Blandtown, as the neighborhood was called, got its name from Felix Bland. A former slave, Bland after the Civil War took ownership of the land willed to him by his former owner, according to the memoir, “My 80 Years in Atlanta,” by Sarah Huff, who was 8 years old when Sherman shelled the city in 1864 and whose family gave Huff Road its name.
Bland quickly lost the land for not paying taxes. A developer took title and began carving out a residential area. Then came the rail spurs, around which a mill, a fertilizer factory and a stockyard opened, according to a book by Georgia Tech professor Larry Keating called “Race, Class and the Atlanta Housing Market.”
Two more books I need to read.
Also of interest for readers of this blog is the recent history of the property - it was bought in 2006 by Robert L. Silverman, who founded Winter Properties. They had a lot of success in the late 90's and early 2000s, but I think things slowed down a bit recently. They still have some active projects (Meeting Park in Marietta), though. It is now for sale at half what Silverman bought it for three years ago.
h/t: A Is For Atlanta