Fanny Williams memorial construction to begin in November

A November 2019 view of Aunt Fanny’s Cabin. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

SMYRNA, Georgia — Officials here will begin constructing a memorial to Fanny Williams in November, the city’s mayor said this week.

The city is spending $125,000 to erect the monument to Williams, a local civil rights icon. The move to erect a memorial honoring Williams comes after officials in the Atlanta suburb of Smyrna razed a historic cabin named after her.

The building was once part of a racially insensitive restaurant that opened in 1941 and closed in 1992. The city purchased the building, relocated it and preserved it — using it for city events, such as meet and greets with Santa Claus — for three decades before destroying it in August 2022 amid concerns it perpetuated racial stereotypes.

A “talented, diverse task force … has worked extremely hard over many months to get the memorial to Fanny Williams right,” Smyrna Mayor Derek Norton said in his State of the City. “And construction will begin in November on this well-designed tribute that will be built where Aunt Fannie’s cabin was across from the Market Village.”

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Sightseers’ Delight started publishing in June 2016. The site, published by The DeFeo Groupe, collects and curates content about places where historical events large and small happened. The site builds off the legacy of The Travel Trolley, which launched in June 2009. The site aimed to be a virtual version of the trolley tours offered in so many cities.