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SHGS - Preserving Our Community's Heritage Since 1985
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About Us  

The 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.

The stated 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.

The first general membership meeting was held March 27, 1986, in the community room at King Springs Park (now Tolleson Park) with 18 people in attendance.

The first 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.

It was 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.

Historical 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

During 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.

Some months 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.

Publications

The Society 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.

A feature called "Visiting the Past" recounts events of long ago in ten to 100 year increments.

The minutes 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.

Periodically, 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.
   

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Official Smyrna Historical and Genealogical Society Logo

Orginal Smyrna Museum - 1993

The orginal Smyrna Museum - 1993

New Museum Early Construction - 1998
New Museum Early Construction - 1998
1999 Smyrna Museum Grand Opening
SHGS President Harold Smith speaking at the
new museum's grand opening in 1999.


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