A Word to Strangers of Atlanta
On February 19, 1852, the Atlanta Intelligencer published this warning to Atlanta visitors saying “you had better turn square round and walk back…”
A Word to Strangers
If you arrive in town on any of the numerous railroads that terminate here, it will probably be just before dark. After refreshing yourselves with a hearty meal at some one of our well-conducted hotels, you will feel a desire to take a stroll about town, at least through Whitehall street. Starting from the vicinity of the railroads you can proceed fearlessly till you come to the first cross street, called Alabama street. Don’t think of walking out of your direction to walk up that street, unless the moon shines particularly bright, or unless you can hang to the coat tail of some friendly guide; as without such aids you would probably find yourself in about two minutes at the bottom of a pit, fifteen feet in diameter by eighteen feet deep, which occupies the center of the road, and thus occasion considerable trouble to those who happen to be near, in procuring ropes to drag you out; and in such case, you might besides be inclined to form an unfavorable impression of our city regulations, as did a gentleman last week, who was hauled out of the pit pretty severely injured.
Passing this point, you can continue in Whitehall street, but by all means take the right hand side, as on the left side are two deep trenches dug out for cellars. We are not informed whether the cellar doors are built, or whether they are intended to extend to the center of the street, or only across the sidewalk. At present they are admirably adapted to catch unwary passengers. In one night last week, during a severe rain storm, they caught no less than five—two ladies and three gentlemen returning from a concert. One of these was a stranger in the city, and while spreading himself before a blazing fire, in the Holland House, to dry the red clay with which his garments were beautifully covered, gave way so much to his feelings that he was observed very much upset at the mention of our venerable city council.
Proceeding on the right hand side of the street, you will have a very comfortable walk until you come to Cook’s corner, where the pavement ceases. Here you had better turn square round and walk back, for directly in advance is another pit, fifteen by eighteen feet, ready to take you in. In some parts of the town we believe these holes have been covered over. The one in front of Lloyd & Perryman’s store, where a man fell in and broke his neck some weeks since, we are credibly informed was promptly covered after the event.
P. S.—Since the above was put in type we are gratified and delighted that each of the pits mentioned have been temporarily covered with plank, so as to avoid the recurrence of further accidents.