Atlanta was established in 1872 with the building of the Texas and Pacific Railroad. Capt. P.R. Scott donated 10 acres to the railroad for the location of the new Atlanta, named for the Georgia home of many early settlers. The area served as a gateway for early settlers of Texas, as pioneers from Missouri and Arkansas crossed the Red and Sulphur rivers on ferries. Also, sites of prehistoric Caddo Indian Villages have been noted in the region.
Visitors can tour the historic downtown plaza, the Texas and Pacific Railroad Depot and Museum, the Veterans Memorial Plaza, or the Atlanta library's genealogical section which is rich in information. Three city parks are open daily for picnics and recreation and include baseball/softball fields, hiking paths, and more.
Fishing, hunting and birdwatching opportunities abound in the areas on and around nearby Lake Wright Patman, Caddo lake, and Lake O' The Pines.
Area annual events include the Wildflower Trails in April, Bluegrass Festivals in June and October, the Forest festival in August, and the Cullen Baker Fair on the first Saturday in November.