If you find yourself in Atlanta, Georgia looking for a unique historical landmark to tour, head down to 979 Crescent Avenue, NE, to the Margaret Mitchell House. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and operated by the Atlanta History Center, this turn-of-the-century home is where Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist, Margret Mitchell, wrote Gone with the Wind.
Born in Atlanta on November 8, 1900, Mitchell found that she was fascinated by Civil War stories she heard from local Confederate veterans. As a child she wrote, produced her own plays then cast friends and invited neighbors to attend the porch performances. She took her love for performance and writing and entered Smith College in the fall of 1918. Her time at Smith ended after losing both her fiancé and her mother shortly after she enrolled. With her mother’s passing, Mitchell returned home to Atlanta to run the household of her father and older brother.
Mitchell was not one to be pigeonholed into expected societal roles and soon found herself at the center of scandal for performing a provocative dance at a debutante ball. Scandal continued to follow her when she married and divorced an ex-football player and locally-known bootlegger. The financial fallout of her that relationship led to her writing for the Atlanta Journal Sunday Magazine. During her time there she met and married John Marsh, an editor at the paper. Soon after they married she began writing the book that made her famous. After the book was published and made into a hugely successful movie, Mitchell had found herself with the financial resources to support her philanthropic pursuits. She donated to social service organizations, Morehouse College and even led war bond drives for funds to build a ship to replace the U.S.S. Atlanta after sank.
Guided tours are offered daily and include stops at her Crescent Avenue apartment and Margaret Mitchell: A Passion for Character an exhibit that celebrates the life and art of Mitchell, one of America’s most famous authors. Hours of operation are Monday-Saturday, 10:00 am-5:30 pm, and Sunday, 12pm-5:30 pm. More information about the House and tour visit the website at atlantahistorycenter.com.
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