidence of the popularity of the garden suburb in Decatur can be seen in the neighborhoods of Lenox Place, Greenwood-Pattillo-Howard, West Clairemont, Oakhurst, and Adair Park.

Migrating from other parts of Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia, they settled mainly on medium-to-small farms, and the area in what is now De Kalb County was rural and sparsely populated.

In 1822, the Georgia General Assembly designated a site for a new courthouse in the newly-established De Kalb County on the site of the current Old Courthouse on the Square.

Many fine residences were built on Sycamore Street, Hillyer Place, Sycamore Place, Barry Street, Pate Street and North Candler Street, a few of which remain today.

The area just south of the railroad line, known as “Little Decatur,” did not see extensive residential development until the 1880s, though early influential citizens had farms and large homesteads on the land along what is now South Mc Donough Street before that time.

The arrival of the railroads in the 1830s and 1840s had little impact on Decatur, other than offering the convenience of moving goods and passengers.

In 1841, the first trolley line was established between Decatur and Atlanta, and other local routes were formed.

From that time until the early 1900s and the beginning of the Automobile Age, residential development occurred along and near these trolley lines.

Because of the ease and freedom of movement offered by the automobile, citizens could live wherever they chose, no longer tethered to city centers for jobs, schools, goods and services, and the idea of living in a “garden suburb” became a reality for many.

Many garden suburbs were developed in Decatur between 19.

Other examples of these newer garden suburbs developed during this time include Great Lakes, Glennwood Estates, and College Heights.

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