Created in 1961 by Gardner Fox and Gil Kane, it served as the main backdrop to many of the stories published by DC Comics featuring the adventures of the second (or Silver Age) Atom. Ivy's most notable landmark was Ivy University, whose physics department employed the Atom, initially unwittingly, in his true identity of Raymond Palmer as a member of its faculty. After Palmer went public, he rejoined the University faculty as a celebrity lecturer on an irregular basis.
By the mid-1970s, Ivy Town was described by some resources, including a geography article in the then-official fanzine Amazing World of DC Comics # 14 (1977), as being located in Connecticut. However, by the late 1980s, writer Roger Stern, possibly with input from Tom Peyer, explicitly placed the city in New York State's Finger Lakes region in Power of the Atom #8. In several issues, place names that exist in real life in the city of Ithaca (home of Cornell University, an Ivy League school) were mentioned. Its nearest notable neighbours included Calvin City, home of the Golden Age Atom, described by Stern as being directly south of Ivy in Pennsylvania.
As introduced in Brave New World (July 2006), the newest Atom is a resident of Ivy Town. It seems that, while Ray Palmer was working with the JLA, strange things have become a regular feature of news here, and Ivy Town has become a mecca for UFOlogists, parapsychologists, and would-be alien invaders.