Is This Passenger Train Ride Worth the Cost?


“On a Warm Summer’s Eve; on A Train Bound for Nowhere…”

Ok, it wasn’t evenin’ and the train was headed to McCayesville, GA but you get the idea right? Shane said he kept humming “The Gambler” in his head the entire trip on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. He even went as far to say that the only thing to have made it better if they had folk dressed up in wild west period clothing and held a shoot-em-up. I couldn’t bear to tell him that this train was not originally from late 1800’s Midwest. But then again the mountain hillbillies of North Georgia were no joke either. Just visit the Tilley and Stanley Settlements cemeteries and you will see just how bad ass they were, but that is another story for another time. Today we are going on a train ride.


The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway embarks on its…

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I’m Not Lost, I Am Wandering! Come Wander down GA Hwy 60 With Us


When I am out exploring, I don’t really have a hard “to-do” list.  I have a rough idea of the things and places I would like to see and visit.  Case in point; on one of our recent trips to Blue Ridge, GA I wanted to see an “old iron bridge” I had read about. The problem was there was not a lot of information on the exact location of the bridge so I did a Google search and found “Iron Bridge Cafe and General Store”. Without knowing for sure this was, indeed, the Iron Bridge I was looking for, off we went to just see for ourselves. When we set out to see something, the “something” is very open. A 13 mile 20 min drive between two points may turn into a full-on three-hour excursion because I may get sidetracked seeing “other” things.

Within the Chattahoochee National Forest runs a mountain…

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I’m Not Lost, I Am Wandering! Come Wander down GA Hwy 60 With Us

When I am out exploring, I don’t really have a hard “to-do” list.  I have a rough idea of the things and places I would like to see and visit.  Case in point; on one of our recent trips to Blue Ridge, GA I wanted to see an “old iron bridge” I had read about. The problem was there was not a lot of information on the exact location of the bridge so I did a Google search and found “Iron Bridge Cafe and General Store”. Without knowing for sure this was, indeed, the Iron Bridge I was looking for, off we went to just see for ourselves. When we set out to see something, the “something” is very open. A 13 mile 20 min drive between two points may turn into a full-on three-hour excursion because I may get sidetracked seeing “other” things.

Within the Chattahoochee National Forest runs a mountain road called GA Hwy 60. It twists and turns through the treetops and along the Toccoa River. There are pastures, old homes, barns, and shacks: it is rural country. As we drove, whenever I saw something of interest,  I would snap a few photos. I thought I would pass these along to you.


So let’s go!

2017-09-19 10.02.57The map above shows the starting point in Morganton with the end point of the Iron Bridge Cafe & General store. We got off track during the route, and the story goes a bit like this….

We were camping on Lake Blue Ridge at Morganton Recreational Area, therefore we left from there.

Head south down Hwy 60 past Hoot Owl Hill (yes that is the name) and you will see a red barn.

A few miles past the barn just after Sourwood Lane, is an old cattle barn. It is just before Dial Road on the right.

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Skeenah Creek Mill

I planned a stop at Skeenah Creek Campground on the way in search of the bridge, because I wanted to see the old mill there. At 23300 Morganton Hwy, we turned on Skeenah Creek road and pull immediately into a driveway at 20 Skeenah Gap Rd, Suches, GA I got out of the car and asked if we could check out the campground and mill. We were granted permission to look around. Such a neat little place!

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There is a building directly across the street from Skeenah Creek Road on Hwy 60, where I took this photo. I got out of the car and walked down a little dirt road about 50 feet and stood in the midst of these wildflowers to capture this shot.

The address is close to 23394 Morganton Hwy and I am certain this is private property so do not venture too far, as it is illegal. Leaving Skennah Creek Mill, we turned left. Our GPS was struggling to load and we figured we should go the way we already were heading before our mill detour. WRONG. PROTIP: GPS Signal is limited in the mountains. Don’t depend on your maps to tell you where to go.

As you continue along Hwy 60, you will pass Cooper Creek Baptist Church on your right, just before you reach Cooper Creek Store. The church doesn’t have an address, but if you get to the store, you just passed it 20 seconds prior. The church was built in 1849 and has some very primitive headstones. As you head towards the church you will see a glimpse of the Toccoa River on your right.

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Old Gas pumps at Coopers Creek Gas Station

At this point without GPS we figured we needed directions, so stopping at Cooper Creek Store for a drink and a photo and directions made sense. Cooper Creek store is located at 27880 Morganton Hwy, Suches, GA. Directly across the street is Hemlock Lane, which we cracked up about because nearby is Tilley Bend where the Witch of Blue Ridge legend originated. We asked the store owner if he had heard of Tilley Bend or Tilley Baptist Church and he said: “no, that he had lived here for 40 years and never heard of either.” We find this hard to believe as you can’t throw a rock up there without hitting a Tilley. He did tell us that Suchee is home to Georgia’s smallest public school. “It’s just a few miles up the road” (by few miles he meant 10 and 10 miles takes 30 minutes in the mountains. We decided that the schoolhouse might be worth our time and that we would take the detour off our route. 2017-09-19 12.39.20As we were climbing in our car I noticed across the street from the store there was a set of steps leading nowhere, which I thought was cool looking. I am assuming they go up to someone’s home, maybe the store owner.

We passed a restaurant out in the middle of nowhere. called the WildCat Cafe. It was closed when we stopped, or we would have grabbed some lunch on the patio. It looks like such an eclectic place, right up my alley (cat). Check out the neat photos I took here. Next time we are in Blue Ridge, we might just have to stop by here for lunch. The address is: 7475 State Highway 60, Suches, GA

Right past the WildCat there is a road called Johnny Cap Road, on the corner sits an old abandon barn. As you near it you will see some bee hives on a little hill.

I couldn’t help but stop and take some photos of rural mountain life on Hwy 60 near Harkins Road. I parked the car on the dirt road and took the photos below without intruding on the owner’s property. Please remember to be respectful when photographing peoples land and buildings.

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If this photo is enough to make you happy about seeing Georgia’s Smallest Public Schoolhouse then don’t even bother putting in the location and carry on the route without visiting.

Woody Gap School located at 2331 GA-60, Suches, was less than exciting. Honestly, I was hoping for something a little bit older and rustic. Like you know a log building from 1890. But it’s kind of neat to think that kindergarten through twelfth grade is housed in this one little building. At the beginning of October, they host a square dance at the Indian Summer Festival that everyone is welcome to join. I would have loved to go get my square dance on, but we had other plans, maybe next year.

Finally, our GPS kicked back on and pointed the way to our original location, The Old Iron Bridge Cafe.

We had veered off course quite a bit, but by doing a little exploring look at what we saw! From Skeenah to the school is 16 miles. We had been on the road for two hours, it was time to head to our original destination, Iron Bridge Cafe & General Store, 8436 Aska Rd, Blue Ridge, GA and hope that there was indeed an iron bridge there.

Doubling back means that we had to go all the way back past Skeenah Mill to Dial road. Then onto Aska Road. The Old Iron Bridge Cafe was on our left. I parked the car and went to ask if there was an iron bridge anywhere in the vicinity and…..


Want to know if we found the Old Iron Bridge on this adventure? Click “Follow blog” below to find out next week!

Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all


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Drive-in Anyone? See a Drive-in Movie While You Still Can!

There are only 336 drive-in theatres in the entire United States left, 3 years ago there were 348, in 1980 there were over 2400. It is a dying pop cultural theatre technique and you should take your kids to a drive-in before they are all gone! With movies going digital, it is too costly for drive-in’s to convert and more and more of them are closing. Georgia has 4 remaining drive-in theaters: Jesup, Atlanta, Tiger, and Blueridge. If you live in Atlanta, you know about the iconic 6 screen theater located here. Does the thought of going to Starlight Drive-in, in south Atlanta kind of scare you? After all, it is in a pretty rough part of Atlanta and my cop husband says, “absolutely not” to it. Like me, do you really want to cross Watch a Movie at a Drive-in” off of your bucket list? Well, there is another drive-in that is within driving distance of Atlanta, up in the rural mountain town of Blue Ridge, GA.  Come take a tour of Swan Drive-In Theatre with me.

The theatre was established in 1955 by  Jack Jones and W.H. Tilley, Jr. Dang those Tilley’s and Stanley’s they have their hands in everything up here in these mountains! If you haven’t read my ghost story about the Tilley’s click here.  Mr. Tilley named the drive in Swan because while stationed in England he liked to watch swans elegantly swimming. They were so beautiful and peaceful he suggested this name “Swan” for the new drive-in. He also thought a nice short name would be easy to light up in neon lights. 

swanToday, more than 62 years later, it still has a “retro” feel. You enter through a single gate that accepts cash only and as you wait for the movie to begin, oldies play on your car radio. You can almost picture the jocks, the leathers, the good girls and not so good girls, hanging in their t-birds, coups, and daddy’s Oldsmobile’s. I could picture Danny singing, “stranded at the drive-in” and Risso making the walk of shame from the ladies room as all the kids spread gossip about her from car to car. “News sure travels fast!”

2017-09-17 19.27.01There is one screen at this drive-in and the lot is pretty small, but the view of the screen is pretty awesome no matter where you park. When you pull into your parking slot, pull up the little “hill” as it angles your car up for a better view for those in the back seat. Protip1: Park as close to the white PVC pipe as possible. The spaces are wide enough to fit two cars and the lot gets pretty crowded, you will be asked to readjust if you aren’t close to the poles. Bonus: You also get a great view of the setting sun while you wait for the movie to start.

The concession building lies in the middle of the lot and offers up all kinds of yumminess at affordable prices. To add to the experience, I recommend feeding the kids at the theatre. Skip the healthy for one night and indulge in hot dogs, corndogs, nachos, and burgers, popcorn, funnel cakes, and deep fried Oreo’s (oh.. my… gaw…). The Oreo’s are a large quantity, 6 lovely, puffy pastry, warm, good cookies so you will want to share those. They are rich.


  • Protip2: Swan does not take debit or credit.  Cash only. Grab it before you arrive as there isn’t an ATM in sight. They keep it as true to the era as possible.
  • Protip3: If you have a car full, it is difficult to see from the backseat, bring chairs and a radio to listen.  If you have a van or SUV: park backward, open the hatch and pile in the back with pillows and blankets. This will thrill the kiddos. We even saw a couple snuggled up in the bed of a truck. They had an air mattress with pillows and blankets piled up. FUN!
  • Protip4: Did I mention the deep fried Oreo’s from the concessions. Get them, you won’t regret it.

2017-09-17 22.23.25The theatre plays a double feature on Friday and Saturday night so you get two movies for the price of one. The first movie doesn’t start until dark so be prepared for a late night. A single movie plays on the giant single screen on Sunday night and if you don’t like what is showing then tough Oreo cookies. Some nights it is a kid-friendly movie, other nights, not so much. Make sure you check what is showing before bringing kids. The night we went it was not kid-friendly.

We saw Steven King’s “It” while visiting the theatre. I was not overly thrilled to see a horror movie at a drive-in surrounded by woods. But Shane and Julia were pretty stoked as they like horror. I opted to sit in the back seat, where I could hide behind the passenger seat if I got freaked out.. which I did… 2017-09-17 19.44.17

About 1/3 of the way through the movie Julia stated matter-a-factly, “why is there someone outside our car carrying a red balloon“. Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! The theatre had workers tie red balloons to posts beside vehicles while people were distracted by the movie as a fun prank. What an awesome touch! In addition, they added clown heads outside the main gate as we were leaving. Niiiiceee touch. I said a few choice words when I saw it. Just what we needed to see as we were headed back to our campground to sleep in a tent in the woods. I honestly figured Julia would end up in Shane and my tent that night, but she braved it out alone in her small 2 man tent.

My honest opinion on a drive-in theater:

  • It is fun to do, but am much more comfortable in a theater in an actual seat. Maybe it was because I was in the back seat of the car. Maybe if I was snuggled up in the back of a truck it would have been even better.
  • This is a historic theatre that gives children the opportunity to see a movie the way their grandparents used to see it. An opportunity to relive the past.
  • It was creepy as hell to watch a scary movie at a drive-in and if I were to do it again, we would bring chairs and a radio to sit out in the cool mountain air at night.
  • It was a neat experience and Swan Drive-in Theatre truly goes all out to keep the authenticity of the drive-in and made it fun for the customers.
  • Have a baby but no babysitter? This is an opportunity to see a movie without disturbing others around you. The baby can sleep blissfully or scream their head off and only you will have to deal with it, no one will scowl at you. (While in the military, Shane and I used to go to the drive-in with a couple who had a baby. We never heard the baby from our car parked beside them, it was awesome for all of us because they got a date night and we all enjoyed dinner before the show and conversations afterward!)
  • Because the sound comes from the car radio you have to leave your car running which is really bad for the environment. We have a hybrid so our car is very quiet and was using electricity the majority of the time, but there was a monster diesel truck beside us that was loud. We had to roll up our windows to drown it out. Once the windows were up and the radio was on, we couldn’t hear the truck.

Protip5: You may want to bring a battery operated radio along for sound if you do not want to leave your car running or have a loud truck.

There are novelty items in the concessions such as tee-shirts, mugs and water bottles with the drive-in logo.  They even were selling, “I saw “IT” at Swan’s Drive-In” tee shirts while we were there.

Want to see what is currently playing?  Check out their website 

Cost for Admission

 ADULTS $8.00

CHILDREN AGE 4-11 $5.00


Interesting fact: The Swan Drive-In was featured in the Movie, “Need for Speed”, as “Mt. Kisco Drive-In. If you are on the Georgia film trail known as Y’allywood make sure you visit here.


Have I interested you in a drive-in? Are you looking for a Drive-In in your state? Click here

Keep the Lust for Wandering, Y’all!

Fran, Shane, and Julia

  • Thank you to Swan Drive for the history of the theatre
  • Thank you to Quartz for information on the disappearance of Drive-Ins.
  • Thank you to for an interactive map of all drive-in’s in the US


A Family’s Legacy in the Blue Ridge Mountain’s

Shane and I like to read up on the history of an area before we visit it. Knowing that we were going to spend a few days in Blue Ridge, GA. I looked into some of the local lore and heritage. I hit a gold mine up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, (all puns intended). In the early days of the settlement in the Blue Ridge, Georgia mountains, there were Creek and Cherokee tribes along with two prominent families: The Stanley’s and the Tilley’s. From what I read they didn’t exactly get along, and the two were regular Hatfields and McCoy’s of the Georgia Mountains, but that is another story.

2017-09-20 11.31.07-1Today, along the picturesque Aska Road, on top of a hill stands a lone whitewashed church. The church has been genuinely cared for by one family who calls this place, “home”. It is part of their heritage, and you can’t escape the Stanley name up here. This is Stanley territory. Roads, creeks, gaps are all named after the family and there is a ton of history in this small valley about them. Like every family, there are stories of heartache and joy, laughter and tragedy. So many wonderful and tragic stories to be told and I would like to share just a few with you.

From what we can tell the Stanley’s came to this territory from Avery County, N.C. and a few married the Cherokee tribe members that had also moved into these lands. After the trail of tears, the natives that had married into families were safe from the U.S. Army and were allowed to stay. The family built a village in a hollow (pronounced “holler“) and began to thrive: raising sheep, cows, horses, and growing crops.

Southern Slang: An -er sound is often used for long “o” at the end of a word. For example, hollow— “a small, sheltered valley betten two hills” is pronounced holler

In 1886 a church was built near the homestead and like most churches in that area, it served as the schoolhouse, a gathering place, as well as a place of worship. The church started off as Baptist but when a Church of Christ minister showed up at the church a great contest started and the current preacher knew less scripture than the Church of Christ minister and that settled that! The Baptist preacher was sent packing and from that point on they were Church of Christ. If only all things in life were this simple.

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Long-stone table sits hundreds of family members

Today this church sits vacant all except one day a year when the family meets on the last Sunday in August for Decoration Day. This big ole family reunion pays homage to those that lived in the hills, toiled the ground and raised families. Three to four hundred people pour in from all over the country who still have their roots in the little church. A long cement table has been built under an enormous pavilion to accommodate the family’s lunch after the sermon. This thing must be 50 yards long! A hymnal sits atop the stone table awaiting a family member to pick it up again and sing from it.  A silk yellow daisy was gently laid atop the book. I couldn’t help but snap a photo, before placing the book back under the table with the other hymnals. I didn’t want it to get ruined by moisture.

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You can see here the massive length of the table that awaits the family lunch

Luckily, while visiting the Stanley Settlement we were surprised by a visit of two Stanley ladies, but more on that later.

R.C. Stanley was 6 years old when he witnessed his father being shot by Confederate soldiers.

First, let me tell you about Elisha Stanley who established this valley. The creek that the settlement is built on, is named after Elisha. He was a hardworking farmer with a family and community to care for. In the late stages of the Civil War, the Confederate Army was desperate for men and showed up at his front door to conscripted him and his brother-in-law, Elv Evans Hughes, into the rebellion. Neither men were too keen on this idea, “they didn’t want to fight in the war, or for the southern army.” — as historically written. The current caretaker Ralph Stanley has said, “Our People were on the Union side“. The men kept going AWOL, leaving camp, and coming home to work their fields and provide for their families. Their crops didn’t stop for war, and their women and children were not going to go hungry. The two men were hunted down by the Confederate Army. On September 6, 1864, Elisha was on the porch repairing his 6-year-old son, Ricklas Calvin’s (R.C.), shoe when the Army came calling. Without hesitation, Elisha was shot 6 times while his son and pregnant wife watched.  The Army then found Elv Evans Hughes in a field sheering his sheep. With a pleading wife, they tied him to a horse and drug him away to the camp where he was tied to a tree and shot dead.

The wives had no men left to bury the bodies and it was hard labor to dig the holes, so the two men were buried in the same plot. The women used a corn box used to feed the horses as a coffin. They placed one man in, covered him with a sheet and laid the other on top. Today a new headstone shows those buried there as “Family” and the plaque states:

The marker reminds us the men where “killed standing for the Union of our Great Nation.”

Elisha Stanley

After the war, The Stanley Settlement took in a lost boy, named Moses, who was found crying along the roadside and raised him amongst their own. The Stanley’s were farmers who worked their own land and did not own slaves. When they saw a young black child alone they assumed he was the child of runaway slaves, but no, he was born free and was lost or abandoned. MosesMoses was raised by Mr. Johnson until he died and then R.C. Stanley took him in. He was the first black child to attend school in Fannin County. He was educated on Stanley Creek and lived his life in the valley. Moses is buried in the cemetery, along with the other Stanley family members. He wasn’t blood, but I have a feeling he was buried alongside the only family he ever knew, the ones who cared for him. His gravestone doesn’t have his year of birth because it was unknown. It only has his name, “Moses Johnson” and “Colored”. Some may think to have the word “colored” as disrespectful, but I think it is paying honor to the man that lived and flourished amongst a white family during a time when race was a dividing factor. I would have loved to meet old Moses. I bet he was full of stories.


Life in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s wasn’t easy. It was made especially difficult in the rural north Georgia mountains. In times of need, high on the hill, the church bell would ring. You could hear it 2.5 miles away and when the parishioners heard it, they knew they were needed. As we drove through the heavily wooded mountains, I imagined just how difficult life must have been up there for the Stanley’s. They built a community, were hardworking, and God fearing. They raised babies, took care of their elderly and died here. In the cemetery, all but four, are all kinfolk of the Stanley’s. Here we saw the headstones of Ada and Harrison Stanley and their 7 young children, who perished in the early 1900’s. Many children were lost in the GA Mountains at the turn of the century. (there’s a creepy legend about that. The mortality rate of infants was high in this region and an eerily weird local legend spawned from out of that.) As the church plaque states: “These small graves attest to the risks that came with childhood and the need for a tight-knit community.

2017-09-20 11.38.36 HDR-3Then there was Buell Stanley who was the crazy hillbilly who blew his arm off trying to fish with a stick of dynamite in the Toccoa River! Now that in itself is a story but this is where it gets really good. Buell blew his “good” arm off fishin’ — I mean it would have to be his good arm because who throws a stick of dynamite with their “bad” arm right? And after they got him bandaged up they held a ceremony for the arm and in the family cemetery, here it lies with the family. Not ALL of Buell, mind you, just his arm, may it rest in peace.

Remember at the top of this article when I said while we were visiting the church we met two Stanley ladies?

Meet Evelyn and Beverly


I don’t believe in “chance”. I do believe in destiny. And it was our destiny to meet these two ladies. Shane, Julia and I were about to leave the settlement that is only really visited every once in awhile by family. It isn’t like someone is up there every day, these days, you know. As we were piling into our car, another vehicle slowly made it’s way up the drive. They stopped a short distance away, sat there for a moment and then came on up to greet us. It was almost like they stopped and discussed, “why are strangers up here?” (They did, in fact, discuss this. Beverly said, she said, “mama, go on up and see what they are doin’” and they did and we are so glad!) They were coming to check on the family church and their loved ones buried here. We stood and spoke to them for about 45 minutes and they told us the stories that I just told you. Evelyn is the great great granddaughter of Elisha. She told us, “My Great Granddaddy was shot by Confederate Soldiers. We Stanley’s didn’t own slaves and didn’t want to fight for the Confederates and they shot him“. This made me sad to think, that back then if you thought differently than someone else, you could lose your life in an instant. Unfortunately, we haven’t learned much from history since then. I wish Elisha could come talk to our society. I am proud of Elisha. He stood up for what he believed in and was there for his family until the end. We discussed Ada and Uncle Ralph. We discussed Buell and his missing arm and then they told us where Moses was buried and we bid them goodbye as we sauntered off to find his grave on the edge of the yard by a tree. As I walked away, I turned back and jokingly said, “I am gonna come crash your families decoration day” and without hesitation, both ladies invited us to join them in 2018.  I think we will take them up on it. I want more stories!

Thank you to Evelyn and Beverly who more than graciously told us stories of their family. I dedicate this entry to the both of them and their heritage.

Thank you to

Step back to the Jazz Age at this Atlanta Home

This week my girls and I decided to take my mama up to Ballground, GA to Gibbs Garden for the Monet Water Lillies exhibit. We jumped in the car and headed up the road! An hour into the trip we began to notice signs advertising the gardens and a random thought popped into my mind, “What if they are closed today? Crap! I didn’t check!” Julia pulled up the site and yep: closed. Ugh! I pulled the car over and began a search for something to do in the area. I wasn’t certain exactly where we were but knew we were already OTP (Outside the Perimeter – of Atlanta).
Lesson Learned: Always check hours of operation BEFORE scheduling a day trip! 

My mom likes beautiful houses, gardens, churches, and anything of historical relevance. Olivia likes beauty and art deco. Julia is usually “along for the ride” and while the aforementioned does not interest her, she is accommodating and doesn’t complain (and I bribed her with a trip to Cabbagetown). I chose the Atlanta Historical Society’s Swan House.

atlanta history center photo

You may recognize the Swan House, as the home of President Snow in “The Hunger Games“. As part of the Georgia film industry, the series was filmed around the Atlanta including this location.

Today, the film crews are gone and the house isn’t a gaudy shade of purple. It looks much like it did in the 1920’s when it was built for Edward and Emily Inman by architect Philip Trammell Shutze, whose art collection is now on exhibit at the home.

Here you can step back in time to the Jazz Age during the roaring 20’s. Named for the swan theme that is found throughout the interior of the home, The Swan House is a representation of wealth in an age just before the Great Depression

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backInteresting fact: The picture above is actually the back of the house, where you enter during tour. Coaches and cars carrying guests entered from the back of stately homes. The front of the house always had large gardens.

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The black and white marble floor embraces you as you enter through the grand doors to an impressive entry foyer decorated as it was during the time of music, speakeasy’s, dance and indulgence. We strolled the rooms of the dramatically opulent home taking in the art deco motif which features swans. Golden light fixtures adorn the walls and carved wooden fireplaces embellish each room.  This is the sort of house that we would love to live in, and it was Emily Inman’s dream home, built for her by a loving husband. In every detail, he had the family in mind, and tragically just three years after it was complete, Edward Inman passed away at the age of 49. Emily raised her family here and live here until her death in 1966 when she left it to the Atlanta Historical Society.

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Along with fantastic architectural design check out the skills of Athos Menaboni, who decorated Mrs. Inman fantastic dressing room and Herbert J. Milard who crafted the bookshelves, fireplaces and other carvings throughout the home (look up as you enter the study and see the carved flowers on the ceiling.)

1920's csrWhile visiting the home you may “meet” some interesting characters: Mrs. Emily Inman, who is poised and elegant, Emma Jean, the family’s fateful maid, Ruby Ross Wood, the lively, interior decorator, Mr. Edward Inman who will relish in telling you about racing in his motor car, and Mr. Grant Carter the lovable family chauffeur. Grant and Edward were known to race the vehicle on display in the back of the home where you enter. Ask one of them about the grandeur of racing a car at top speeds of 45 miles per hour! Mr. Inman held several racing records during this time and auto racing in the late 20’s was insanely dangerous, but this is not what killed him. It appears the lavish lifestyle took a toll on his heart.

On a historical note: The Inman family were known for their philanthropy and were key to the development of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Agnes Scott College, and Oglethorpe University. The Inmans also supported the founding of the Atlanta orphanage and Grady Memorial Hospital.

The home has three gardens. The largest a baroque garden is situated at the front of the home on a landscaped lawn. A large gate marks the entry of the home followed by 3 small pools and an ivy and rose covered retaining wall. A stream runs along the edge of the yard and a gazebo sits quietly within the cover of trees and blooms.

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A cascading art deco fountain, flanked by stairs, sits in splendor at the top of the lawn. You can just imagine debutants gracefully descending the stairs as gentlemen stopped discussing stocks and watched in reverence. At the top of the fountain, a horseshoe staircase complete with iron handrails gracefully leads up a flight of steps to a heavily framed central entrance door.


The boxwood garden has a pair of broken columns surmounting a garden bench and a rampant eagle.

There are 22 acres of trails leading to gardens, the Smith Family Farm and a WWII trench. Visit the Coach House where Mr. Inman parked his vehicles and is now a restaurant. There is a cafe in the Atlanta History Museum as well. We opted to walk over to Smoke Belly for some fantastic BBQ.

The all-inclusive general admission ticket includes access to the Atlanta History Museum, the 1860s era Smith Family Farm property, the 1928 Swan House mansion, and 22 acres of gardens. Plus, admission to the Margaret Mitchell House, is included if visited within 9 days of Atlanta History Center. Ticket prices are $21.50/Adult, $18.00/Senior or Student, $9.00/Child 4-12.

If you are crossing off filming locations in Atlanta. Be sure to hit the Swan House. There is a room dedicated to the filming of The Hunger Games.


Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all!

Fran, the girls, and Mama

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  • Thank you to the Atlanta History Center for information regarding the Swan House and the Inman family.
  • Also thank you to Tammy H. Galloway, and for information regarding the Inman family.
  • All photos are mine except the back entrance and garden and the photo of The Swan House decorated for the Hunger Games.