Post-Incorporation Land Use-Expansion: 1886-1910

Following it incorporation as "Pulaski City" on February 24th, 1886, the town experienced a boom that lasted throughout the rest of the 19th century until 1910. The land use patterns would change greatly within the community primarily as a result of three factors, the location of new industries in town, the engineering of Peak Creek; and the town becoming the terminus of area rail service. 

The town's industrial base grew quickly as it became a center of mineral processing and smelting. The Pulaski Iron Co., located on the present site of Gem City, began production in 1888, followed by the Dora Furnace in 1890. Experiments in ridding iron ores of sulfur content resulted in 1904 of the formation of the Pulaski Mining Company which specialized in the production of sulfuric acid. Later purchased by Allied Chemical Company, the plant would operate until 1976. The location of these industries along the railroad resulted in the establishment of an industrial land use zone, which still forms the I-2 Industrial District in the south side of the town. 

Old PulaskiCommercial development was fueled by the channeling of Peak Creek by the Pulaski Land & Improvement Co. accompanied by the draining and filling of the wetlands to the north of the railroad and construction in 1884 of the Maple Shade Inn and in 1888 of the NW passenger station. The location of these two bustling transportation centers helped attract businesses to the Commerce Street area which became the business center of the town. 

Commercial activity also became established north of the newly minted canal. Following the canal's completion, slag from local industries was used as fill to   build up the former low-lying wetland terrain. Commercial businesses, such as the Hotel Pulaski began to fill in the newly reclaimed land. By 1896, the moving of the county seat to the Town of Pulaski and construction of the courthouse brought new business activity to the present downtown area. 

The increase in employment opportunities also resulted in the substantial growth of residential areas within town. By 1890, residential land use was primarily found along what is now Randolph Avenue, Henry Avenue and Mt. Olivet. New areas were taking root south of Dora Highway along what is now First Street S.E. to Fifth Street, S.E. and the Jackson Avenue/Stuart Avenue area. Commercial businesses were making inroads into the newly drained area north of the Peak Creek channel. 

Between 1900 and 1910, Pulaski's population increased nearly 71%. Arrival of new residents triggered a construction boom in residential areas as well as the commercial areas. By 1908, the western portion of the town was beginning to acquire the familiar appearance it has today with respect to land uses. While commercial and industrial land uses remained confined primarily to the corridor surrounding both sides of the railroad and the present day downtown, residential land development spread quickly both north and south. 

Old PulaskiBy 1908, residential areas had begun development in three major areas. The first area was bordered by 4th Street, N.W. in the south; 13th Street, N.W. in the north; Monroe Avenue in the east to Randolph Avenue in the west. The second area extended to what is now 1st Street, S.E. and S.W. back to the foothills of Draper's Mountain along a line of present day streets Crestline Drive, Bunts Street, 6th Street, S.E. and S.W. and Valley Road. The third residential area took shape across the former loop of Peak Creek and was bounded by 2nd Street, N.E. to the south; Peppers Ferry Road to the west. Access to this area was by Pepper's Ferry Road which passed north of the current location of Pulaski Middle School. These areas of residential development may still be seen in today's zoning map as the R-4 Residential District extending throughout the south side and east central areas of town. 

Some industrial development of smaller firms was noted during this time period. Most prominent was the Pulaski Foundry and Machine Company founded by the Bunts brothers on First Street, N.E. The firm was later sold to General Chemical. Two of the main buildings of that complex are still standing. 




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