Frustration grows after Aunt Fanny’s Cabin demolished, supporters plan rally

Aunty Fanny in Smyrna
Aunty Fanny in Smyrna(CBS46)
Published: Aug. 14, 2022 at 10:16 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Customers and employees of the iconic Aunt Fanny’s Cabin voiced their frustrations after the business was torn down on Aug. 12.

This comes after months of back-and-forth in an effort to move the cabin to Carroll County. Ultimately, Smyrna City Council voted to tear it down.

The cabin opened in 1940 as a restaurant and has a divisive and deep history.

“This is truly a sad moment in the history of Smyrna. Aunt Fanny’s Cabin is not only a part of Smyrna’s history, but the history of African Americans in Smyrna,” said former Smyrna City Councilwoman, Maryline Blackburn. “The cabin should have been preserved to inspire, educate, and guide our community reconciliation and healing process.”

A Coalition to Save Aunt Fanny’s Cabin plan to gather in Smyrna on Monday afternoon.

Many have been critical of the cabin’s past of using racially offensive stereotypes to promote the restaurant.

Others say the division overshadows the contributions its namesake, Fanny Williams, made to Georgia. Williams helped launch Cobb County’s first Black hospital.

“The old sharecroppers’ cabin remained the last one in Smyrna. Both Fanny William’s and the cabin survived an era intertwined by divergent paths. Fanny Williams and the cabin that once misappropriated her name are Smyrna,” said Pat Burns, a Smyrna resident. “And as eloquently stated by Brent Leggs (African American architectural historian and preservationist), “We have a social responsibility to preserve these places to never forget who we are.”

The Smyrna City Council sold it to Jim and Tonnie Lane earlier this year.