About Smith Plantation
Hidden among the trees in historic Roswell, Georgia, sits a graceful home constructed by one of Roswell’s founding families, the Smiths. In 1838, the Smith family and 30 of their slaves left two struggling plantations along the Georgia coast to make a new start with 300 acres of cotton farmland north of the Roswell Square. Their home, built by slave labor in 1845, was preserved by three generations of the Smith family and is now open to the public as a museum.
Three generations of the Smith family lived in the home and saved many of their belongings. For over 160 years, Smith Plantation stood the test of time as all around it the small mill village of Roswell transformed into a bustling metropolitan suburb. The home has since become one of the best examples of vernacular architecture, as well as cultural and historical interpretation, found in the region.
Perfectly preserved is the Smiths' two-story farmhouse, complete with outbuildings, including:
- Servants quarters
- Corn crib
- Carriage house
- Spring house
Smith Plantation Events
A Discussion on the 19th Century Enslaved Labor Force at the Smith PlantationEnjoy a recording of a recent virtual lecture presentation. In honor of Black History Month and Roswell Roots, Dr. Veta Tucker will present a discussion on the 19th Century enslaved labor force at Smith Plantation through the particular perspective of one woman named Clarinda. Using available records and knowledge, this story will bear witness to the life of a woman who began her life enslaved with the Smith family but lived through the years of Civil War and Emancipation to chart her on course as Clarinda Richardson.
History of Smith Plantation
In the 1830s, Roswell founder Roswell King encouraged fellow Presbyterians living along the Georgia coast to follow him inland to establish a mill town along Vickery Creek and the Chattahoochee River. In 1838, the Smiths heeded King's call and left two struggling plantations along the coast. They gathered approximately 30 of their slaves and made the journey to over 300 acres of land situated north of the town square that would become their new plantation.
Archibald & Anne Smith
Archibald and Anne raised four children in their Roswell home: Elizabeth, William, Helen, and Archibald Jr. Both of their sons fought in the Confederate Army, and Willie, the eldest, enlisted with the Signal Corps at the outbreak of the war. The family’s letters from the Civil War period were collected into a book in 1988, by Dr. Lister Skinner and Arthur Skinner, entitled "The Death of a Confederate." Willie's life was lost to disease not a month after the Confederate surrender. The war also had tragic consequences for the mill town of Roswell. Although the homes were not destroyed, Sherman’s Army occupied the town. The Smiths along with the other founding families fled to other points in Georgia, not to return until after the war.
In 1870, Young Archibald Jr. married Gulielma English Riley, whose family met the Smiths as they both sought refuge from the Civil War in Valdosta, Georgia. “Archie” and “Gulie” moved their family to LaGrange, Georgia, after the death of Archibald Sr. and Anne in the 1880s. Subsequently, after the death of Helen in 1896, and Lizzie in 1915 the Smith Home remained unoccupied for twenty-five years.
The youngest of Archie and Gulie's three children, Arthur William Smith, was the only member of the third generation of Smiths to get married. In 1940, when he was almost sixty years old, Arthur married Mary Norvell, and the couple re-opened the Smith Plantation and added electricity and indoor plumbing to the house. Mary Smith added her own touch to the legacy of the Smith Plantation with her flair for antiques and love of history.
From a Home to a Museum
The Smiths also hired a cook, Mamie Cotton who spent 54 years of her life working for the Smith family. After Arthur's death in 1960, Mamie Cotton moved into the Smith's home to take care of an ailing Mary, who became ill in her last years. Mary died on New Year’s Day 1981, and the Smith estate was entrusted to Josephine Skinner, niece of Mary Norvell Smith. In 1985 the Skinner family sold the house and grounds to the City of Roswell in order for the home to become a house museum. The City also used the Smith property to construct a new municipal complex. The sale was completed in the 1985 with the stipulation that Mamie Cotton would be able to live out the rest of her life here. Tours of the home began in 1992, while Mamie was still a resident, until her death in 1994.
Many of the artifacts of the Smith estate are still on the property, including the original furnishings, clothing, and personal items belonging to the Smith family. Others are housed at the Atlanta History Center, and many documents are preserved in the second largest collection at the Georgia State Archives.
- Jul 23
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We are looking for a volunteer 10U softball coach for the upcoming Fall season. If interested, please contact Witt Carlisle, Athletic Supervisor, at 770-641-3705.
- Jul 22
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Constantly making sure all systems are working smoothly is our Administration Division. This team works diligently behind the scenes to ensure the success of our day-to-day tasks and operations within the Department. From registration, to finance, to payroll - the Administration Division keeps us all moving forward! National Recreation and Park Association #OurParkandRecStory #ParkandRecreationMonth
- Jul 22
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It's hard to catch our Recreation and Aquatics staff for a photo during the Summer! They are busy bringing summer camp to hundreds of kids, keeping health and wellness top of mind, and helping the community beat the heat with our pools and spraygrounds. They keep Summer fun, energetic and full of great experiences! Once Summer ends, this team keeps on going and going with seasonal programming, facility rentals, and community events. With our Fall and Winter registration now open for residents, be sure to check out all of our recreation, enrichment, culinary, wellness, and aquatic programs available: National Recreation and Park Association #OurParkandRecStory #ParkandRecreationMonth
- Jul 19
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Kết quả xổ số hàng ngàyFall & Winter Registration is open for all Roswell Residents! Learn how to register and browse all of our programs: Non-resident registration will begin Monday, July 26 at 9:00 AM.
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