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:: DeKalb County ::

Community Profile

County Formed December 9, 1822
County Seat Decatur
Incorporated Cities Avondale Estates, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Lithonia, Pine Lake and Stone Mountain
Total Area 271.088201 square miles


From its county population in 2000 of 668450 to its current population estimate of 722161, the county has experienced a growth change of 53711.

DeKalb County was formed in 1822 from parts of Henry, Gwinnett, and Fayette counties. It was the 56th county created in the state and was named after Baron Johann DeKalb who accompanied LaFayette to America and served as a major general in the Continental Army.

Decatur was incorporated December 10, 1823, and named after Stephen Decatur, a U.S. Naval hero. It is said that early residents rejected a proposal by the Western and Atlantic Railroad to make Decatur a major stop on its new line in the 1830s. The railroad thus moved seven miles west to a small settlement called Terminus. In 1843, that settlement was renamed Marthasville, and two years later became Atlanta.

Mills and ginneries were vital to the county's early growth. This heritage lives on in the names of various DeKalb roads that once led to these mills, such as Browns Mill, Evans Mill and Henderson Mill.

The county's previous courthouse was built in 1917 at a cost of $10,000. DeKalb's present courthouse was built in 1965 at a cost of $3.5 million, while the old facility has been renovated and serves as the headquarters for the DeKalb Historical Society.

Points of Interest

Stone Mountain Park, one of Georgia's most popular tourist attractions, is located on Gwinnett's border with DeKalb County. Highlights of the 3,200-acre park include a golf course, a 363-acre lake, an antebellum plantation and a carving of Confederate her

The Fernbank Museum of Natural History, which opened in 1992, is said to be the largest museum of the natural sciences south of the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Also, the Fernbank Science Center, a museum and an educational center, houses a planetarium and observatory.

Callanwode, the Tudor-style mansion, was built in 1920 as the home of Charles Howard Candler, eldest son of Coca-Cola founda Asa G. Candler. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The heart of DeKalb County's international population is located in the International Village District within the city of Chamblee and DeKalb's International Corridor.

The collections of the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University span the globe and the centuries. Housed in a distinguished building by renowned architect Michael Graves, the Carlos maintains the largest collection of ancient art in the Southeast with objects from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Near East, and the ancient Americas. The Museum is also home to collections of 19th and 20th-century sub-Saharan African art and European and American works on paper from the Renaissance to the present.

Notable Citizens

Rebecca Latimer Felton, born near Decatur, was the first appointed woman US senator from Georgia. For several years she wrote newspaper columns that expressed her beliefs regarding women’s suffrage. Following the death of Senator Tom Watson in 1922, the governor appointed Felton to the United States Senate to serve just twenty-four hours, from November 21 to 22, 1922. Felton, having served one day, served the shortest term and was the oldest Senator, at age eighty-seven, at the time of first swearing-in.

Brenda Lee, the pop singer from the 1950s and 1960s, is from Lithonia.

Higher Education

Emory University, Agnes Scott College, Mercer University and Georgia Perimeter College.

Annual Events

There are numerous events and festivals held in DeKalb County. The top rated Yellow Daisy Festival and the annual Easter Sunrise are both held at Stone Mountain Park.

Many of the cities in the county sponsor local festivals and events for the entire community.

Chamber of Commerce
Additional County Info
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State of Georgia

Stone Mountain Park

Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

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