Located a mere 15 minutes from downtown Atlanta, the city of Smyrna offers the best of two worlds: an uncongested, small-town vibe with easy access to all that metro Atlanta has to offer. Nicknamed “The Jonquil City” for the thousands of yellow jonquil flowers that bloom throughout Smyrna each spring, this vibrant community has grown about 25 percent in the past decade, making it one of the metro’s most popular places to live.
Smyrna was first settled as a religious camp site (Smyrna Camp Ground) in the 1830s, and with the arrival of the railroad in the 1840s grew into a permanent settlement. This area was in the path of General Sherman’s infamous March to the Sea during the Civil War, whose troops decimated the town as they came through, leaving only a single brick building standing. The town was rebuilt and incorporated in 1872. In the years since, Smyrna has continued to make its mark on history as part of the war effort during World War II with the nearby Bell Bomber Plant (now Lockheed Martin). Smyrna also has the distinction of electing the first woman mayor in the United States (Lorena Pace Pruitt, in 1946).
Smyrna has a population of just over 52,000 people, and with a median age of 33.8 years, it is a popular area for young professionals. The median income is above the state average at just under $56,000 a year, with over half of Smyrna’s households making over $75,000 per year. While housing prices are on the rise, the cost of housing is still relatively affordable, with a median house value of around $221,000. Popular neighborhoods in Smyrna include Vinings Estates, Smyrna Heights, Market Village and the historic Williams Park.
Smyrna is within the highly rated Cobb County School District, with test results well above the state average. There are nine public elementary schools in Smyrna, two middle schools, and Campbell High School.
Starting in 1991, Smyrna began a comprehensive redevelopment of its downtown area. Today, the Market Village, as it is called, is a wonderful walkable area with shopping, dining and townhomes patterned after an early-1900s village. With regular events and live music featured, downtown Smyrna has become a favorite hangout for many residents, as well as a great draw for visitors.