Roswell, Georgia – just a 30 minute drive from downtown Atlanta is an enclave of historic charm. The city’s historic downtown offers the Southern Trilogy Pass, where visitors can tour three historic, yet distinctly different early residences of the early settlers from the early to mid 1800s.
For spring break, one of my daughters and I journeyed to tour the Archibald Smith Plantation. Even though we’d been to historic Roswell many times, I never noticed the area where the plantation house is situated. Most of the surrounding land had been donated to the city of Roswell and the City Hall, a library and cultural center also lies on the land.
I had already toured the other two historic homes on the Southern Trilogy Pass – Barrington Hall and Bulloch Hall. I just assumed that the Smith homestead would be not as great since it was the home of the planter/farmer family, rather than the mill owner and founder of Roswell. I was wrong. First of all, this was a wealthy farming family. They were one of the first settlers to the area in 1838.
What makes the home so interesting is that it remained in the family until 1981. At that time, the house and surrounding land was given to the city of Roswell, but the caregiver of Mrs. Arthur Smith, Mamie Cotton, was allowed to live there until her death in 1994. The docent made an interesting point – that at one time the slaves lived in the slave quarters outside and just 120 years later, an African-American woman lived in the house as the owner for 13 years.
Besides the tour which is lead on the hour every hour between 10:00-3:00, the grounds are quite beautiful. The smokehouse, barn, kitchen, well and other outbuildings remain so one can envision what life was like for a household in the 1800′s. For more information, visit their website at www,archibaldsmithplantation.org.