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Attraction Overview

Name:Atlanta History Center, which is made up of many components. The three major ones open to the public are the Atlanta History Museum, which features the museum's own collections and exhibits traveling collections, the Tullie Smith house, a farmhouse from Toco Hills in nearby Dekalb County, and the Swan House, reflecting the urban opulence of Atlanta in the 1920's.

Swan House entrance at the Atlanta History Center
Next to the mansions on tree-lined Paces Ferry Road is the expansive home of Edward and Emily Inman, wealthy heirs to Atlanta's Inman fortune. Known as the Swan House (inside the house swans are the central motif), the land on which it sits was purchased in 1966 to house the collections of the Atlanta Historical Society. Since that time the museum has expanded to include the Atlanta History Museum, the Tullie Smith House, a number of outbuildings, and History Center support buildings.

Fire engine in the Atlanta History Centers Metropolitan Frontiers
As you enter the history museum Metropolitan Frontiers is on your right, and a must-see whether you're a historian or casual visitor. Using both actual and replica materials the exhibit takes visitors on a trip through Atlanta history. From the earliest days as a railroad/mill town through the Civil War and Reconstruction (when the city became the state capital thanks to the occupying Union Army). Into the 20th and 21st centuries the Atlanta History Museum tells the story of the city with an interesting array of displays including information on Atlanta's airport, a car manufactured in the city, the Great White Way, the Sweet Auburn district and the Civil Rights movement, in which Atlanta played a pivotal role.

Bobby Jones welcomed in Atlanta
Also on permanent display is Down the Fairway With Bobby Jones. Although best recognized as a golfer, Jones was truly a multi-faceted talent, graduating from Georgia Tech when he was 16 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He went on to garner a wide range of degrees from schools just as prestigious as Tech. Deeply connected to north Georgia, Bobby Jones is the grandson (and namesake) of Robert Tyre Jones of Canton, who established the largest general store throughout north Georgia in 1880.

Between 1923 and 1930, when he retired from professional golf, Jones won 13 major tournaments, and went on to design world-class golf courses, including Augusta National, where the Masters is played. His contributions to Atlanta go well beyond the golf course, and the displays catalog these as well as his debilitating spinal disease that confined him to a wheelchair in his later years.

Shaping Traditions explores the role of folk art in the Southeastern United States
Shaping Traditions: Folk Arts in a changing South takes visitors on a tour of the Folk Art not only of Georgia, but the entire southeastern United States. This large, well presented collection includes displays on folk music, quilting, woven baskets, woodwork, and pottery. Examples of each (including a large display of artistic pottery) is interpreted, with signs explaining the how, what and why for each of the elements of these arts.It is one of our favorites, since most of the folk arts displayed were income-producing for the relatively poor north Georgia residents.

For fans of the War Between the States (Civil War for you northerners), the museum has one of the most exhaustive displays on this pivotal time in American history. The collection covers the ordinance, weaponry, medical equipment, and political aspects of the war while maintaining its central theme about the battles and how the Union won the war. The displays are separated into years, starting with Lincoln's election in 1860

Each year of the war is covered in the collection, which does not center on the War in Georgia but takes in a much larger picture. Collector Beverly DuBois, Sr. and his son, friends to notable historians Franklin Garrett and Wilbur Kurtz, amassed the largest privately held collection of Civil War artifacts before giving it to the Atlanta History Museum in the 1980's. Each display is interpreted, for casual visitors, or take a guided tour of the exhibit (for free with admission) every Saturday and Sunday.

On the grounds of the Center are two houses. The Tullie Smith House, a post-war farmhouse that was moved to the property from DeKalb County, Georgia, and the Swan House. Tours are regularly scheduled and you must sign up for each at the admissions desk. Both homes are worth seeing. There is a nominal additional fee to tour these homes.

Additional Information
Cost: $$ (moderate)
Address:130 West Paces Ferry Road NW,
Atlanta, Georgia 30305

Want more information on Atlanta?
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County: Fulton County

Atlanta History Center, Atlanta, Georgia


Take I-75 to exit #255, West Paces Ferry Road. Turn east on West Paces Ferry Road and go 2.7 miles. Turn right into the Atlanta History Center

Take south I-85 to exit 88, Cheshire Bridge/Lenox. Turn right onto Lenox Road and go 1.9 miles (Lenox- Peachtree Road Road). Turn left onto Peachtree Road and go two miles to the intersection of Peachtree, Roswell, and West Paces Ferry Roads. Turn right onto West Paces Ferry Road. Go through two trafficlights. The Atlanta History Center is on the left.

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The Civil War in Georgia
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