Public Programs


The DeKalb History Center hosts educational programs throughout the year including lunch and learn lectures, behind the scenes tours and a variety of others. Please check our events page for more information.


March 29, 2014 - Stories of Decatur: Tour and Lecture at the Benjamin Swanton House (click here for news release)

The 2 p.m. tour includes a visit to the cabin of Zenith Twilley, a free African American woman who lived in DeKalb County in the 1850s and 1860s. Learn about her life and daily struggles working as a weaver, seamstress and washer-woman. Also meet Benjamin Swanton, who welcomes you into his house where you learn about the early industries in the area and why people settled here. Owners of a tannery, brickyard, blacksmith shop, and grist mill, the Swantons were entrepreneurs whose daily lives were full of activity. Also meet Mary Gay, who worked tirelessly during the Civil War to support Southern troops. Her diary, Life in Dixie During the War, is a vivid account of the war years and Battle of Atlanta.

At 3 p.m., George Coletti, local historian and author of Stone Mountain: The Granite Sentinel, will talk about DeKalb county during the Civil War. He will address how the Battle of Atlanta began in DeKalb County in 1864, who the main people involved were and how the citizens of the county coped with the war in general and then the war in their county.

For information and to RSVP please call 404-373-1088 ext 20 or email

This event is made possible through support from the Georgia Humanities Council.

Free and open to the public!

Saturday, March 29, 2:00 - 4:00 pm

The Benjamin Swanton House: 720 West Trinity Place , Decatur GA 30030


May 8, 2014- Swanton House preservation fundraiser

Come and support the work being done on one of Decatur's oldest structures, the Benjamin Swanton House. Enjoy great southern food, drinks, music and great company while preserving this historic treasure for current and future generations. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a living history tour of the Swanton House, followed by food and socializing at the Mary Gay House next door.

Thursday May 8, 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.

The Benjamin Swanton House and Mary Gay House: 720 West Trinity Place, Decatur GA 30030

Tickets: $75 per person

Call 404-323-1088 extension 20 for tickets and information or email