Skip to main content

Hillside Cottages records

Collection number: ahc.MSS657

Scope and Contents

This collection documents Hillside Cottages, formerly Home for the Friendless. The bulk of materials are minutes from Executive Board and Woman's Board meetings, which include correspondence; notes on the number of children and their activities; financial reports and budgets; health and medical reports, and medical examinations; annual reports; reports from the president and the Kiwanis Club; and statements of operation. The collection also contains a scrapbook divided and foldered by year, background and operational information, and information about the children cared for at Hillside Cottages, including population sheets and a record book of children “admitted” and “dismissed.” In addition, there are donation and membership records from individuals, the Atlanta Kiwanis Club, and Trust Company of Georgia. Of particular note are investigations from the State Department of Public Welfare and the Social Planning Council, and a report from the Child Welfare League of America. Also of note are secretary reports from 1898-1901.


  • 1898-1996, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Biographical / Historical

In 1888, Ella M. Baird Averill (1845-1932), Maggie Berry McBurney (1864-1912) and Eliza Maria Hendry Nelson (1846-1905) founded Hillside Cottages as the Home for the Friendless. One of Atlanta’s first nonprofit organization, it assisted women, children, and babies experiencing poverty and homelessness. The organization originally operated out of a ten-room house in Downtown Atlanta and expanded several times, including in 1926 to an eight-acre site at 690 Courtenay Drive. The same year it changed its name to Hillside Cottages and adopted the phrase “a friendly home for children." In the 1920s, the agency shifted its focus to school-aged children and made improvements to comply with new national child welfare standards. The Kiwanis Club funded these improvements. As of 2022, its mission is to help "children and families thrive by providing outstanding residential and community mental health services." Specifically, it treats behavioral and emotional issues, primarily through Dialectic Behavior Therapy, and has a Residential Program, Community Intervention Program, and Day Treatment Program, Intensive Outpatient Program, and Intensive In-Home Treatment Program.


2.9 linear ft. (seven document cases)




This collection is arranged alphabetically by titles supplied by staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1986

Related Materials

Visual materials have been separated from the collection. Please contact an archivist for access to these materials.

Bias in Description

As archivists, we acknowledge our role as stewards of information. We choose how individuals and organizations are represented and described in our archives. We are not neutral, and bias is reflected in our descriptions, which may not accurately convey the racist or offensive aspects of collection materials. Archivists make mistakes and might use poor judgment. In working with this collection, we often re-use language used by the former owners of the material. This language provides context but often includes bias and prejudices reflective of the time in which it was created.

The Kenan Research Center’s work is ongoing to implement reparative language where Library of Congress subject terms are inaccurate and obsolete. Kenan Research Center welcomes feedback and questions regarding our archival descriptions. If you encounter harmful, offensive, or insensitive terminology or descriptions, please let us know by emailing Your comments are essential to our work to create inclusive and thoughtful description.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2022.

Hillside Cottages records
Leah Lefkowitz
December 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305