Smyrna Museum To Reopen Sunday

After more than a year, the Smyrna Historical Society will reopen the Smyrna Museum with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 17.

“Everyone is invited,” said Museum Manager Jennie Eldredge, “It’s an opportunity to come see the new exhibits in the museum.”

The museum is at 2861 Atlanta Rd SE, Smyrna; and the opening will be from 3 – 5 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

The museum, which dates back to 1992, has been in its present location in a former railroad station for almost two decades. It closed July 2018 for renovations. Previously run by volunteers, Eldredge is the first museum professional in the job.

In 1985 the Smyrna History and Genealogical Society started collecting records, photographs and objects until opening a physical museum in 1992. It moved to the present location in 1999. Two years ago the Smyrna Historical Society was created by the city council to support and aid the museum in its operations.

The museum will be organized in five chronological sections with another area for temporary displays.

The first section is “Genesis,” covering pre-history and Native Americans. Next is “Battlegrounds,” with Civil War relics and history; “Cityhood,” the aftermath of the war, reconstruction and incorporation of city in 1872; “Jonquil,” the 20th century, WWII, and growth of the Bell bomber plant; and “Rebirth,” covering the economic growth of city and its diversity.

 “We are bringing in interactive displays and the ability to touch objects,” Eldredge said. “It pairs with the sensory input of the trains rolling right behind us.”

The museum includes an interactive display in every section, including weaving a Cherokee basket, picking up a Civil War-era knapsack to measure the weight of the gear they had to carry, and making your own Smyrna postcard.

Chamblee-based Building Four Fabrication provided the rebuilt presentation at a cost of $185,000 which is under budget.

The Ribbon cutting at 3 p.m. will include The Mayor and Councilman Corky Welch, plus Jennifer Dixon, chair of the Smyrna Historical Society. “I hope that this museum will encourage others to find their passion for history, especially if it encourages them to preserve local history.”

“We want to honor the Smyrna Genealogical Society for their work in founding the museum,” Eldredge said. “They are the reason we have this space and much of this collection. Without them we would not have this reopening.”

 “The Museum will be a gathering space for stories, oral histories and local history,” said Eldredge. “We would like to partner with the schools to get translations of our script into Spanish and other languages.” The 1,500 sq. foot space was cleared out and new displays and storage built. It is designed with open storage in mind, with some items on display plus other items in drawers for further exploration.

Norton, Campbell In Runoff For Smyrna Mayor

Smyrna voters will go back to the polls on Dec. 3 to elect a Mayor as Derek Norton and Ryan Campbell forced a runoff in a five-person race.

Norton had 47 percent of the vote to Campbell’s 25 percent. Other Mayoral candidates included Steve Rasin at 22 percent, Laura Mireles at 5 percent and Alex Backry at 1 percent.

Norton, 42, is serving as Ward 1 Councilman, Mayor Pro Tem and works as  Government Affairs Director for the Medical Association of Georgia. Campbell, 26, is the son of Jamaican immigrants who operate Chris’ Caribbean Bistro. 

In Ward 2, Austin Wagner defeated incumbent Andrea Blustein by just two votes, 341 to 339.

Travis Lindley defeated incumbent Ward 3 Councilwoman Maryline Blackburn with 53 percent of the vote.

Susan Winkinson, incumbent in Ward 5 held on with 52 percent of the vote over James Smith and Suz Kaprich.

In the open Ward 7 race, Lewis Wheaton took 57 percent of the vote over David Monroe.

In the unopposed races Glenn Pickins won the Ward 1 seat, and incumbents Charles ‘Corkey’ Welch, Ward 4; and Tim Gould, Ward 6;  were reelected.

Ollie Clemons, serving as acting Mayor in Austell, won a full term with 54 percent of the vote by defeating three challengers. Devon Myrick and Melanie Elder were elected to council seats.

Smyrna’s runoff election will be held Dec. 3.

Taste Of Smyrna

Taste of Smyrna “Festival of Delectable” presented by Superior Plumbing is coming to satisfy palates, quench the thirst, fulfill the need for music and entertainment, and please the kids, Sept. 14.

Visitors will be able to sample more than 30 Smyrna restaurants on the beautiful Village Green and Market Village in downtown Smyrna.

Admission to the Taste is FREE with food samples costing $1 to $4 each.

Diners can experience tastes from more than 30 restaurants including: Tin Drum, Taco Mac, Williamson Bros. BBQ, Bruster’s Ice Cream, Copelands of New Orleans and more to tempt the taste buds and fill the senses. 

There will be live music all day during the festival from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There will be interactive children’s activities from a Quad Bungee, inflatable slides, bounces, Special OPS obstacle course and much more.  

The Taste of Smyrna bottled water and soft drink sales will benefit the Smyrna Education Foundation.

There will be acoustic sounds from Scott Thompson entertaining patrons from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. adjacent to the Veteran’s Memorial, and more live music throughout the event from open to close.      

From the September 2019  issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.   

Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon To Retire

Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon dropped a political bombshell in July as he announced he would not seek reelection.

“It’s time for me to go,” Bacon said in a Facebook post. “I can no longer give the 110% that I have given the last 40 years. I will miss serving all the citizens of Smyrna…but will be ok. Smyrna will always be the best place to live.”

Bacon was speaking to a sellout crowd fr his annual “State of the City” address to the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and Smyrna Business Association on July 10.

It was a reversal from Bacon’s May announcement to run and he said he had even ordered campaign signs and t-shirts that read “I Heart Bacon.”

While still dabbing at tears, he offered a discount on campaign shirts.

“Don’t forget about those T-shirts now — $6,” he joked.

The political bombshell has drawn at least four probable candidates for the mayor’s post. They include:

Ward 1 Councilman Dereck Norton, Government Affairs Director for the Georgia Municipal Association; Laura Mireles, an Air Force veteran who worked in law enforcement; Steve Rasin, a retired Navy Commander, Airline Pilot and owner of a real estate business; and  Alex Backery, a perennial candidate who is retired.

Candidate qualifying will be Aug. 20-22 at city hall.

During his presentation, Mayor Bacon cited numerous accomplishments from his four decades in public office.

From the August 2019 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Get Rid of Bulky Trash

It’s time to clean out your closets, basements, garages and rooms. The City of Smyrna and Keep Smyrna Beautiful are hosting the first Bulky Trash Amnesty Day Saturday, Aug. 17 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Smyrna residents are invited to bring their unwanted items and drop them off at the Smyrna Public Works Department on Atlanta Road.

This event is FREE and for Smyrna residents only. Please bring proof of residency: City of Smyrna utility bill preferred but a drivers license is fine.

Items accepted include: Furniture, carpet, mattresses and box springs, grills, car parts (doors, fenders), lawn furniture, and non Freon containing appliances (washers, dryers, etc).

Items NOT accepted include: paint, any household hazardous waste, refrigerators, freezers, tires, construction debris, lawn mowers, or propane tanks.

“We are encouraging neighborhoods to work together to bring items,” said Janet Liberman. “For example: join together and rent a truck or offer to bring a neighbor’s items if you have a pickup truck and they don’t have a car big enough.”

From the August 2019 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Smyrna Museum Adds To Collection

The Smyrna Historical Society hosted an event at the Smyrna Library in July seeking donations for the remodeled museum and included a large display of Smyrna related artifacts. 







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Corky Welch donates City Hall sign to Smyrna Museum Manager Jennie Eldredge, and Mike Terry.

Jennie Eldredge, Museum Manager was joined by historian Mike Terry, and board members Linda Evans, Bill Marchione, and Nancy Geisler as the community turned out in record numbers to become members of the new society and enjoy viewing numerous unique and historic artifacts.

Among the donations was the original sign from the new city hall that opened in 1996. Ward 4 City Councilman Corky Welch brought the sign to the collection event at the Smyrna Public Library. Terry said the sign was on the old city hall…the white brick building…so it is about 30 years old. Not exactly an antique, but an important part of Smyrna History.

On display was the original cast-iron zero mile marker post from 1872 donated by Harold Smith, an unusual plug-tobacco cutter from an old Smyrna general store, a rare stereoscope viewer, many 1900 era kitchen items, a collection of Civil War uniform buttons, and hundreds of old photographs. 

Visitors were also given the latest information about the revitalized history museum; a grand opening is expected in October. 

To join the society, or to get more information about the history of Smyrna, contact  Mike Terry at 770-438-6182 or Linda Evans at 770-436-8062.

From the August 2019 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs, and Austell, GA.

‘Shrek The Musical’ In Smyrna

Smyrna Village Players’ cast and crew invite you to experience SHREK THE MUSICAL in an all-new light in four performances on July 18, 19 and 20.

This new age fairytale is full of sidesplitting laughs, heartfelt friendships and harrowing adventure.

Smyrna Village Players is an outreach of SFUMC and the local Methodist community. The group offers an outlet for individuals to share their talents and gifts and seeks to bring joy and unity to our neighbors by working as a collaborative team to tell compelling stories.

The unique interpretation of this beloved tale brings our favorite renaissance heroes into modern times. We’ve embraced a vibrant, rock’n’roll inspired aesthetic and the jam-packed performance is guaranteed to keep you engaged and on the edge of your seat.

Performances are July 18 at 7 p.m.), July 19 at 7 p.m. and July 20 at 2 and 7 p.m. Performances are in the Fellowship Hall of Smyrna First United Methodist Church, 1315 Concord Road, Smyrna. The performance offers professional ASL interpretation at the Saturday 2 p.m. matinee show and welcome all members of the Smyrna community to enjoy this upbeat, family-friendly production. General Admission tickets are $15 and Student/Senior tickets are $12. Tickets are on sale now at www.smyrnavillageplayers.com.

Linda Keeney Scholarship Awarded

The King Springs Foundation awarded its second annual Linda B. Keeney Scholarship for King Springs Alumni April 26 to Campbell High School Senior, Spencer Ford.

Ford will be attending the University of Miami to pursue a degree in Musicianship, Artistry Development, and Entrepreneurship. 

The Linda B. Keeney Scholarship for King Springs Alumni was established in 2018 to honor the career of King Springs’ long-time principal upon her retirement from public education.

In 2018, the King Springs Foundation awarded a $1,000 scholarship.  In 2019, the award was doubled to $2,000. In 2020, the King Springs Foundation has a goal of once again doubling the award.  If you would like to contribute directly to the scholarship, please go kingspringsfoundation.org/.

From the June 2019  issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Lawn Chairs Now Okay At Renovated Amphitheatre

Visitors check out the new terraced seating area that allows lawn chairs at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheater during a recent open house.

The Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre’s season is underway and concert goers and performers are benefitting from extensive renovations.
“We have a robust concert series that we are this hosting on behalf local promoters,” said Robert Edwards, general manager. The amphitheater is a rental only facility.

“One of our promoters, Royal Entertainment, has brought in some 20 concerts over the summer.”

Royal also helped facilitate moving all of the Kiss 104.1 Flashback series from Lakewood Amphitheater. Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends have back to back concerts.

“It’s going to be a fun series over the summer,” Edwards said during an open house at the facility in May.

A new movie series on the first Friday of each month called Movies , Band and Brew, will be a nostalgic evening with the theme of an individual artist and film.

“We are teaming up with the Arts Center so the first Friday in July is a Prince experience. A national touring, exhibit, then have Hero, The Band playing music of Prince and the movie Purple Rain.

An Evening of Jazz series is already underway.

Edwards said that in the winter of 2017 renovations began the backstage area, including the green room and dressing areas.

“We ripped up all the floors which now with polished concrete, bought new furniture, and gave it a new look. We really spruced up the place to give the artists a better impression of our backstage,” he said.

“This past winter we redid the lawn area so it is now terraced instead of a steep hill. Now we allow all of our patrons to bring in their own lawn chairs. It’s a big deal since we never allowed that in the past. We have new bar areas in the venue so we have full cash bars available to the public,” he said.

The entire SPLOST renovation was $2 million spread out over two years.

The seating area remains the same capacity at 2,500 with 1,500 under the roof and 1,000 on the lawn.

“It’s just a more user friendly lawn area,” he said.

Here are some of the shows coming this summer and fall at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre.

An Evening of Jazz series:

• June 22 – featuring Gregory Porter, Ken Ford and Kathy Kosins.

• July 6 – featuring Boney James, Avery Sunshine and Alex Bugnon.

• Aug. 3 – featuring Brian Culberson and Najee.

• Aug. 17 – featuring Jeffrey Osborne and Jody Watley.

• Sept. 21 – featuring Jonathan Butler, Kirk Whalum, Eric Darius and Nick Colionne.

July 20 – The Gentlemen of Soul featuring Peabo Bryson, Freddie Jackson and Howard Hewett

Kiss 104.1 Flashback Festival:

• Aug. 31 – The Whispers with Ruben Studdard, and Evelyn Champagne King.

• Sept. 1 – Cameo with Midnight Star, and Glenn Jones.

Also, Sept. 7 – Sounds Good Medicine with Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Kenney Lattimore, and Bryan Thompson, hosted by M.C. Lightfoot.

The Wednesday night children’s series, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, will feature free movies such as Black Panther on June 12; Spiderman Into the Spiderverese on June 26; A Wrinkle In Time on July 10; and How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World on July 24.

First Fridays feature Movie, Bands and Brews:

• July 5 – Purple Rain, featuring Hero, the Band, playing Prince music.

• Aug. 2 – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, featuring The Neon Queen.

• Sept. 6 – Nine to Five with a performance by Diva Royale.

• Oct. 4 – Bohemian Rhapsody featuring a Queen tribute performance by the Georgia Players Guild.

For showtimes and tickets visit mablehouse.org or call 770-819-7765.

From the June 2019  issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Harvest Festival To Be Held at Mable House

The Harvest Festival will be held at the Mable House Historic Grounds on October 12, 2019.

Produced by The Friends of The Mable House in partnership with Cobb Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, The Harvest Festival was formerly the Storytelling Festival.

“The Friends organization wanted to rebrand the event to create an enhanced family experience,” said Libby Geiselmayr, Mable House Arts Center Coordinator.

Professional storytellers Josie Bailey and Joanna Maddox will be telling tales, plus, there will be musical performances, food and other activities.

This free event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. will include Hay Rides given by the South Cobb Lions Club, a sweet potato garden, corn shucking, butter churning, homemade Johnny cakes, professional blacksmith Wind Chapman, farm animals, live storytellers, arts and crafts with clay throwing demonstrations, old time games, sweets and drinks by the girl scouts, live musical performances, Mother Goose, and gold panning.

There will be Historic House Tours with live demonstrations of quilting, spinning, weaving and sewing.

The South Cobb Lions Club will be selling BBQ both Saturday and Sunday.

Musical performances are set by FlatPickin’, Inc., and Soulful Praise, the Pebblebrook High School Gospel Choir.

From the October 2019 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.