Buckhead traces its origin to Henry Irby's general store and tavern. Founded in 1837, it was located at what is now the northwest corner of West Paces Ferry Road and Roswell Road. Irby's tavern slowly gained a reputation as the stopping spot for travelers (rich and poor) in the thinly populated wilderness. Gradually, the community that grew up around it became known as Irbyville. Mr. Irby maintained his tavern well after the Civil War and until his death in 1879.
According to a descendant it was Irby, who killed a large buck and decided to mount the "buck head" for travelers to notice. Somehow the display made an impression upon the public and some say it was a sort of joke. It was possibly a way of poking fun at European noblemen who historically displayed hunting trophies on their own walls. At any rate, the name “Buckhead” proved durable, and a campaign to rename the area Northside Park in the late 19th century proved unsuccessful.
Throughout the late 19th century and much of the 20th century, Buckhead was still thinly populated, but it was no longer a wilderness. It had become a posh suburb of Atlanta, where the wealthy lived serenely on abundant, well-tended estates.
One of the estates, the country home of the Ottley family, became the site of Lenox Square mall in 1959. The creation of Lenox Square was an important moment in the history of Atlanta, and the mall itself is the modern equivalent of Irby's tavern, a social and commercial hub for Buckhead.