Smyrna Historical & Genealogical Society was chartered
and incorporated as a not-for-profit organization under the
laws of the State of Georgia on May 17, 1985 after an initial
meeting of the incorporators on April 14, 1985. The original
incorporators were former Smyrna Mayor Harold Smith, his wife
Betty, and Emmett Yancey. Attorney George Carreker handled
the legal work.
purposes were to be a membership organization for collecting
and preserving photographs, information and other memorabilia
relative to the City of Smyrna and the surrounding area. Another
goal was to establish a museum and research library for its
members and the general public.
general membership meeting was held March 27, 1986, in the
community room at King Springs Park (now Tolleson Park) with
18 people in attendance.
issue of Lives & Times, the official publication of the
society was distributed in March 1986, and has been published
every other month since that time.
five years, however, before another of the purposes was realized.
That was the establishment of the Smyrna Museum. It was opened
to the public on Saturday, April 25, 1992, in connection with
the annual celebration of the Jonquil Festival. The first
exhibit was from photos and memorabilia which had been collected
and stored at the home of the Smiths for several years. The
original location was 2858 King Street in a building constructed
by the Smyrna Jaycees for the Smyrna Health Clinic.
Society members, city officials and hundreds of other Smyrna
residents were saddened on September 20, 1993, when museum
co-founder Betty Smith died of cancer after having undergone
surgery in June. Several hundred people attended an open house
January 1995, when the Museum was dedicated to Betty's memory
in services conducted by city officials Mayor Max Bacon, Councilman
Bill Scoggins and Councilman Pete Wood
the dedication ceremonies Mayor Bacon told the audience that
the building housing the museum would eventually be demolished
as a part of the redevelopment of downtown, but that provisions
would be made for the continuation of the Smyrna Museum.
later, in connection with that promise, Mayor Bacon revealed
a plan for the future Smyrna Museum. He stated that a replica
of the former Western and Atlantic (NC & St. L. and L
& N) railroad station which was demolished in the late
1950's would be constructed near the site of its previous
location at the intersection of Atlanta and Spring Streets
next to the railroad.
This structure would be the new home of the Smyrna Museum
and the Smyrna Historical & Genealogical Society. On the
same site, just to the south of the Museum, the relocated
and restored Aunt Fanny's Cabin Restaurant would become the
Smyrna Welcome Center.
publishes Lives & Times six times a year. The newsletter
carries information on Society activities, announces dates
and locations of events and meetings. It contains articles
on area families, genealogical charts and family history.
called "Visiting the Past" recounts events of long
ago in ten to 100 year increments.
of each meeting are recorded here. New books relating to history
and genealogy which have been placed in the Smyrna library
are also listed. The names of new members are printed in the
Lives & Times.
the Society publishes cemetery books which record all the
inscriptions on grave stones in Smyrna area cemeteries. The
booklets also contain a plat indicating where each grave is
located. This is an ongoing project and eventually we hope
to have a book for each cemetery.