Snake Nation: Castleberry History

Snake Nation, now known as Castleberry Hill, was called a rowdy “shanty town” by the public press. Snake Nation was a settlement along the old White Hall Road (now known as Peters Street). During the 1840s and 1850s the settlement of Snake Nation was described as “devoted almost entirely to the criminal and immoral element” where drinking and gambling houses, brothels were plentiful, and murders were not uncommon. Snake Nation, along with the shanty towns of Slab Town and Murrell’s Row were burned down and the inhabitants run off when the Moral Party elected Jonathan Norcross as the new mayor in 1851, defeating Leonard C. Simpson of the Free and Rowdy Party.  Read more

Peters Street (formerly White Hall Road) was a segment of the Sandtown Trail, the Native American trade route that stretched east and west across Georgia, intersecting the Peachtree Trail at what became Five Points. The Sandtown Trail (the Peters Street segment) continues west toward a Creek Indian village near Utoy Creek and the Chattahoochee River. Around the year 1853 or before, White Hall Road was renamed Peters Street after Richard Peters, who was responsible for completing the Georgia railroad from Augusta to Atlanta. 

Walker Street: In 1848 Atlanta City Council was petitioned “for a street to be run from the bridge across the Macon and Western Railroads southwesterly to intersect with the White Hall Road (Peters Street) within the city limits.” The new street was named Walker Street, after Samuel Walker who owned a 189-acre farm that includes the present sites of Piedmont Park and the Piedmont Driving Club. 

Mangum Street was named after the Mangum brothers (who served as early clerics, lawyers and public office holders in Atlanta. 

Haynes Street bears the name of Reuben Haynes, r carpenter and cabinet maker. Booth’s Alley was the name of the section of Haynes between Peters and Walker Streets. 

Fair Street was named for the Agricultural Fair of 1850. Portions of Fair Street east of Castleberry Hill were renamed Memorial Drive. 

Castleberry Street and Castleberry Hill: sometime between 1859 and 1867, the family name Castleberry became associated with the area. M.T. Castleberry, a prominent businessman with extensive holdings in Atlanta, was the operator of a family grocery on the east side of Peters Street and owned the northern half of the block between Fair and Castleberry Streets; later extending his holdings on the east side of Peters Street near the railroad which he subdivided and sold. The peak that rises 1086 above sea level is located along Walker, between Fair and Stonewall Streets is THE Castleberry Hill.

Castleberry Hill is a federally recognized historic district since 1985 and was designated as a City of Atlanta Landmark District in 2006 by meeting the following criteria: Historic, Architectural, and Culture.

Reference:  Darlene Roth, “Castleberry Hill, Historic District Nomination Form