ATLANTA — Buckhead’s origins trace back to a general store and tavern.

In 1837, when the area was little more than wilderness, a man named Henry Irby built a business that became a favorite stopping-off place. Eventually, a community, appropriately named Irbyville, grew around it.

The name Buckhead, according to local lore, was derived after Irby killed a large deer in the area’s virgin forests and mounted the buck’s head where travelers could see it. The name stuck, despite efforts to change it to Northside Park in the late 19th century.

Buckhead became a wealthy suburb in the early 20th century, with beautiful homes on lush estates, including the country house of banker John Ottley, one of the most formidable hosts during the so-called golden age of Atlanta society, from 1900 to 1929. Ottley set the standard for fashionable Buckhead living. His land would eventually become the site of the modern equivalent of the original Buckhead general store and tavern — Lenox Square mall.

This story first appeared in the July 11, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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