Located at a natural rise in the topography, Douglasville was originally known as Skint Chestnut. The name derived from a large tree used by Native Americans as a landmark, which was stripped of its bark so as to be more conspicuous.
The Town of Douglasville was established by the Georgia General Assembly on February 25, 1875. The boundaries were as follows: The center shall be a point directly opposite the courthouse in said town, on the Georgia Western Railroad, thence running along the center of said road each way three-fourths of a mile, and extending one half mile each way from the center of said road, the form of said territory to be an oblong square.
An election was held on the first Saturday in March 1875, and a mayor, treasurer, records (secretary), and marshal were chosen. Thus began the official history of Douglasville, today one of the most attractive, historic parts of the Atlanta metro area. As you might suspect, however, the real stories and history extend back much earlier than 1875.
The core area of downtown Douglasville is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an historic district; an outstanding example of a turn-of-the-century southern railroad town. The majority of the buildings are one- and two-story brick structures dating from the mid-19th century into the early to mid-20th century. Most are of Victorian era commercial design set flush with the sidewalk. Styles of the buildings include Victorian with details of the Romanesque, Italianate, and Queen Anne periods. Many of the doorways and windows have Gothic arched openings and hooded windows. The dominant landscape feature is the railroad right-of-way running east-to-west through downtown.
The city of Douglasville has created a 10-year downtown master plan to revitalize the growing community's center. The city of Douglasville, along with the city's Downtown Development Authority, Main Street Douglasville and the Douglas County Development Authority.