Think Smyrna is just another run-of-the-mill Southern town? Think again. Here are 9 fun facts about our great city, written with help from Harold Smith, President of Smyrna Historical and Genealogical Society.
- The city of Smyrna is known as the Jonquil City for the thousands of jonquil flowers that bloom in early Spring each year.
- Smyrna gets its name from the Bible’s book of Revelation, after one of the churches established by the Apostle Paul in the first century A.D.
- What is now the Silver Comet Trail,has been a hiking trail for more than 150 years. The Concord Dam and lake formed by the backwaters of Nickajack Creek was a favorite recreation spot since the 1800’s.
- The Concord covered bridge over Nickajack Creek was constructed around 1848 and is the only bridge in the metro area still in use as a public highway. More than 12,000 vehicles cross the narrow one-way span each day.
- Smyrna was the “transformer” station when the Atlanta Northern Interurban Trolley Inc, ran trolleys from Marietta to downtown. The trolleys made the 18-mile trip in 50 minutes, travelling up to 65 mph, at the cost of 35 cents per person.
- During the Civil War, the Union Army’s General Sherman was nearly killed during the historic battle of Smyrna on July 4, 1864. Historians say General Sherman was performing reconnaissance when a bullet whizzed perilously close to his head, destroying his hat.
- Smyrna was the home of Belmont Hills Shopping Complex, the South’s largest shopping center, in the 1950’s. A former farm was turned into a strip mall that drew visitors from as far away as Tennessee and Alabama.
- The Smyrna Welcome Center on Atlanta Rd. was once a world-famous, Southern-themed restaurant named Aunt Fanny’s Cabin. For five decades the restaurant hosted movie stars, sports figures, politicians and other celebrities of the day.
- Actress Julia Roberts is Smyrna-born! She attended Fitzhugh Lee Elementary School (which ceased regular operation in 1998), Griffin Middle School, and Campbell High School.
Smyrna Welcome Center and Museum: 2861 Atlanta Road, Smyrna SmyrnaHistory.org