Fayette became Georgia’s 49th County when it was formed from parts of the Creek Indian Nation in 1821. The County Courthouse was completed in Fayetteville, the county seat, in 1825 and is still in use today making it the oldest in the state. The county and the county seat were both named for General Marquee de LaFayette, the French general whose partnership with General George Washington during the Revolutionary War contributed to the Continental Army’s victory over the British. The fact that Fayette County saw much fighting during the Civil War drew Margaret Mitchell there to research for Gone with the Wind.
DeKalb County became Georgia’s 56th county in 1822 when it was formed from pieces of Henry, Fayette and Gwinnett Counties. The county was named after a partner of General LaFayette, Baron Johann DeKalb, who was also instrumental in the colonists’ victory in the Revolutionary War. It is rumored that residents of Decatur, the county seat, opposed a move by the Western and Atlantic Railroad to make the town a major stop on one of its new line because they did not want to added noise and smoke pollution in their community. The Western and Atlantic railroad company then chose a town 7 miles west which would later become Atlanta. Without the rail road industry to spur economic growth, as was common in the other counties around Atlanta, DeKalb’s early economy was driven by local gins and mills the names of which appear today as street names around the county.
Today DeKalb County is the business destination, a 270-square mile gateway to key workforce, infrastructure and lifestyle amenities and advantages that have a major impact on the metropolitan Atlanta area. DeKalb boasts more than 60 million square feet of office and industrial space, several thousand acres of undeveloped land and more interstate miles than any county in Georgia. This pro-business climate allowed DeKalb businesses to add 70,000 net new jobs in the 1990s with a projected growth of another 40,000 in the next decade. At the same time a variety of housing options and an aggressive county initiative to build a major nature preserve all contribute to DeKalb's widely sought after quality of life. Due to these excellent living and employment conditions, population in DeKalb grew by an estimated 68,500 people, or 12.4 percent, in the 1990s and add another 84,000 residents over the next decade.
Fulton County became Georgia 144th County when the legislature created it from parts of Dekalb County in 1853. The current elongated shape resulted from the consolidation of Milton and Campbell County into Fulton Country in 1853. The County was named after Robert Fulton who developed the steam engine, a driving force behind the development and growth of the South. Atlanta plays the dual role of county seat and capitol of the state. South of the city, Fulton County offers superior accessibility to road, rail and air transportation. Home to Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport, one of the world’s busiest, South Fulton County is also the hub for two major railroads. This excellent transportation infrastructure, an excellent work force and superb developer incentives make South Fulton County one of the best places to do business in the country. Headquartered in South Fulton are blue-chip companies such as Delta Air Lines and Chick-fil-A. Ford Motor Company has its most productive North American plant in Hapeville.
Communities such as College Park, East Point, Fairburn, Hapeville, Union City and Palmetto - not to mention Southwest Atlanta - offer both suburban and small-town living opportunities. Long-established, middle- and upper-income neighborhoods feature modestly priced land and upscale housing for residential and business buyers and tenants. With two-thirds of its acreage still available for development, South Fulton County is a veritable gold mine of opportunities.