Atlanta is blessed with an outstanding Civil War exhibit at the Atlanta History Center, but sometimes it is nice to get out of town and see something new. The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History is a perfect alternative in these days of the Civil War Sesquicentennial.
Located a short drive west of Atlanta in Kennesaw, this museum is associated with the Smithsonian Institution through its affiliation program. Although relatively small, the Southern Museum is loaded with exceptional exhibits. The first is devoted to American railroads and the crucial role they played in the Civil War. There are some amazing artifacts to be seen here associated with area railroads.
This naturally leads to a film and exhibit about the famous Andrews’ Raid, which initiated the dramatic Great Locomotive Chase through northwest Georgia in 1862. Featured is the “General” locomotive itself, one of the best restored locomotives from that era and stunningly exhibited.
Other parts of the museum are equally unique. There is a large room devoted to the Glover Ma-chine Works of Marietta. This exhibit of a local business born in antebellum days shows how it became a manufacturer of steam engines well into the twentieth century. There is also the Jolley Education Center for children’s activities and a beautiful gift shop.
The museum is located at 2829 Cherokee Street in Kennesaw and is open daily (except for five holidays). Admission ranges from $5.50 to $7.50 (children under three are admitted free). It is a short drive out Cobb Parkway or I-75. For more information, call 770-427-2117 or visit www.southernmuseum.org.
– Dick Funderburke