The Museums on the historic Marietta Square
By Melissa Wilson
It’s home to what you’d typically find in small town square. You have your diners, bars, antique shops, theaters and boutiques, but hidden behind the night life and downtown exterior of the Marietta Square are a number of attractions that give way to a world of arts and culture. Located just 26 minutes from downtown Atlanta in the heart of Cobb County, the museums of the Marietta Square offer the perfect treat for families looking for an economical staycation or college student jonesing for something different to do on a Saturday afternoon.
Art and Recreation – Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art
This charming small museum located at 30 Atlanta Street, Marietta, GA 30060. Take a relaxing stroll through its five art galleries. The classical architecture of the former Federal Post Office adds quaint ambience and sets the tone for your tour as you take in works of American art dating back from the Revolution and continuing into the twenty-first century.
Currently on exhibit and running through September 12 is the museum’s permanent collection, featuring a selection of pieces focused on landscapes (galleries four and five). Metro Montage (galleries one through three), a collection from a number of juried artists, is also on display and will run through September 12. But if you can’t make it out before the 12th, plan to catch the museum’s upcoming juried exhibition from Kennesaw State University entitled Art of the Golden Age. The exhibit will feature more than 55 works of art from artists over the age of 50. The exhibit will run September 26 through December 19 in galleries one through three.
Museum Director, Sally Mccaulay says Friday and Saturday events are scheduled various weekends throughout the year and it can be rented for weddings and other special events. On Friday September 11 the museum will celebrate the 100-year anniversary of their historic building with the 100 Year Celebration Gala. From 7 to 11 p.m. the event will feature silent and live auctions, music by PRIME, heavy hors d’oeurves and a cash bar. Tickets are $25 and can be reserved online at http://www.mariettacobbartmuseum.org.
On Friday, November 6 is the museum will host its quarterly Martinis and Music event. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. visitors can enjoy access to all the exhibits, live music, hors d’oeurves and a cash bar. Tickets are $8 at the door. The museum is open for viewing Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. They are closed for major holidays, between exhibitions and for special events. Adult admission is $8, students are $5, seniors 65 and older are $5 and children 6 and under are free.
It is affectionately known as Scarlet on the Square (18 Whitlock Avenue, Marietta, GA 30064). Spend a few hours getting lost inside this historic warehouse-turned-museum that museum director Connie Southerland calls the perfect combination of romance and history. Step back in time as you view photographs and extensive exhibits surrounding the popular Margaret Mitchell novel and 1930s movie. With a collection of memorabilia sure to satisfy any Gone with the Wind fan, the museum features the original Bengaline honeymoon gown worn by Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, several of Margaret Mitchell’s personal volumes of the novel, foreign editions of the book, personal scripts from the actors, collectables and much more.
Visitors can view this part of Southern antebellum history Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adults tickets are $7 and senior and student tickets are $6. More information on the museum can be found on their Web site at www.mariettaga.gov/gwtw/default.aspx.
Located on the second floor of the historic Kennesaw House, the museum was originally a 1840s cotton warehouse, but was later remodeled to become the Fletcher House Hotel in 1855 and much later became the museum in 1996. The museum, which now house four galleries featuring collections of local, home and military history, has been the center of many stories and local ghost folklore, having temporarily served as a makeshift hospital and morgue during its run as the Fletcher House Hotel.
Housed inside what Mary Koronkowski, museum PR director, says is Marietta’s best kept secret are collections surrounding the Civil War and military displays from the Revolutionary War, World War I and II, Korean War, Vietnam and both Gulf Wars. Exhibits feature stories of soldiers’ bravery, local battlefield relics, gun collections, uniforms and more. As you continue your tour, view the collections of vintage household items, including a working music box collection, a rotary phone and 1940s kitchen vignette.
The museum is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adult admission is $5, students are $4 and children six and under are free. More information on the Marietta Museum of History museum can be found at www.mariettahistory.org.
Hot Marietta – Marietta Fire Museum
Located inside fire station number one (112 Haynes Street, Marietta, GA 30060), the museum features equipment, clothing and antique apparatuses used by the Marietta Fire Department dating back to the 1800s. As you tour the station get taken back to the fire system of the nineteenth century with a photograph wall of fame, antique fire hoses and fire engines and pictures detailing some of the city’s worst catastrophes, including the Navy Corsair A-7 Jet crash in November of 1989. Also housed inside the station are some of the fire engines of yesteryear, including an 1879 Silsby Steamer, 1921 American LaFrance pumper, 1949 Pirsch ladder truck and others.
The museum is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday by appointment. Weekend appointments can be made by calling (770) 794-5491 and more information can be found on the Web site at http://www.mariettaga.gov and clicking on the link for the fire department and museum. http://www.mariettaga.gov/departments/emergency/fire/museum.aspx
For a cup of joe, a latte or tea try Cool Bean Coffee Roasters (31 Mill Street NW, Suite 100, Marietta, GA 30060)
For breakfast, lunch or delicious pastries try Sugar Cakes (101 North Park Square, Marietta, GA 30060)
On weekends try Old Ephraim’s Restaurant (70 South Park Square, Marietta, GA 30060) for an old fashioned breakfast and if it is lunch or dinner time they serve great barbeque and seafood served daily. .
Grab a slice or a sandwich at the Marietta Pizza Company (3 Whitlock Avenue NW, Marietta, GA 30060)
The Marietta Square has lots more dining choices, so if you don’t like mine just walk around the Square and you’re bound to find what you want. There is everything from an Australian Bakery to a Sushi Bar to homemade ice cream.
A Final Idea
One last idea for the history buff is to take a tour of the historic Marietta Square and its surrounding area. There are Self Guided Walking Tours, Trolley Tours, Ghost Tours and Horse and Carriage Rides. Click Here to Read about the tours of Marietta.
If you have a question about Marietta, Teresa Jenkins and her staff at the Marietta Welcome Center in the old train depot next to the History Museum is the place to turn. Drop by , call them at 770-429-1115 or go to www.mariettasquare.com.