A LooK Back
By Ann Boutwell
Nov. 6 1909: Atlanta’s first automobile show opened in the Auditorium-Armory on Courtland Street. The week-long show attracted 61 automobile manufacturers, and city boosters were sure the event would make Atlanta “The Automobile Center of the South.” Predictions after the show were that 1910 would be a record-breaking year for the brief, but marvelous history of the motor car industry in the south.
Nov. 9, 1890: Georgia’s 54th Gov. William Jonathan Northen (1835-1913) was the first to be inaugurated in Atlanta’s new capitol building on Washington Street. He served two terms 1890 to 1894. His first lady was Martha Neel Northen. Northen contributed to the history of Georgia compiling a seven-volume collection of biographical essays published between 1907 and 1912 as Men of Mark in Georgia. The Northen’s family home still stands in Midtown at 766 Piedmont Ave. and their burial site is in Oakland Cemetery.
Nov. 13, 1854: The elegantly furnished four-story Trout House (pictured) opened on the northeast corner of Decatur and Pryor streets. Built by Jeremiah F. Trout, it was the largest hotel in Atlanta. From the east windows, guest viewed Stone Mountain, just 16 miles away. The hotel was destroyed by the Union Army during the Civil War in November 1864.
Nov. 20, 1970: The Tulle Smith House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1840 by Robert Hiram Smith, a cotton planter, it originally stood on 800 acres in DeKalb County, now known as Executive Park on North Druid Hills Road. In 1969, banker Mills B. Lane, Jr. of Atlanta acquired the site and had the Tullie Smith House moved to the grounds of the Atlanta Historical Society in Buckhead/ It officially opened to the public on April 10, 1972. www.atlantahistorycenter.com
Nov. 21, 2005: “Baton Bob” Jamerson became an official Atlanta icon when he appeared in the first of two TV ads promoting the Georgia Aquarium opening. However, “Baton Bob” sightings were first reported nine months earlier in March when he became a familiar sight in Midtown prancing along Peachtree Street. Always twirling a baton, “Baton Bob” donned a variety of eye-popping costumes, which included outfits depicting a majorette, bride, Little Red Riding Hood, Spiderman, and Indian Chief. Jamerson calls his street character the “Ambassador of Mirth.”
Nov. 28, 1895: Crowds trooped to Piedmont Park for Thanksgiving dinner at Atlanta’s Cotton States and International Exposition. Honors and tributes that Thursday went to Samuel Martin Inman, the political and financial force behind the success of the city’s 1895 event. The renowned John Philip Sousa conducted his world famous band in three concerts, while the University of Georgia faced Auburn in a football game (Auburn won, 16-6) and the day was capped off by a big fireworks display.
Nov. 29, 1991: Atlanta’s first Cirque de Soleil event, Nouvelle Experience, opened for the first of 28 performances. The performing artists captivated the city with gravity-defying tricks, redefining the meaning of a circus without animals. The Canadian troupe pitched its famous blue and yellow Grand Chapiteau in Midtown on vacant land at Spring and Eighth streets, once home to the Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Cirque returns to Atlanta on Nov 4, for OVO at Atlantic Station. Tickets are now available at 1-800-450-1480 or online at www.cirquedusoleil.com/ovo.