Archibald Holland House - Oldest House in Atlanta
Drew 202 1/2 acres in downtown Atlanta (from the lottery) and build a home at the intersection of Trinity Avenue and…rumble.com
But what came afterward?
Tracing the ancestors is fun! But I was quite surprised to learn that my 2nd great-grandfather won all of downtown Atlanta in the Land Lottery of 1823.
Should I brag about this? I do not know. It was indeed a feat to locate the proof, however, a task that most genealogists regularly encounter.
The tracing of the Holland genealogies required years of some pretty intense research. In ancient days, I connected to one, Henry Holland who died during the 1400s in London and hailed from Sir Thomas de Holande who married Joan Plantagenet, a granddaughter of King Edward I. They had about six children. When Sir Thomas died in the wars with France, Joan was married to her cousin, Edward Holland, the Black Prince, and by him had Richard II, King of England.
Many, many United States people of English descent, are descendants of King Edward I!
Actually, my mother’s criticism of my father’s family is notable. I wonder if had she known that we were of the royal lineage and/or of Archibald’s acquisition of Atlanta if she would have been less resentful.
Archibald’s drawing in the lottery was a simple transaction wherein he won 202 1/2 acres in downtown Atlanta! The plat is on record in Henry County, Georgia. Why Henry County, instead of Fulton? Because at that time, there was no Marthasville or Atlanta, and Fulton County was not created until 1853.
Archibald built this home on Georgia Avenue at the intersection of Trinity Avenue and lived there with his family until about 1833/4 when he moved to Paulding County.
Samuel Donsel Holland, a son, wrote his biography stating that he was born on Georgia Avenue. It was published in Memoirs of Georgia in the Paulding County section, in about 1895. Two volumes of this remarkable book contain the invaluable histories and genealogies of many early Georgian settlers.
I discovered an old letter dated 1833 from a friend stating that he had found some good farmland for Archibald. You see, Archibald complained that his cows were getting bogged down in the muddy terrain! Anyone who has visited the famous “Underground Atlanta” or who resided in Atlanta during the 1940s (I did) know that downtown Atlanta was under a viaduct. According to Archibald’s plat, the borders of his land included Fulton Street on the South and Northside Drive on the West and embraced the entire region of Terminal Station and later Rich’s department store and the Atlanta Constitution.
Fulton County, Georgia Wills, Estates, Marriages, Tax Digests, Churches, Births
Fulton County Georgia Genealogy Records Available to Members Testators: Abbott, Albert; Bemelmaus, Henry; Braden…georgiapioneers.com
After Archibald left the old farm, he allowed a half-brother (William Edward Holland) from Abbeville, South Carolina to occupy the house for a time. However, after the Cherokees were forced out of Georgia in 1833, several gold mines were discovered, and during the 1850s, people began to seek their fortune as did William Edward Holland who was later found on the 1860 Carroll County, Census.
Meanwhile, Atlanta was building up around the old house. The Atlanta Constitution published (the above) photograph of Archibald’s house during the 1880s, stating that a clerk of the court had resided there.
Some irony here. Archibald settled near Dallas, Georgia on High Shoals Road. His grandson, Tom Holland of McPherson, resided in an area being expanded by the railroad. This was during the construction of section houses used by railroad workers and for storing and maintaining equipment. These houses were used since the 1890s. When I visited the area in 1960, most of the old section houses still remained.
Tom Holland had a mercantile store, but his personal home was adjacent to the railroad tracks. Although the family “lived in the sticks” (so to speak), his wife dressed her three little sons in white shirts and slacks to attend school. (family pictures). She acquired clothing and other goods by stepping outside of her house and boarding the railroad to Atlanta. The train stopped at Terminal Station on the actual land once owned by Archibald Holland. But misfortune was at hand for her. One evening, when the young woman climbed into bed inside the new house next to the railroad tracks, she was bitten by a wharf rat! She soon died of a plague known to cause fevers, chills, respiratory ailments, etc.
The three little sons were raised by their Aunt Florence Johns, and Tom Holland took to drinking.
Tom Holland was taken to his Store in a wheelbarrow
Stories of Tom Holland, a descendant of Archibald Holland who once owned all of Atlanta (1824-ca1834). Holland…rumble.com
The three sons grew up under the tutelage of their aunt, and a poor example of a father addicted to drinking liquor. The sputtering growth in the wooded region of the county was the ideal setting for moonshine and gambling. The Holland boys took to drinking and gambling.
Researching the families discloses some interesting facts and sometimes family secrets that we rather not know. Some of the old letters written during the 19th century by members of this family reveal depression and great suffering. And, the tale of Richard II being overthrown by his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, regaled in the history books. Sir John Holande (Richard’s half-brother) was second in line for the throne. The Yorkists killed Richard II and all of his half-brothers. Not to forget Sir Henry Holande, the 3rd duke of Exeter, who was drowned by Sir Leger (who married the duke’s widow afterward).
Perhaps our memories never really forsake us or those who come after us. Something to think about.