Della Manta Apartments (Photo courtesy of Georgia State University Photographic Collections)
Della Manta Apartments (Photo courtesy of Georgia State University Photographic Collections)

By Ann Taylor Boutwell

Sept. 1, 1939: Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell and husband John Robert Marsh said goodbye to the Russell Apartment on 17th at West Peachtree streets and moved into a second floor unit at the Della Manta apartments on Piedmont Avenue in Ansley Park. The three-story, red brick building, designed in 1917 by architect Neel Reid, was renamed One South Prado after a condominium conversion in 1986. The condo made news in August when it was sold to a new owner.

Sept. 8, 1913: The tuition-free Girl’s Night School opened its academic 1913-1914 evening sessions at the Steiner-Emery Building, which was located at 1½ Viaduct Place on the corner of North Broad Street. Principal Laura M. White’s salary was $1,000 per year, provided she worked full=time. Each of her three faculty members earned $400 per year.  With a monthly budget of $85 she paid the rent and janitorial service. The board of education paid for light and heat.

Sept. 20, 1923: The young matrons of St. Mark’s Methodist Church met in the 10th Street shopping district’s Piggly Wiggly at 827 Peachtree. They busied themselves fundraising by selling homemade goodies to Thursday shoppers. The Piggly Wiggly between 10th and 11th streets was officially the company’s second store in Atlanta. It opened in 1919 on the old site of the Barnett Brothers grocery store. By 1931, the Winn & Lovett Company of Georgia had purchased Atlanta’s 36 Piggly Wiggly stores and the address had changed to 1005 Peachtree Street.

rccw9swVzvcWhYkb9rj-mF6qzsNxanh1pOBUvkjmGbwSept. 24, 1864: U.S. Gen. William T. Sherman attended a musical entertainment at the little Athenaeum on Decatur Street. It was Atlanta’s first official theater. The Sunny South described the theater “as a plain looking building with parquet and a gallery. There were no boxes and the seats were ordinary benches with no cushions. The Brass Band of the 33d Massachusetts Volunteers opened the concert with the “Soldiers Chorus” from Gounod’s Faust, a special favorite of President Abraham Lincoln. Atlanta had surrendered to Union forces just a few weeks earlier. Sherman would leave on Atlanta on his March to the Sea on Nov. 15, leaving behind the smoldering ruins of the city.

Sept. 29, 1907: Eighty-five train cars rolled into town with the famous Hagenbeck & Wallace Circus. The smell of sawdust, sweat, and animals permeated the old show grounds at Jackson Street and Auburn Avenue in the Fourth Ward. On the following Monday morning, the traveling amusement, nearly two miles long, paraded through the city’s streets with chariots, wagons, cages, animals and clowns. The Atlanta Georgian described final performance audience as “sweltering humanity jammed into the tent.”  In 1907, Benjamin Wallace bought the animal trainer Carl Hagenbeck’s Circus and merged it with his E. B. Wallace Circus. The Atlanta show was one of the first after the merger.

Ann BoutwellAnn Taylor Boutwell is an Atlanta historian, tour guide and docent at the Margaret Mitchell House & Museum. Email her at






Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.