Smyrna is a large town located about a mile northwest of the city of Atlanta. It’s home to quite a bit of interesting history due to its proximity to Atlanta. There was a battle fought here during the Civil War, and the town also played a role in a Confederate line of defense. But it also has more genteel history in the form of a historic covered bridge and the fictional plantation of Tara from “Gone With the Wind.” There’s a lot of interesting history to check out while staying in Smyrna.
Concord Covered Bridge
The Concord Bridge was built in 1872. It spans the Nickajack Creek and is open to traffic to this day. Its longevity can be attributed to steel beams and concrete piers added in the 1950s to give it structural strength. Travel can cross the bridge safely while exploring of a piece of living history. It’s now part of the Silver Comet Trail, which is a rails-to-trails system spanning western Georgia. The nearby remains of a grist mill and dam attest to the vital link this bridge once gave to the area’s commerce.
The Battle of Smyrna
Smyrna was the site of an important battle that took place over two weeks in the summer of 1864. At the time, Smyrna was comprised of a few buildings and a railroad depot. The railroad was an important supply line for both armies, as it stretched 473 miles between Nashville and Atlanta. Roads in the area were primarily made of dirt and turned into impassable mud the moment rain fell, making the railroad of the utmost importance.
Nowadays, markers dot the city to show where skirmishes and battles happened. Civil War buffs who want to stand on these sites will want to stay in a hotel that’s central to the markers for convenience so they can have more time to check them out.
While not exactly a piece of actual Smyrna history, the Tara plantation from the “Gone With the Wind” movie does have historical overtones. In 1960, the movie set version of Tara was bought, dismantled, and shipped to Smyrna where it was stored in a barn for decades. That barn was a few miles away from the plantation that inspired the fictional one and plans were made to rebuild it.
Those plans failed, and the pieces are still residing in the same barn it was brought to. An ambitious individual has taken up the job of raising interest in getting it reconstructed for posterity. Visitors who want to see the building as it currently rests can ask for a tour and learn about its history and that of Margaret Mitchell’s body of work.
These are some of the interesting things to do and see while staying in Smyrna, but not all. Find local tours, walk around to see architecture, and head into the countryside to explore the remnants of the Old South and feel what it was like to live in days gone by.