Aunt Fanny's Cabin is a place with a unique origin story that deserves attention yet will be demolished if not protected from a fateful end as set by the City of Smyrna, Georgia, if an acceptable proposal is not received by March 16th. Its sordid and complex history has become the "cancel culture" narrative that may lead to its demolition. The Coalition To Save Aunt Fanny's Cabin aims to obtain the necessary resources to save the building as quickly as the City intends to raze the building as it will no longer direct "taxpayer dollars to maintain" this gem. The cabin sits in bustling Smyrna, a city that once prided itself for having a 0% Black population. Now, the city is one of the most diverse in Cobb County. There is a success story to be appropriately narrated within the walls of this historical cabin if allowed to remain. We intend to do what we can to maintain this cabin. The citizens of Smyrna deserve the whole truth of this cabin. Funds raised will be used to care for the cabin.
The cabin's origin rests within the partnership of two women on opposite sides of the antebellum south paradigm, Fanny Williams, a Black housekeeper, and Isoline Campbell McKenna, a White, wealthy socialite. The origin story is a tale of reconciliation, perseverance, sacrifice and triumph with blessings that still resonate today. Fanny Williams served in the home of a White, wealthy family cooking fine Southern meals to perfection and tending to home duties. Unfortunately, both Isoline's mother and father passed away, and Fanny was left to care for her and her much younger brother. Eventually, Isoline grew up with a heart of service and aspired to found the Junior League of Atlanta, whose mission remains (to this date) to help women and children in need, one no doubt inspired by Fanny Williams herself. Isoline officially owned the cabin and dedicated it to Fanny Williams who truly "owned" the cabin. The cabin was created to allow the farm hands an opportunity to sell their produce, jams and jellies in the cabin. Isoline did not need the money. Through these friendships, Fanny Williams was the primary source of donors for the construction of Wheat Street Baptist Church and the Cobb Cooperative, the first Black hospital in Cobb County. These two tremendous accomplishments continue to bless communities across the metro Atlanta area.
While many narratives exist, this is the sweetest of them all and is a fantastic opportunity to garner greater understanding and enlightenment for generations. Fanny Williams and Isolene Campbell McKenna did what some found impossible, but they persisted. Fanny Williams, deeply loved by the Campbell family, was a civil rights activist, master chef, community rock star, philanthropist and change agent. Her giving spirit continues to inspire. Preserving the building is the best way to honor her memory by returning its original purpose of race reconciliation to the fore. The fact that the cabin originated as a gesture towards righting the wrongs of our forefathers is reason alone to keep this building that housed a nationally acclaimed restaurant so that many can experience the grace and space inside the cabin ... a beautiful story indeed. Our vision is for this building to serve as a capacity-building space for the Rose Garden Hills and Davenport Town communities, both historically Black communities, often recipients of discrimination long ago on many levels. It would be the perfect end to this story.
In honor of Black History Month and Women's History Month
, we ask that you help us reach our goal
to make this a reality. If you have questions, please follow us on Facebook
!STATEMENT OF TRANSPARENCY: Per the advice of GoFundMe, we offer this statement of transparency. Due to disbursement limitations of GoFundMe campaigns and in the absence of 501c3 non-profit status, the beneficiary is a designated member of The Coalition To Save Aunt Fanny's Cabin who will turn over the full amount noted for the sole benefit and betterment of the cabin. Paperwork has been started to register the grassroots organization with the Georgia Secretary of State.
Watch this: "Rediscovering Aunt Fanny's Cabin"