Taylor-Brawner House History Unveiled

The Taylor-Brawner House Foundation has published ‘A Simpler Time,’ a book containing the history of the house on Atlanta Road and the two families who built it and lived in it.

The book chronicles the true stories of the Taylor and Brawner families as they move from rural Virginia and Georgia, to become respected community leaders in Atlanta and Smyrna.

Mike Terry, a fourth generation Smyrna resident, found himself looking for something more to do once he retired. He joined the Smyrna Golden K Kiwanis, was appointed to the city planning and zoning commission and later got involved with the restoration of the Taylor Brawner house.

“I love history, and like to write, so I became a historian,” Terry said.

With input from numerous Taylor and Brawner family members and with the help of a talented genealogist, Terry has compiled and blended many captivating stories and never-seen-before photos and historical documents into an engaging story of life in an era that many people consider a simpler time.  If you appreciate history, especially local history, you will enjoy this book, and best of all, the proceeds benefit the Taylor-Brawner House foundation as they continue to help maintain Smyrna’s historic house.

You can order your copy by contacting Mike direct at 770-438-6182, or send your request and a check made payable to The TBHF, in the amount of $25.00 plus $4 for postage, to TBHF, 3480 Pinetree Drive, Smyrna, GA 30080.

In the spring of 2005 the non-profit Taylor-Brawner House Foundation began what would be a 4½ year restoration of the 1890 historic home, and almost immediately people began to come forward with information, old photos, and artifacts related to the project.

“At the end of the year we turned the keys of the house back over to the city. But we had all these stories and clippings. Someone said I think we need to write a book.” After an additional two years of research, the book is now on sale.

Since the Brawner family still lives in Marietta. Their stories were easy to find, but little was known about the Taylor family. The history took us back to the town of Seven Mile Ford in Smith County, Virginia, where the two Taylor brothers were born.

In his work with the city re-zoning commission Terry met a man connected to the Sons of Confederacy, who directed him to the genealogy officer since both Taylor brothers fought in the War between the States.

“From there we can trace the Taylor’s,” Terry said. A Smyrna genealogy-hobbyist, Claire Eisenhower, was on the Taylor Brawner house board and started tracing the Taylor line.

After tracking down relatives, and winning their confidence, Terry said that “people started sending us stuff.” Such as the 115-year-old christening gown of the Taylor grandchild photos, stories and other memorabilia.

At a celebration June 28 of the houses place them on the national register of historic places, the board invited family members they had found to attend. “They were cousins, but had never met,” Terry said.

“The board has lots of photos from both families,” he said, many of which are in the book and others, are on display at the house.

Proceeds from sale will go to the Taylor Brawner house preservation.

From the September 2012 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton and Austell, GA.