Douglasville Historic Commercial District
Douglasville’s Historic Commercial District Founding Father’s walking tour presents information that illustrates the beginning stages of Douglasville’s economic and industrial development. Douglas County was created from Campbell and Carroll counties on Oct. 17, 1870. Located at a natural rise in the topography, Douglasville was originally known as Skint Chestnut, a name derived from a large tree used by Indians as a landmark, which was stripped of its bark so as to be more conspicuous. The Georgia General Assembly established the Town of Douglasville on February 25, 1875. An election was held on the first Saturday in March 1875, and a Mayor, treasurer, records, and marshal were chosen.
Douglasville was a “New South” postbellum railroad town that developed a dominant commercial district complemented by a cotton and mill industry. The espousal of Henry Grady’s New South Creed by a majority of Douglasville’s businessmen, professionals, and politicians transformed the little farming village of Douglasville into a thriving town.
Joseph S. James, local lawyer, and Douglasville’s first Mayor, as well as, other local boosters worked hard to establish the railroad, banks, and commercial district, as well as capture northern investment capital to build industry. This tour will showcase the historical architecture of the buildings in Douglasville’s Historic Commercial District, as well as, present a snapshot of how the Founding Father’s vision of industry and enterprise became a reality in Douglasville.