2011–The 75th Anniversary of GWTW, the book, based in part on writings from the Mitchell family scrapbook, shown above.
Summer will be here before we know it and it’s time to start planning your summer vacation. The Atlanta area is full of sites dedicated to Gone With The Wind and the author, Margaret Mitchell.
For a beautiful first class bed and breakfast in the area, try Serenbe (www.serenbe.com) in Palmetto, Georgia. Serenbe is a planned community with homes, condos, quaint shops and restaurants; and the bed and breakfast is comprised of several beautiful buildings set in a rural lake setting. A quick visit to their website and you will be hooked. It is hard to believe you are so close to Atlanta while living the good life in the country. The other interesting thing about Serenbe is it is owned by a descendent of Margaret Mitchell. Her cousin was featured in a new book, The Making Of A Masterpiece, The True Story of Margaret Mitchell’s Classic Novel, Gone With The Wind (www.GWTWbook.com). In the book she shares memories from her grandmother, whose mother lived through the Civil War and had many of the same events happen to her that happened to Scarlett O’Hara and her family in GWTW.
After a nice, peaceful trip to Serenbe you are ready to begin your journey to find Tara. Palmetto is about a half hour from Atlanta. The Margaret Mitchell House and Museum is in downtown at 990 Peachtree Street Atlanta, GA 30309. Not far, on Ponce DeLeon Street is Mary Mac’s Tearoom, a favorite of Margaret Mitchell. Her grave is in the Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta. There is a Margaret Mitchell display at the Atlanta- Fulton Public Library, One Margaret Mitchell Square, Atlanta, Georgia 30303. While driving from place to place you will most likely see Grady Memorial Medical Center. The original Grady Memorial Hospital was where Mitchell was brought after she was hit by a car, while crossing the street in 1949 and she eventually died there.
There are two Gone With The Wind museums in the area. In Marietta, GA you will find The Marrietta Gone With The Wind Museum, Scarlett On The Square. The Road To Tara Museum is in Jonesboro, Georgia. Jonesboro is in Clayton County where Mitchell’s characters, the O’Haras were from in the book. Mitchell’s real-life relatives were from there and during the time she was writing the book they still lived there. There is a big white-columned mansion in Jonesboro which many feel may have been the inspiration for the Wilkes Plantation. Stately Oaks Plantation is open for tours and there are many Civil War era buildings and a Confederate graveyard in the Jonesboro area, including the old railroad building that houses the Road To Tara Museum. The original railroad was burned during the Civil War but the current building was built right after that.
If time permits, don’t forget to go to Fayetteville, GA to see the Holliday-Dorsey-Fife Museum. They have a Doc Holliday exhibit which talks about the famous “Gunfight At OK Corral” participant’s connection to Gone With The Wind. A recently discovered scrapbook from Margaret Mitchell’s family talked about the fact that Holliday, who was from Griffin, Georgia, was actually a relative of Mitchell’s grandmother. Less than a mile away in the Fayetteville Cemetery is Margaret Mitchell’s great-grandfather Philip Fitzgerald’s grave along with other Fitzgerald and Holliday relatives, some of whose pictures are in The Making Of A Masterpiece.
If you are looking for a good mid-priced family motel, the Drury Inn in Marietta, GA is the perfect choice. Drury Hotels are a chain of hotels mostly in the Midwest and South which offer the best hot breakfast you will find. Another big plus with the Drury Inn besides the breakfast of waffles, eggs, fruit, pastries, bacon, sausage etc they offer “happy hour” every day with free food and drinks. You’ll have to check their website (www.DruryHotels.com) in order to see exactly what the individual hotels offer, but Drury Hotels are always an excellent choice. They have several locations in the Atlanta area, but the Marietta location is near the Museum. There is also a downtown location near the Margaret Mitchell House.
One last thing worth mentioning is the Barnsley Gardens resort in Adairsville, Georgia which is down the road from Atlanta. There is a museum there and an old Antebellum plantation home on the estate. For those readers who enjoy just thinking about Gone With The Wind, check out GWTWbook on Facebook and subscribe to this blog for articles about all things Gone With The Wind.
And don’t forget if there are people in the family who need another reason to go to Atlanta (What? Not everybody loves Gone With The Wind?) there are always the Braves games. The Atlanta Braves play in Turner Field, 755 Hank Aaron Dr. SW, Atlanta, GA 30315. Check out their website for a schedule and to purchase tickets.
By Sally Tippett Rains April 18, 2010