hardy ivy park

Downtown Atlanta's first settler, Hardy Ivy, and his final parking place

Blogger wdarling posts this photo of a plaque on the AT&T building downtown commemorating the location of Hardy Ivy’s cabin.

After the Creek Indians were muscled out, Ivy was the first settler to live in what is now downtown Atlanta. As stated on this plaque – located on the AT&T building on Auburn Avenue –  he built a cabin near this spot in 1833.

Ivy died in 1842 after being thrown by his horse. His wife Sarah Todd Ivy lived until 1865 and is buried in Oakland Cemetery. The burial place of Hardy is not known for sure, but according to “Atlanta and Environs” he may well have been buried near the cabin in a spot that is now (predictably) a parking lot. Here’s a quote from that book:

It could well be, therefore, that Atlanta’s first citizen sleeps undisturbed beneath the parking lot just north of the Southern Bell Telephone Company’s monumental office building, both properties being used for amenities of civilization unknown in Ivy’s day, the automobile and the telephone.

So next time you’re at the corner of John Wesley Dobss and Peachtree Center downtown, take a look at this parking lot and pause in reverence for a moment at the possible presence underneath of the area’s first post-Creek settler.

For a long time there was an Ivy Street, but it was renamed Peachtree Center in the 1980s at the request of architect John Portman. Hardy Ivy’s sons-in-law are still represented in the names of Baker and Ellis Streets (info also gleaned from “Atlanta and Environs”). And there’s a very nice pocket park on Peachtree Street named for Hardy Ivy.