2014 is the 75th anniversary of “Gone with the Wind” (1939), the iconic classic that has become the defining cinematic image of the American South. With the movie celebrating such a major milestone this year, it’s a perfect time to head to Atlanta, the home of novelist Margaret Mitchell and an important location for the story, where a trio of museums celebrate the history of both the novel and the film.
Inside Atlanta, fans can visit the Margaret Mitchell House, where the novelist lived during much of the time she spent writing the original draft of her only novel. The house contains the apartment where Mitchell and her husband lived as well as exhibits about Mitchell’s life, the history of the novel, and the production of the film. Classic movie fans will especially enjoy the “Stars Fall on Atlanta” section, which focuses on the Atlanta premiere of the 1939 film. Included in the exhibits are the front door of the Tara set and a large portrait of Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara that was used in the movie. The Margaret Mitchell House is a campus of the Atlanta History Center; guided tours of the apartment are included with the $13 adult admission, and the museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5:30 pm and on Sunday from noon until 5:30 pm.
In nearby Jonesboro, Scarlett devotees will find the Road to Tara Museum, which features artifacts from Civil War history, Margaret Mitchell’s life, and the production of the film. The museum is located inside a historic train depot, where visitors can find relics from Sherman’s infamous march to the sea as well as Margaret Mitchell’s china and reproductions of costumes worn by Vivien Leigh in the film. Adult admission costs $7; the Road to Tara Museum is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm and on Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.
Marietta is home to the Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square, which opened in 2003 in the historic Old Thomas Warehouse Building. The museum collection features memorabilia from the novel and movie, including editions of the book and the personal script of Ona Munson, who played Belle Watling in the film. Admission to the museum is $7 for adults; operating hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.
All three museums include gift shops where visitors can purchase books, magnets, posters, and other GWTW merchandise. For even more Atlanta destinations for “Gone with the Wind” fans, see the Gone with the Wind Trail site’s list of locations. Learn more about “Gone with the Wind” star Vivien Leigh by watching the video at the top of this article.