Wednesday, March 21, 2018

FOSL Joins Keep Smyrna Beautiful's ADOPT-A-MILE and Great American Cleanup Program

The Friends of Smyrna Library now participate in Keep Smyrna Beautiful's ADOPT-A-MILE and Great American Cleanup program. Our first cleanup will be held on April 20th.  

There are 12 volunteer opportunities for each cleanup (age 14 and up). Please email with any questions.

Depending on the cleanup date, we will assemble at either Tolleson Park or the Smyrna Recycling Center and carpool to our designated cleanup starting points. A link to signup to volunteer for the April cleanup is below. All needed supplies are provided free of charge by Keep Smyrna Beautiful. 

Our mile (actually 1.2 miles) is located on the east side of Atlanta Road from Creatwood Trail to the Community Center. All needed supplies are provided free of charge by Keep Smyrna Beautiful (KSB). Volunteers who have never participated in the KSB cleanup before will undergo a short training before we depart. The FOSL event coordinator will send you a link to a video that needs to be watched before you arrive.

Volunteers work the mile in 3 sections:

Community Center to Spring Road
Spring Road to Brawner Park
Brawner Park to Creatwood Trail

2018 Cleanup Schedule 

Saturday, April 21, 2018
Assemble at 9 am
Tolleson Park Pavillion
3515 McCauley Rd
Smyrna 30080
* Complimentary Annual Volunteer Lunch to follow at 10:30 am
* Free T-shirts to be distributed after lunch 
Click Here To Volunteer For April Cleanup

Saturday, July 21, 2018
Assemble at 9 am
Smyrna Recycling Center
3475 Lake Dr SE
Smyrna 30082

Saturday, October 20, 2018
Assemble at 9 am
Smyrna Recycling Center
3475 Lake Dr SE
Smyrna 30082

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Birds of Prey Invade Smyrna Library (from Marietta Daily Journal)

By Ross Williams, Marietta Daily Journal, March 10, 2018

Falconers from Georgia Mountain Falconry came to the Smyrna Public Library on Saturday with a menagerie of birds of prey, and a crowd of about 100 packed into the library’s event room to ooh and aah at the raptors.

Owls at both end of the size spectrum were represented. On the tiny and cute side was Huckleberry, an eastern screech owl. Huckleberry was about small enough to fit in a pocket. With big, wide eyes, he craned his head around to take in the crowd from atop the gloved hand of handler Jill Lusky.

On the huge and terrifying side of the spectrum was Yona, the Eurasian eagle owl. This bird can have a wingspan of over six feet, and when it flapped its wings, you could feel the wind across the room. In Europe, they are used to hunt animals as big as deer, according to Georgia Mountain Falconry founder Buster Brown.

“You notice the size of her feet, they’re as big as my hand, and there’s 1,200 pounds of pressure in each foot,” Brown said.

Also on the stage were red-tailed falcons and Cooper’s hawks, who looked around the room and flapped their wings as the kids in the crowd lost their minds.

“People come up to us all the time and say ‘Man, you’ve got the neatest hobby in the world,’” Brown said. “We always tell them, ‘It’s way beyond that.’”

Brown said falconry is like an obsession for true aficionados, a true flame for the passions.

But these birds are for more than just looking at, he said. They are work animals, designed to be swift and efficient hunters.

 “Falconry is hunting,” Brown said. “Instead of using a gun or a bow, we use a bird, and that’s what it’s all about. It’s not for everybody because of that.”

Unlike shooting or bow hunting, Brown said falconry is about partnering with a part of nature.

“If you can imagine, you’re out there, your partner in falconry is a wild animal,” he said. “That’s pretty cool. Even if you don’t catch anything, to have that wild animal come back to you at the end of the day, that’s pretty cool.”

Georgia Mountain Falconry sells hawks and falcons to licensed falconers and also hosts hawking hunts in Cleveland, Dahlonega or Dawsonville. They also offer pest control services to home, business or farm owners who are plagued by feathered pests.

For more information, visit

Original Article: 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

FIRST SUNDAY LECTURE: Gwendolyn I. Koehler Presents Mittie & Thee: An 1853 Roosevelt Romance

Thank you, Gwendolyn I. Koehler, for presenting at today’s First Sunday Lecture.   Ms Koehler, Educational Coordinator for Bulloch Hall in Roswell, spoke about her first book, “Mittie & Thee: An 1853 Roosevelt Romance”. She discussed the love affair between Martha "Mattie” Bulloch and Theodore Roosevelt. Their courtship, conducted mostly through letters, provides us with an intimate peek into their personal love story.

Speaker Biography:

Born and raised in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York State, an area rich in the history of the American Revolution, Gwendolyn Koehler was the daughter of Milton and Lillian (Moody) Roblee. Educated at local schools she graduated from Corning Northside High School, and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She taught elementary grades in Endicott, NY until her marriage to Arthur Koehler, and their move to Ithaca, New York. Her teaching career continued and she enrolled in the Independent Studies Program at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her mentors were Pat Carini of the Prospect School and Archives, Brenda Engle, and George Hein. She graduated with a Master of Arts Degree and continued her extensive career in the field of education in Ithaca, New York until her retirement in 2000 and their move to Georgia.

Making their home in Alpharetta Georgia, Gwendolyn found an advertisement in the local paper that caught her interest. Bulloch Hall, the 1839 home of Mittie Bulloch, mother of President Theodore Roosevelt, was looking for Volunteer Docents. She answered the ad, fell in love with the house and the story of the Bulloch/Roosevelt family and entered her journey into the Southern past. What began as a volunteer opportunity to pursue her love of history evolved into her present position. She is the Education Director of Bulloch Hall, responsible for docents and training, tour development, the research library and archives and the intern program. She is President of the Advisory Board of the Schools of Geography and Anthropology at Kennesaw University. She works closely with Connie Huddleston, her co-author, authenticating the available information regarding the history of the family, and other projects.

For the past five years, assisted by interns from various universities, she embarked on an intensive project; authentically interpreting and transcribing hundreds of pages of Bulloch/Roosevelt family letters written during the 19th century. She researched and published a brief history of the house and family which is available in the Bulloch Hall Museum Shop. Mittie and Thee, An 1853 Roosevelt Romance, is the first of three volumes of letters to be published by the co-authors.

The First Sunday Lecture series is sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library and Smyrna Library.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Acrylics & Glazes by Bailey Jack Opens at Smyrna Public Library Art Gallery

The March/April 2018 Art Gallery exhibit has opened – Acrylics & Glazes by Bailey Jack.  Bailey Jack’s exhibit is on display through April 30. The Art Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The Art Gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Artist Statement:

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Worked in corporate world as first career. Met with a Life Coach to begin a shift - a new career - a real career - doing what I was meant to do and what I believed I'd enjoy doing. I have chosen the ability to paint ideas that come my way and turn it into my life work.

I've discovered one constant fact about human nature - people enjoy looking at art, discussing art, and choosing art of their choice. People enjoy one of a kind piece of art to take home and view every day. I am still amazed how customers and shoppers and first timers take time from their day to visit an art festival or an art exhibit to observe and enjoy the crazy things artists produce.

I am a Southerner and have raised 3 sons. I am self taught as a painter because I jumped in with both feet to meet my new career head-on. I embarked on a career painting only what fascinates me. From St. Francis to Princess Leia. I enjoy being around some fellow artists that are beyond fabulous thinkers and painters. I am amazed I am in the same shows and galleries with painters I admire. 

You can contact me by e-mail at or snail mail 475 East Main St #229, Cartersville, GA 30121.

Acrylics by Aida Arias Opens at Smyrna Public Library Art Gallery

The March/April 2018 Display Gallery exhibit has opened – Acrylics by Aida Arias.  Ms. Arias’s exhibit is on display through April 30. The Display Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The Display Gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Artist Statement:

Hi! I am a Puerto Rican artist living in Atlanta, Georgia. Acrylic painting & mixed media are my passions. I love to capture the character and essence of my subjects by using decisive and bold brushstrokes.

I also enjoy making mixed media steampunk shadowboxes. These are made with found objects such as vintage watch movements, skeleton keys, and metal tidbits.

Monday, February 5, 2018

FIRST SUNDAY LECTURE: Mary Moore Speaks on the Life of Susie King Taylor

Yesterday’s First Sunday Lecture was entitled Susie King Taylor: An African-American Woman’s Civil War Experience.  It was presented by Mary Wallace Moore, Smyrna Public Library Director. 

In 1902, native Georgian, Susie King Taylor published a memoir of her experiences as a newly freed slave working for African-American Federal Troops during the Civil War. Mrs. Taylor provided a window into camp life from a unique perspective. Re-visiting Mrs. Taylor's memoir is an excellent way to celebrate this year's theme for African-American History Month -- "African Americans in Times of War."

Speaker Biography:

Mary Moore has been the director of Smyrna Library for five years. Mrs. Moore ran across a mention of Susie King Taylor while reading online. Surprised that she had never heard of Mrs. Taylor before, Mrs. Moore began researching Mrs. Taylor's life and work.

The First Sunday Lecture series is sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library and Smyrna Library.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Smyrna, Georgia: An Episodic History 6-week Lecture Series Announced

Local historian, Dr. William P. Marchione, Ph.D., is to present a six-part lecture series on the history of Smyrna.  Each lecture will address two broad themes, with a half hour devoted to each. The series will begin on Monday February 5, 2018 and conclude six weeks later on March 12, 2018. The class will meet in the first floor meeting room of the Smyrna Public Library from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

This lecture series is free to attend.  Pre-registration is required. Space is limited. RSVP:

Topical Outline:

Lecture #1. Native Society: Assimilation & Expulsion, 1825-1837; Transportation Challenges and Economic Opportunities, 1837-1851. (Monday, February 5, 2018)

Lecture #2. The Antebellum Economy, 1851-60; The Impact and Legacy of the Civil War, 1861-1880. (Monday, February 12, 2018)

Lecture #3. Agricultural Diversification, 1880-1905; The Suburbanizing Impulse, 1905-1930. (Monday, February 19, 2018)

Lecture #4. The Nadir of Race Relations, 1918-38; The Impact of the Depression Era and the New Deal, 1930 to 1942. (Monday, February 26, 2018)

Lecture #5. The Economic Stimulus of the World War II and Cold War Economies, 1943-70; An Era of Fevered Development, 1970-1985. (Monday, March 5, 2018)

Lecture #6. The Transformative Years, Smyrna since 1985; Looking Backward and Forward (Monday, March 12, 2018)

Reading material:

Marchione, A Brief History of Smyrna, Georgia (History Press, 2013). The library owns eight circulating copies of this history. Copies are also be available for purchase at the Library’s circulation desk and from on-line booksellers like Amazon. Also, a kindle version of the book can be ordered online.

Material posted on the instructor’s blog, “Local Historian North & South,” which can be accessed via

Recommendations will be made from time to time of books and other material housed in the Smyrna Public Library’s Local History Collection.

Smyrna, Georgia: An Episodic History is sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library and the Smyrna Public Library.