Since it officially opened on April 25, 1999, the Smyrna Museum has dedicated to keeping alive the stories that make the Jonquil City unique — from images of the city’s past to artifacts from important events in history.
Located in a replica of the city’s railroad depot that was build in 1910 and razed in 1959, the museum is home to thousands of photographs, a number of exhibits and other displays, the museum is also home to a number of genealogical research materials.
While admission is free, the museum, which is operated by volunteers, does accept donations.
Smyrna, GA 30080
Taylor-Brawner Park sits on what was once the Brawner Hospital complex. Following a 2005 Parks Bond, the city of Smyrna removed dilapidated buildings and developed a 10-acre park, which today includes a gazebo, two picnic pavilions, walking trail, amphitheater, playground, and open space. The park is also home to a pair of historic buildings: Brawner Hall and the Taylor-Brawner House.
The Silver Comet Trail repurposed a former rail line into a popular multi-purpose path. The route dates to the 1890s when a rail line connecting Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala. Seaboard Air Line Railroad operated the line and its successor, CSX, abandoned it in 1987. The trail is named for the Silver Comet passenger train, which ran from May 18, 1947, until 1969. The trail starts in Smyrna, Ga., and passes through Paulding and Polk counties and connects with the Chief Ladiga Trail at the Georgia-Alabama border.
According to various sources, Smyrna Methodist Church founded the Smyrna Memorial Cemetery in 1838 near what is today the intersection of Memorial Place and Atlanta Road in the heart of the city. The 170-year-old cemetery lies in the shadows of Smyrna Market Village. The cemetery is home to a number of notable denizens of Smyrna over the years, including John Moore, who served the first mayor of Smyrna when the city was incorporated on Aug. 23, 1872. There are a total of 638 people buried in Smyrna Memorial Cemetery, but only about 238 graves are marked with headstones. The grave of Elijah Fleming, who died on April 8, 1848, is the earliest marked grave in the cemetery. The grave of his daughter, Mary, who died on March 14, 1858, at the age of 17, is the second oldest marked grave in the cemetery. A 1999 archaeological survey located 395 graves that were previously lost to history.
The building that today serves as the Smyrna Welcome Center was once a famous restaurant serving up Southern-themed fare. Isoline Campbell MacKenna opened Aunt Fanny’s Cabin in 1941, turning an 1890s-era cabin into a country store selling food made using the recipes of Fanny Williams, her family’s retired cook. The restaurant, originally located a few miles away from its current location operated until 1994.
Concord Woolen Mills dates to 1847 when Robert Daniell and Martin Ruff opened the mill. The mill was destroyed on July 4, 1864, by Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s troops. The two men rebuilt the mill, which reopened in 1868. By 1870, the mill had 16 workers, making it the largest employer in the area. The two men sold the mill in 1872. The mill went out of business in 1916, and the ruins are located along what is today the Heritage Park Trail and Silver Comet Trail.
The Concord Covered Bridge over Nickajack Creek was built in 1872 to replace an earlier bridge destroyed during the Civil War. The one-lane bridge, also known as Nickajack Creek Covered Bridge, is more than 130 feet long and 16 feet wide and is a part of the Covered Bridge Historic District, so named for the bridge. An earlier bridge was built in the area in 1848, but troops under Union Gen. William T. Sherman burned the span on July 4, 1864. The current bridge was renovated or upgraded in the 1950s and again in 1999. Much of the traffic that used to cross the bridge was diverted to the East-West Connector when it opened in the 1990s. The one-lane bridge has a relatively low clearance, and several times every year motorists driving vehicles too big for the bridge crash into the structure and damage it.
Shoupade Park preserves a rare but essential remnant of the Civil War’s River Line. Confederate Brigadier Gen. Francis Shoup in 1864 built a series of earthen forts shaped like arrowheads large enough to hold 80 soldiers. The fortification, known as “Shoupades,” allowed them to fire shots to the right, left and straight ahead as the enemy approached. Confederate troops wanted the shoupades to stop Union troops from crossing the Chattahoochee River and entering Atlanta. Modern development wiped out most of the Shoupades over the years. However, through an agreement with a developer, the city of Smyrna helped preserve one of the works. A shoupade model is on display at the Smyrna Museum.