Live life a little slower with good ole Jasper Smith as he tells tales of the civil war and examines his modest crops and farm animals. Walk back in time through a long-lived loom, crumbling cornbread and wait for it… Bahhh! Hear the call of the Smith Family’s lovely livestock.
The Smith Family Farm includes the Tullie Smith House, a plantation-plain house built in the 1840s by the Robert Smith family. Originally located east of Atlanta, outside the city limits, the house survived the destruction in and around Atlanta during the Civil War. The house and detached kitchen were moved to the Atlanta History Center in the early 1970s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house and separate open-hearth kitchen are now surrounded by a dairy, blacksmith shop, smokehouse, double corncrib, slave cabin and barn, as well as traditional vegetable, herb, field, flower and slave gardens.
The Smith Family Farm uses an open house format featuring first-person, costumed interpreters who initiate conversations that bring the history of our sites to life. Smith Family Farm visitors encounter characters portraying members of the Smith family, their neighbors and enslaved workers who provide insight into the challenges of daily life on a rural Georgia farm during the Civil War. Guests are encouraged to interact with the interpreters! Ask questions, and get responses from unique, historical points of view. Guides are available to share the history of the Smith family, the farm house, and outbuildings with visitors, but along the way, here are some characters you may meet at the farm:
Jasper Smith is the family’s youngest son. He raised modest crops and livestock on his own farm when the war began. He volunteered to fight for the Confederacy to defend his rights as a property owner and a slaveholder. He has been in bloody battles, but so far has been luckier than some of his comrades.
Luceller “Lucy” Smith Collier’s husband, Wesley, was a slaveholder, but the financial drain from the war forced them to hire out most of their slaves. She is now learning cooking and textile skills to maintain their small farm. Now married, she sees no hope in advancing her schooling, but hopes her children pursue higher education.
James Washington “Wash” Smith worked in Rome, Georgia, but is back in DeKalb County. He served in the Confederate Army until health issues forced his resignation. His interests are law and politics, but farming is now his main profession. He has a family with his wife, Emily, and hopes his sons go to school as long as they can.
Clay Hope is a neighboring farmer of the Smiths and though he has a smaller farm does well for his family. He learned farming from his father, and reads whatever he can to further his agricultural knowledge. He checks on the Smith’s livestock and borrows the family’s books. His son is away fighting for the Confederate states.
The Atlanta History Center thanks the Poppy Garden Club for their continued support of Smith Family Farm.