Actual Factual Georgia

Q: Is it true that Frederick Law Olmsted designed the Druid Hills neighborhood?

A: Olmsted, who designed NYC's Central Park and has been described as the father of American landscape architecture, had a hand in the part of Druid Hills along the Ponce de Leon Avenue corridor, according to Robert Hartle's book called "Druid Hills." Olmsted and Atlantan Joel Hurt, who developed Inman Park and Edgewood Avenue, struck up a friendship and were trying to work together to develop another area northeast of downtown Atlanta. Several factors kept them from realizing their dream, but by 1893, Olmsted stayed true to his style and developed a plan that focused on the large homes, spectacular trees, parks and paths along Ponce de Leon (You now know who to blame for that narrow road). Ultimately, Asa Candler, Forrest and George Adair and Preston Arkwright fully developed Druid Hills in the early 20th Century.

Q: What is the importance of the General, the locomotive at The Southern Museum in Kennesaw?

A: The General found itself at the centerpiece of one of the most daring incidents of the Civil War when it was stolen by Union spies from Big Shanty, which is what Kennesaw was known as in 1862. The spies were led by James Andrews and the mission they chose to accept was to use the General to destroy track and telegraph wires between Big Shanty and Chattanooga. The Andrews Raiders, as they are called, were quickly discovered and pursued to just north of Ringgold, where they were caught. More than a century later, the General found itself at the center of another battle, as Georgia won a lawsuit against Tennessee that gave our state the rights to the locomotive. It was taken to the Big Shanty Museum, "just yards from where it had been stolen 110 years earlier," the museum's website says.

Q: Is Wesleyan College the oldest women’s college in the U.S.?

A: Not only is Macon's Wesleyan College the oldest women's college, it proudly proclaims that it granted the first degrees to women. The school was chartered on Dec. 23, 1836. Classes began three years later with nearly 100 students and the school awarded its first degrees to 11 women on July 16, 1840. Many of these women had studied for two years at the Clinton Female Seminary before going to Wesleyan.

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If you’re new in town or just have questions about this special place we call home, ask us! E-mail Andy Johnston at q&

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