Decatur is a city in, and county seat of, DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. With a population of 18,147 in the 2000 census, the city is sometimes assumed to be larger since multiple zip codes in unincorporated DeKalb County bear the Decatur name. An intown suburb of Atlanta and part of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, Decatur's public transportation is served by three MARTA rail stations. Decatur's official motto is "A city of homes, schools and places of worship." Prior to 2000, this motto was "A city of homes, schools, and churches."
In 1822 Decatur, Georgia was founded at the intersection of two Native American trails: the Sandtown which led east from the Chattahoochee River at Utoy Creek and the Shallowford which follows today's Clairmont Road and eventually crossed near Roswell, Georgia. The town was named for naval hero Stephen Decatur and its early roads were named logically but soon after were renamed in a curious manner:
In the 1830s, the Western and Atlantic Railroad wanted to make Decatur the southernmost stop on its railroad. The citizens of Decatur did not want the noise, pollution and growth that would come with such a major terminal, so they rejected the proposal. In response, the railroad founded a new city to the west-southwest of Decatur for the terminal. This town would later become known as Atlanta, Georgia.