Decatur was named for U.S. naval hero Stephen Decatur, who fought in the War of 1812. The city was incorporated in 1823, making it the oldest town in DeKalb County.
The Old Courthouse on the Square stands in the center of town, where two Native American trails once crossed. The courthouse square has served as a community gathering place for centuries, and it continues to host annual festivals and special events. The square also offers entertainment, shopping, and dining options for residents and visitors.
Renovation efforts have preserved some of the historic buildings along Decatur Square, including small stores and the Old Courthouse. Older brick homes, smaller bungalows, and cottages are abundant in the region along with some newer townhouses, condos, and single-family homes.
Decatur’s population is home to young and old. The city is located near major expressways, which provide easy access to Atlanta. Forty-eight public schools serve local students, and Decatur is close to several colleges and universities. Agnes Scott College, which is located on the edge of the city, is among the top women’s colleges in the Southwest. And Atlanta’s Emory University is renowned for its top-notch law and medical schools.
Originally called Dawson’s Camp, Decatur is the second-oldest city in the Atlanta metro area. Just six miles east of Atlanta’s central business district, the city has nearly 8,500 households and more than 18,000 residents.
In the 1830s, Decatur had the opportunity to become a major stop on the Western and Atlantic Railroad. But residents rejected the proposal, fearing the noise and smoke of the trains would wreak havoc in their small town. Instead, the railroad selected the settlement of Terminus, a few miles away. In 1843, Terminus was renamed Marthasville, and two years later it received its modern name: Atlanta.
Homes & Pricing
Decatur is home to several neighborhoods, including Brighton Village, Kingsmill, Snapfinger Manor and Walden Lake. Home prices range from the low $100,000s for older single-family homes to $500,000 and more for new custom designs.