Panel 4 - Building A New Smyrna

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Building a new Smyrna – Panel 4 / PDF of Panel 4
The old frontier community known as Ruff’s Station grew into a town.
   The Western and Atlantic Railroad was rebuilt and improved after the war. Ruff’s Station was incorporated as the City of Smyrna on August 23, 1872. Smyrna developed as a commerce and mercantile center – farmers could get their crops to market and buy the latest goods. The 1890 census recorded 280 residences, and Smyrna grew past 1,000 by the 1930s. In the first decade of the 20th century, the telephone, electricity, automobile, and other technological marvels were introduced. The Atlanta Northern Railway established trolley service between Atlanta and Marietta in 1905, the largest interurban electric railway in the South. Atlanta Road was first paved in 1926, and the passenger car became prevalent. As Atlanta grew, Smyrna became a bedroom community as many workers commuted to the Atlanta.
Brawner Hall
   Dr. James Brawner, a medical visionary in mental health, established a sanitarium in Smyrna on the old Taylor estate in 1910. The Brawner Hospital was a 35-room private psychiatric facility for individuals with mental illness or alcohol/drug addictions. Dr. Brawner set standards for increasing expectations of patient care and helped change public perceptions of mental illness. Dr. Brawner operated the hospital until 1955, when his son assumed control. The family owned the sanitarium until 1978, and it remained open as the Brawner Psychiatric Facility until 1999. The former residence, now known as the Taylor-Brawner House, and the former Brawner Hospital, now known as Brawner Hall, are repurposed and/ or restored historic structures that are listed with the National Register for Historic Places and are either available for rental or have rooms and facilities available for rental for events through the City of Smyrna Parks and Recreation Department. The grounds make up a well-loved passive park for the community.

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