The 100+ Year Old Decatur Skyline

This is hands down one of the greatest historical photos of Decatur we’ve ever received.

Agnes Scott College’s  Library Administrative Coordinator and Archives Manager Marianne Bradley, sends in this aerial photograph taken from Agnes Scott’s Main Tower in 1908.  Clearly visible is the old courthouse (with cupola, which would burn down eight years later) near the left edge of the photo and Decatur Presbyterian Church just below the horizon a bit right of center.

Click the photo to enlarge!  What else do you recognize?  What don’t you see?

21 thoughts on “The 100+ Year Old Decatur Skyline”


  1. I think the church to the right of center is the Methodist. The old Decatur Presbyterian Church is left of center, about halfway between the old courthouse and the High House (almost exactly center). The old Scott-Cooper house (home of George Washington Scott, founder of Agnes Scott, then of his daughter Annie Scott Cooper and husband Thomas), on the site that is now the recreation center, can barely be seen through the trees between the Presbyterian Church and the High House.

    1. The Sanborn Fire map linked by LeeOnCandler below (thanks!) confirms that it is the old Baptist Church between the Courthouse and the Presbyterian church, on the northwest corner of the Church Street / Trinity intersection.

  2. Anyone know what that building was on the ASC campus that is in the foreground on the left side of the image? And is that an early version of the depot right above it?

    1. That building on the right was the “White House” – originally apparently located where Agnes Scott Hall (Main) is now, and moved for the construction of Main. It was used for years as housing for both students and faculty, with a large dining room. It was later used primarily for storage, and was demolished around 1952. And I also think that is the old depot – not absolutely sure.

    1. I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
      Oh yeah

      “I Can See for Miles”

      -The Who

      1. It’s easy to see fom this photo how Mountain View Street (off E. Ponce) got its name. Back in the day, you could actually SEE Stone Mtn. from there!

  3. Very interesting. I wonder how many of the AS photo trees are still around. How many locals mourned their demise when they fell?
    I think I see the railroad tracks but can anyone identify the circle just north of the tracks in the middle of the photo. Could it be a 1903 traffic circle or maybe an alien crop circle? I also wonder about the relationships neighbors had and what kinds of comments or gossip went on like, did anyone have “No Poop Zone” or “War Is Not The Answer” signs in their front yards (Yeah, I know the WINTA signs only applied to the Bush wars but maybe someone protested the Philippine War in Decatur). And what about the gossip going on like, “I heard that Mr. So-in-So bought white lightning from that bootlegger in Tucker” or “Do you know that the new neighbor down the street is a Cath-o-lic? Catholics in Decatur, whoever let them in? Uncle Peter…”

    1. Yes, thanks Lee! I always enjoy these Sanborns.

      If we ever do any “block-busting” of the big lots around the old “Bottom” neighborhoods, the City should consider using the old names from streets long gone – Cooper, Herring, etc.

  4. My favorite thing at Agnes Scott is not there- Inman. That was my home for a long time and it’s so weird to think it wasn’t always there. Intellectually, I know it wasn’t but emotionally, I think it should have always been and forever be!

  5. Hard to see, but the horizon looks a lot more treeless than it is today. The architect of Emory’s first Druid Hills campus was inspired by the treeless pastures around, reminding him of Italy, hence the Mediterranean style buildings and spanish tile roofs throughout DH.

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