Historic Markers Across Georgia

Shotgun Houses / 472 - 488 Auburn Avenue

Marker ID: NPS 
Location: Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA
County: Fulton
Coordinates: N 33° 45.333    W 084° 22.28
  33.75555    -84.37133333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMMWCH
Shotgun Houses / 472 - 488 Auburn Avenue Marker  


These duplexes are typical of the houses where Atlanta's blue-collar laborers lived in the early 1900s. The Empire Textile Co. built them for its white mill workers, but they moved out after the 1906 Atlanta race riot, and blacks began renting them. The houses generally are one room wide and up to four rooms deep. They are called "shotgun" houses because the interior and exterior doorways are aligned, so a shot supposedly could be fired through them from front to back. Another theory is that the name comes from the African word "to-gun," which means place of assembly.

[Bottom left photo caption reads]
The militia was called out when whites and blacks clashed in a violent race riot in September 1906.

[Background photo reads]
The backs of the houses hummed with activity as women washed clothes and prepared meals while their children played in the yards.

Erected by National Park Service.


Shotgun Houses / 472 - 488 Auburn Avenue


For more information:
Wikipedia - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Nobel Prize - Martin Luther King, Jr. - Biographical
NAACP - National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
SCLC - Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Wikipedia - NAACP
Wikipedia - SCLC
Wikipedia - Civil Rights Act of 1964
Wikipedia - Racism
Wikipedia - Racial segregation in the United States