Historic Markers Across Georgia

Jonathan Norcross

Marker ID:  
Location: At the entrance to Thrasher Park on Thrasher Street at Park Dr., Norcross GA.
County: Gwinnett
Coordinates: N 33° 56.574    W 084° 12.812
  33.942900    -84.213533
Style: Mounted **
Waymark: WMB6RP
Jonathan Norcross Marker  


When Jonathan Norcross died on December 18, 1898, The Atlanta Constitution featured his picture on its front page, proclaiming him, "The Father of Atlanta" and "Atlanta's Most Historic Citizen" due to his tireless efforts in helping to shape the city of Atlanta for over 50 years. Mr. Norcross was born in Orono, Maine on April 18, 1808 and arrived in the wilderness of what would become downtown Atlanta in 1844 at the age of 36. He set up a saw mill near Five Points, which became the first manufacturing business in the area, to produce cross ties for the new railroad. He later opened a three-story general store on the corner of Marietta Street and Peachtree Street in Five Points, which became known for years as "Norcross Corner". It was from this building in 1886 that Coca-Cola was first served at Jacobs Pharmacy. Mr. Norcross was very politically active in Atlanta serving in the legislature, on the city council and in 1851 was elected Atlanta's fourth mayor, as leader of the "Moral Party" and was credited with "saving Atlanta" from lawlessness and disobedience. In General Session, he proposed moving the State Capital from Milledgeville to Atlanta, he started Atlanta's first weekly newspaper, served on the steering committee to create the Chamber of Commerce, and proposed the creation of a new railroad to open up Northeast Georgia. In honor of his service, John J. Thrasher named the new town he founded along this new railroad after his good friend and comrade - Jonathan Norcross.