DeKalb History Center Exhibits

Open Daily: Monday-Friday, 10 am-4pm
Saturday, May 25, 10 am-6 pm | Sunday, May 26, Noon-6 pm
Old Courthouse on the Square | Main Floor

The DeKalb History Center has four exhibits on the main floor of the historic Old DeKalb County Courthouse.

Decorative Arts from the Permanent Collection

This new exhibit features a sampling of pieces from the DeKalb History Center’s holdings, acquired over the nearly 70 years since the organization was established. The emphasis is on antique furniture, with some items previously owned by prominent DeKalb County citizens such as author Caroline McKinney Clarke, Judge Charles Whitefoord Smith, and Bishop Warren Akin Candler. Most objects date from the early 19th century to the early 20th century.

Reclaimed by Nature:
The Historic Davidson Quarries of Arabia Mountain

This new photography exhibit, by Virginie Drujon-Kippelen,  features historic and contemporary photos of a former granite quarry at what is now the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve. These quarries were historically an important part of DeKalb County’s economy. Lithonia granite was used in paving and construction projects, including the Historic DeKalb Courthouse. In the 1970s the Davidson family donated more than 500 acres of this land to DeKalb County for conservation and preservation. Since this land is no longer quarried, it is slowly being reclaimed by nature, although traces of its industrial past remain.

Tears and Curses: A Human Focus on the Civil War


This exhibit presents an intimate opportunity to view a small portion of our Civil War collection and consider the impact of the war on a local scale. We present artifacts with personal meaning to help you feel the point of view of an individual. The title is from a letter in our collection written by Private Dewitt C. Morgan to a woman who may have been a sweetheart. Angry at the Union forces, he wrote, “They sow tears and curses – they shall reap infamy and overthrow.”

The Mid-Century Ranch House: Hip and Historic!

dekalb-history-center-slideThe ranch house has reached the age (50 years or older) which makes it eligible for the National Register. Citizens of DeKalb County see many examples of the ranch house around them. They are so common it is almost easy to disregard the patterns of history these houses illustrate. Visitors to this exhibit will learn why this house type was so popular and the reason DeKalb County was the epicenter of this mid-century construction boom. There are a number of variations found in the ranch house, but here you will learn their major characteristics. We have already heard reports from people who now “see them everywhere!” And if you think you already know everything about the ranch house because you grew up in one, we might have few surprises for you!