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Atlanta History Center

Updated on November 21, 2014
Swan House
Swan House | Source

Atlanta History Center Has Much to Offer

On a visit to Atlanta we spent a day at the history center and I was amazed at how much it has to offer. The Atlanta History Center is so much more then just a museum!

It is located on 33 acres of land in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. The history center features a museum with several exhibits, the historic Swan house, the Tullie Smith Farm and historic gardens throughout the property. The center also features a kid's corner, a 1950's soda shop where you can eat lunch, a museum gift shop and a research center.

We spent four hours at the history center and enjoyed every minute of it. In this lens I will tell you about some of my favorite exhibits and show you photos that I took of the grounds and the Swan house.


photographs by Mary Beth Granger

Atlanta History Center - learn about the center

Historic Houses and Buildings

Swan House

Atlanta History Center

The Swan House is a classically styled mansion on the grounds of the Atlanta History Center. It is known as one of the most photographed places in Atlanta. We had a great tour of the mansion during our visit to the history center. The tour guide was delightful. Very informative and eager to answer all the questions. The house was built in 1928 by Atlanta architect Philip Trammell Shutze. The house was the home to Edward and Emily Inman and gives wonderful insight into the life of an affluent Atlanta family in the early twentieth century.

Much of the furniture in the house is the original furniture that the Inmans used. Edward Inman enjoyed eagles and Emily enjoyed swans. You will find these two birds in carvings and decorations throughout the house. My favorite room was the family dining room that had a beautiful red chandelier and was painted in yellow with red insets in the niches. There was also some of the china that belonged to the Inmans on display on the shelves.

The photo above with the columns is the back of the house.

Swan House -Front View


Guidebooks for Atlanta and Georgia

If you are planning a visit to the Atlanta, Georgia area here are some guidebooks I would recommend to help you find places that interest you.

Frommer's Atlanta (Frommer's Complete Guides)
Frommer's Atlanta (Frommer's Complete Guides)

A good guidebook can make all the difference for a successful visit.

Georgia Off the Beaten Path®, 10th: A Guide to Unique Places (Off the Beaten Path Series)
Georgia Off the Beaten Path®, 10th: A Guide to Unique Places (Off the Beaten Path Series)

I love the "Off the Beaten Path" series for finding interesting places to visit.


Swan Coach House

Atlanta History Center

The Swan Coach house originally was a place to keep the cars and wagons and had a servants quarters. Today it houses a restaurant and gift shop.

Tullie Smith Farm - enjoy a tour of the farm


The Tullie Smith farm shows you life on a mid-nineteenth century farm. You can enjoy a tour of the farm with costumed docents or you may explore the farm grounds on your own. The farm includes a restored farmhouse and many of the traditional outbuildings you would find during the nineteenth century. You will see an open-hearth kitchen, the smokehouse, blacksmith shop, double corncrib and a cabin.

We didn't have time for the guided tour on this trip but enjoyed a walk around the grounds.

Victorian Playhouse


This Victorian playhouse is located on the grounds of the history center. It was originally built in downtown Atlanta in the 1890's. It has been moved to various parks over the years and in 1980 it was donated to the Atlanta Historical Society and put on display at the history center. The style shows a period between the time of the Tullis Smith farm and the Swan house.

Museum Exhibits

Centennial Olympic Games Museum - Atlanta hosted 1996 Olympics

The history museum has a wonderful exhibit in honor of the 1996 Olympic games that were held in Atlanta. The exhibit features a great collection of multimedia displays. I really enjoyed watching the opening and closing ceremonies on the big screens in the exhibit and reading about each day of the Atlanta exhibits. There were also displays showing features of each of the modern day Olympics.

If you visit the history center this is a fascinating and must see exhibit!

Folk Arts in a Changing South - Goizueta Folklife Gallery

I really enjoyed the folk arts gallery in the museum. It included many items of pottery, weavings, quilts, furniture, ironwork an musical instruments. I especially liked the display of sweet grass baskets.

The American Civil War - One of largest displays in nation.


The museum has a very interesting display of civil war artifacts, photographs and videos. The story of the civil war from both the Union and Confederate artifacts and photos are shown in the museum.

Historic Gardens

Historic Gardens - 33 Acres of Beauty


The grounds of the history center are a wonderful place to take a stroll. You will find beautiful plants, sculptures, and great trails to explore.

Tell us about your favorite history museum. - stop by and leave a note

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    • Sara2901 profile image

      Sara2901 3 years ago

      My daughter goes to college in Atlanta. Its a 12 hour drive from Texas but I love the scenery.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      The History Museum in Atlanta sounds interesting. I have never been there but have been to the Cyclorama many times but it has been a long time ago. After reading about the museum, I googled the Cyclorama to see if it was still there. It is and I am glad. I would like for my grandson to see it and maybe we can see the museum on the same trip.

    • shewins profile image

      shewins 5 years ago

      It looks beautiful, if I'm ever in Atlanta I'll be dure to stop by.

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 5 years ago from New York

      my sister-and-brother-in-law recently moved to the atlanta area - would love to visit the history center if we ever get down that way

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 6 years ago from Washington KS

      Loved the info, the photos, and the lens.

      Excellent work.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      What lovely photos showing what is available to see at the Atlanta History Center. I lived in Georgia for 13 years, but never made it to this wonderful site to see in Atlanta. Will have to do that on my next visit!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      Every photo is captivating and beautiful! Oh, wait! Was I supposed to read too? lol Most Excellent lens!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      this looked like a lot of fun. Great history lesson and nice photos.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Atlanta is one of my favorite southern cities! Thanks for the history lesson and gorgeous photos.

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 7 years ago

      So much to learn from our history. A very informative lens. Good job!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My first"encounter" with Atlanta was when I read Gone With the Wind (many, many moons ago) -0 it is certainly a place I would like to visit when I win the lottery.

      As ever, you have some lovely photos here :)

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      Lovely place, great pictures, I love the elephant in an Atlanta garden.