Day 4: Atlanta History Center
A hidden oasis among the hustle and bustle of the city of Atlanta is the Atlanta History Center which houses not only a museum, but a mansion and extensive grounds for visitors to walk around. The museum is located in the middle of Buckhead, but one can quickly be lost amongst the historic houses and gardens rather than the skyscrapers of Buckhead. The most famous house on the museum grounds is the Swan House, which has recently been featured in the Hunger Games movies as President Snow’s house. The house was built in 1928 and offers visitors a glimpse of an Atlanta house in the 1920s and 30s. The house is beautiful and ornate, both on the inside and the outside. A walk around the rest of the grounds leads one to the Smith Family Farm and the Wood Family Cabin. Both were originally located elsewhere, but were moved to the museum grounds because they are both representative of Georgia homes in their respective periods, the former an antebellum farm that survived the Civil War and the latter a frontier home. In between houses, one can wander through the beautiful gardens that provide a getaway from the busy city all around.
The museum itself has several permanent exhibits, as well as some temporary ones. Perhaps the most well-known exhibit is the museum’s Civil War exhibit, one of the biggest in the country. The exhibit provides visitors with a history of the war along with a plethora of uniforms, guns, ammunition, and other accoutrements of soldiers. There is also an exhibit on the Olympic games, providing a history of the modern games with a focus on the Olympic games that Atlanta hosted in 1996. Another exhibit features the life of Atlanta’s native son and golf hero, Bobby Jones. There are also exhibits on southern folk art and imported China.
The Atlanta History Center offers a number of rotating exhibits; check the website for their current offerings. Although it is not open yet, the museum is also in the process of building a structure to house the Atlanta Cyclorama, an enormous painting of the Battle of Atlanta.
The Atlanta History Center provides a long afternoon of sight-seeing and provides an interesting glimpse into aspects of Georgia’s history. We enjoyed learning about Georgia’s history at the museum and recommend checking it out for yourself.