A Look Back
By Ann Boutwell
Oct. 5, 1992: The grand opening of Atlanta’s $43 million Fernbank Museum of Natural History at 767 Clifton Road was held. The 160,000 square-foot-building emerged out of a 65- acre tract called Fernbank Forest, a relatively undisturbed old-growth forest. Conservation-minded environmentalist conceived the vision to preserve the forest as a school in the woods. Now on view until March is De Soto’s Footsteps: New Archaeological Evidence from Georgia. www.fernbankmuseum.org.
Oct. 8, 1993: The former West Hunter Branch of the Atlanta Library System at 1116 Martin Luther King Dr., was renamed the Washington Park Annie Lou Watters McPheeters Branch Library. McPheeters was the first professionally trained librarian hired by the Atlanta Public Library System. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Library Science from the Hampton Institute in 1933, and a Master of Science in Library Science from Columbia University in 1956. As an employee of the Atlanta Public Library system from 1934 to1966, she served as the head of the Auburn Avenue Branch, and then later as the head of the West Hunter Branch of the library. After retiring, McPheeters worked as the first African American reference librarian at Georgia State University from 1966 until 1975. She died in 1994 at age 86
Oct. 10, 1911: On a dreary, wet Tuesday, 50,000 gathered at Piedmont Park’s 14th Street entrance to dedicate sculptor Allen G. Newman’s “Peace Monument.” The signal gun boomed; the music ceased. Eight young girls, all relatives of Atlanta’s Old Gate City Guard tugged gently at the cord to unveil the monument, which remains in the park to this day. The public is invited on Saturday, Oct 2, 2 p.m. to the annual rededication of the Peace Monument at the Piedmont Park’s 14th Street entrance.
Oct. 15, 1885: Morris Brown students entered their first class at the new college building located in Atlanta’s Fourth Ward on the corner of Boulevard and Houston Street. (Now, John Wesley Dobbs Avenue) The cornerstone was laid in October 1884. By September 1932, Morris Brown occupied the campus and buildings formerly used by the undergraduate department of the Atlanta University, located in the Vine City neighborhood.
Oct. 15, 1910: Atlanta’s Boy Scouts of America made its first one-day practice march from Fort McPherson to Cascade Springs – a distance of about six miles. Scoutmaster Robert Cherry of Fort McPherson’s Company C, Seventeenth Infantry had organized the first two camps of young scouts a few weeks earlier in the Campbell Road area and at Oakland City. The seven-hour outing also gave the boys their first lesson in outdoor cooking.
Oct. 20, 2005: Atlantic Station opened its new retail and entertainment center, culminating the final phase of the nine-year development of the new live, work, play community. The site was originally the Atlanta Steel Hoop Company, which had opened in 1901.
Oct. 28, 1895: Famous markswoman Phoebe Ann Mosey, better known as Annie Oakley, performed at the1895 Cotton States and International Exhibition held in Piedmont Park. In two performances, Oakley entertained more than 7,000 under the great tent of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. With her back to the target of glass balls, she fascinated the crowds by resting a gun on her head and easily shooting every ball thrown into the air.
Oct. 31, 1935: The Southern Dairies Ice Cream plant at Glen Iris Drive and North Avenue held an open house for the public to visit its new Atlanta operation. The plant produced bulk and packaged ice cream. Two novelty items are the Popsicle, a favorite treat with small children, and the Chockow, chocolate coated on a stick. In 2002, the Southern Dairies Building earned the Georgia Trust Award for Excellence in Rehabilitation. It’s now an office complex and home to 4th & Swift restaurant.