Sunday, June 28, 2009

Greetings from Atlanta

After arriving from Augusta in the late morning, we spent nearly the entire day at the Atlanta History Center. This fabulous museum has a main building with several interactive museum exhibits on the history of Atlanta, the Civil War, and the Olympic Games, plus a historic research center, extensive gardens and woods, and two historic houses -- the Swan House, which was originally the main building on the private estate, and the Tullie Smith Farm, whose main house was moved to the property to become part of the collection and has other buildings restored or brought from other local farms. (The Margaret Mitchell House, which we stopped at briefly late in the day, is also part of the museum.)

We had lunch in the Coca-Cola Cafe (a Chick-fil-A covered with historic Coke posters and decorations), then walked to the Swan House, the 1928 home of the Inman family who inherited a fortune from cotton futures. The library and master bathroom are really stunning, as is the massive fountain out front. Then we wandered in the 100-degree heat to the farm, where we saw sheep and chickens as well as the large farmhouse and reconstructed slave cabin. Back at the museum that houses the Atlanta History Museum and Centennial Olympic Games Museum, we went through the large Civil War exhibit with artifacts and short films covering each year of the war from Atlanta's perspective, and the kids tried out the rowing machines and bikes in the Olympics exhibit which has the only complete collection of Olympic torches and medals in the U.S.

Daniel and Adam outside Swan House. No photography was permitted inside, but trust me when I say it's as opulent as one would expect from this exterior.

Here are the boys and the sheep at Tullie Smith Farm, wilting in the heat.

Adam strikes the winner's haughty pose in the Olympics exhibit. You can tell how much Daniel did not want to be in this photo. Paul didn't care.

Daniel was more willing to race his brother in the interactive display upstairs.

Here is Adam in the Civil War museum exhibit on the siege of Atlanta conducted by General Sherman.

Life-size figures of Union and Confederate soldiers with their gear -- there were rifles, ammunition pouches, and packs to pick up to give a sense of the weight of what they had to carry.

The Atlanta History Museum follows the city's development as it went from a rural railroad crossing to a huge modern metropolis, with particular emphasis on the ethnic, racial and class contributions and tensions that shaped its character.

Margaret Mitchell's house will have a grand reopening of the home and Gone With the Wind weekend.

Sunday we will visit the aquarium, Coca-Cola factory, Underground, and Martin Luther King memorial!

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