By Ann Taylor Boutwell

Oct. 1, 1868: Superintendent of the Western and Atlantic Railroad Edward Hulbert wrote Republican Gov. Rufus Brown Bullock (1834-1907) telling him that the temporary wooden passenger depot was no longer good enough for the Gate City of the South.  In November 1864, the Federal Army destroyed the original 1854 Union Passenger Depot designed by Englishman A. Edward Vincent, buried in pauper’s field in Oakland Cemetery.

Oct. 8, 1900: The City of Atlanta issued a building permit to architect Emil Charles Seiz, Sr. to construct a two-story veneer brick home for Dr. Rufus Mathewson Rose in the Sixth Ward at 481 Peachtree Street, later 537. Rose, a Connecticut native and a Confederate war veteran, was best known as owner and president of the R.M. Rose Company distillery on Marietta Street. After Dr. Rose’s 1910 death, his widow Katie Fleming Rose sold the home to popular café owners Ruse & Cason for $61,625. In 2009, Central Atlanta Progress placed the Atlanta Landmark site on its list of Top 10 eyesores list and in July 2011 it was sold on the auction block to an undisclosed buyer.

Oct. 9, 1933: The new Hilan Theater at 800 Highland Avenue was built by Charles Mion and W.T. Murray, owners of the Rialto and other two neighborhood theaters. The 800-seat theater’s first-ever feature film was the comedy Her First Mate starring Slim Summerville and Zasu Pitts.

Oct. 13, 1907: Congregation Shearith Israel dedicated its first Atlanta synagogue at 302 East Hunter Street between Moore and Hill streets. During its first four years, members worshipped in a small rented building on Butler Street near Coca-Cola Place, and met in the Fulton County Courthouse, the Armory Building, the Edgewood Avenue Theater, and the Red Men’s Hall on the high holy days. Since 1946, Congregation Shearith Israel has been in the Morningside/Virginia Highland neighborhood at 1180 University Drive.

Oct. 20, 1953: Actor Bill Nunn, a prominent 1976 Morehouse graduate was born on this day in Pittsburgh, PA. In 1988, Nunn launched his film career in School Daze produced and directed by Atlanta born Spike Lee, also a Morehouse graduate. Nunn has performed in more than 40 movies including Spider Man, Sister Act, Regarding Henry, White Lie, and Do the Right Thing. His role of “Bobo,” in A Raisin in the Sun marked Nunn’s Broadway debut, directed by Atlanta’s Kenny Leon.

Oct. 27, 1895: Henry Bradley Plant, giant of the southern railway world, celebrated his 76th birthday at Atlanta’s Aragon Hotel on Peachtree Street with family, friends and company employees. He made his original fortune as president of the Southern Express Company. In May 1861, it was incorporated in Georgia, with headquarters in Augusta, which had been Plant’s residence since 1854. During the Civil War, Southern Express carried mail and packages between the North and the South and to the battlefields. By 1879, Henry had bought-up small bankrupt railways and subsequently formed the Savannah, Florida and Western Railway, remaining its president until his 1899 death at his New York Fifth Avenue residence.  Officials of Atlanta’s Cotton States and International Exhibition designated Monday, Oct. 28, 1895 as “Plant System Day.”  The Exposition’s Auditorium was where officials and over 2,000 Plant employees paid sincere tribute to Henry Bradley Plant and his contributions to the New South.

Collin Kelley

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.