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SHGS - Preserving Our Community's Heritage Since 1985
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Smyrna Welcome Center  

Smyrna Welcome Center
Smyrna Welcome Center

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Aunt Fanny's Cabin Photo Gallery

2875 Atlanta Road
Smyrna, Georgia 30080
(770) 805-4277
Open Mon-Wed-Thu-Fri-Sat, 10 AM to 4 PM
(Closed Tuesdays & Sundays)

The Smyrna Welcome Center is located next door to the Smyrna Museum and is operated by the city. It has no affiliation with the Smyrna Historical and Genealogical Society and this information is posted to this website as a courtesy.

It opened on April 23, 1999. The building's two sections were once part of a famous restaurant that operated a few miles away - Aunt Fanny's Cabin.

The welcome center provides a wide array of event and community information and brochures (free of charge, see link above) for prospective residents, visitors and locals. Tasteful souvenirs such as glassware, shirts and cook books are also sold.

The historic and cozy facility includes a 21-seat meeting room with a large kitchen that can be rented for a small fee. The meeting room's atmosphere is perfect for baby showers, retirement parties, club meetings, etc. Please call for more information.

The Smyrna Welcome Center is 100% staffed by volunteers who invite you to visit, ask questions or just drop in and enjoy a beautiful historical setting. A volunteer application is available above for people who like to smile, talk and serve the community!

Fanny Williams Biography

Ms. Williams, the namesake of Aunt Fanny's Cabin, was an African American woman who was born circa 1860. There is no record of her birth. In the 1880s she went to work for the family of Orme Campbell as a nursemaid and cook for many years during which time she acquired the nickname "Aunt Fanny".

Ms. Williams was very active in the community as a fundraiser for her church, Atlanta's Wheat Street Baptist, and an African American medical center in Marietta. The restaurant used her recipes and was named for her by Mr. Campbell's daughter when Ms. Williams was believed to be in her eighties.

Ms. Williams died on November 5, 1949. She is buried at South View Cemetery in Atlanta.

Please e-mail the SHGS is you can provide additional biographical information or photos. Thank you.

Circa 1945
Aunt Fanny's Cabin Circa 1945

History of Aunt Fanny's Cabin

The Smyrna Welcome Center was once a world-famous, Southern-themed restaurant named Aunt Fanny's Cabin. The restaurant, which closed in 1994, was located a few miles away on Campbell Road just north of the railroad bridge.

In 1941 Isoline Campbell MacKenna converted an existing 1890s-era cabin on her property to a country store to sell preserves and produce grown and produced on her farm. She soon began selling soup and other foods prepared from the recipes of her family's retired cook - Fanny Williams.

Demand for the prepared foods grew and in the early 1940's a brick floored terrace room was added and the restaurant, named Aunt Fanny's Cabin, opened.

By 1945 the restaurant had established itself as "a place to eat and be seen" and attracted famous celebrities from around the world.

The restaurant served authentic Southern-style food, America's oldest recognized cuisine, in a rustic environment. During its day, it was considered quite expensive. It was expanded several times over the years and eventually seated 800 customers.

During its five decades of operation, the restaurantPopular Souvenir Mint Julep Glass was visited by movie stars, sports figures, politicians and other celebrities who not only signed the guest book, but left behind many autographed photos that graced the walls.

The restaurant was sold in 1946 to Harvey Hester and Marjorie Bowman who operated it for 22 years. George Poole purchased it in 1968. Frank Johnson bought the property in 1992 and closed it in 1994. The six acre property was later redeveloped as a luxury home subdivision.

The 1890s cabin and 1940s terrace room were moved to the current location in 1998 and refurbished for use as a welcome center.

Mr. Johnson, the final owner, donated the historic memorabilia and celebrity photos that are displayed within to the city of Smyrna.


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