The Atlanta History Center

The Exhibits – Atlanta History Center

During my visit to Atlanta, I wanted to explore the history of what made Atlanta what it is today- the past and present, if you will. The Atlanta History Center seems to be the best start to our two days in here.

One can drive here and find free parking or even take the subway, but expect a bit of a walk from the subway station, which is about a mile away. I opted for my own transportation parking in the covered garage.

This center has several areas to explore both inside and outside, a full museum with multiple themed rooms, special exhibits, and three historic house museums outside.  Two of these houses were moved to this property. You can spend a whole day exploring here and even grab a bit at the coffee and read a book from their bookstore. Highly recommended!

So what do you see… a mix of the history of Civil War, business, and industrial revolution of Atlanta detailing the some hints to the daily life individuals during this time.

Front of Swan House
Front of Swan House

One shocking find is the KKK shield, but it is a reminder of the dark side of southern history.

KKK Shield
Confederate Widow In Mourning

This exhibit was intriguing for a couple of reasons including the background depicted and the plaque that detailed some of the differences in the struggles Southern widows experienced versus their Northern counterparts.


Diseases, Tents, and the Civil War

The above image looks deceptive as it does look like a a tent setting for the civil and the exhibit does cover several historical items here including: the weight in the backpack (around 50lbs.), the tent setup, and disease. What is striking is the description of this exhibit of the diseases causing the majority of deaths during the Civil War.  These included: diphtheria, dysentery, cholera, typhoid fever, malaria, and small pox–just to name a few.

Indian Removal Act of 1930

The Trail of Tears exhibit was rather skimmed over here. There was some first hand written accounts of Native Americans concerning their present-day experience and experience of their ancestors. As I left this exhibit, I was wanted more info and felt like something was missing. Maybe we will not know the full story?


Bobby Jones Exhibit

Confession here– I skipped this exhibit as I am not a golfer and you will not find me watching any sports. Don’t even ask me the current score of the latest game on TV. So this was not an exhibit for me. I moved on to the historic homes outside.

Swan House

Swan House
Model T Car
file-Staircase Swan House
Staircase Swan House


Tullie Smith’s Farmhouse (circa 1840)

Smilth Fam. Farm
Smith’s Family Farm

The last exhibit for my day’s adventure was the Smith Family Farm, which was an 800 acre farm with 200 of these acres farmed and the rest left for the pigs and cows to roam-the early part of free range farming.  This was one of the houses moved to the Atlanta Historic Center site and is the oldest surviving farmhouse in the city. It is worthy of a visit.

Living room
Inside- Living Room
Slave quarters
The Slave Quarters

Exploring Atlanta?  Check out these links:

Atlanta History Center

Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau

Restaurants Explored 

Swan Coach House  

This is the coach house of the Swan House with a gift-shop and restaurant. It was very busy and serves only lunch until around 2:30 pm. So, plan your schedule accordingly if you wish to eat here. I would park at the Atlanta Historic Center, explore, and walk over to the gift shop, if you wish to avoid paying for valet parking. This seemed to be only option here behind the 20 minute limit few spaces in the front for visiting the gift shop. As for the food prices, they are $$-$$$.

Mary Mac’s Tea Room.

Don’t skip trying out this local favorite for over 70 years. It is well worth a visit. We were not disappointed.


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