History of Smyrna's Taylor-Brawner House, Brawner Hospital Recalls 'A Simpler Time'

Local historian and Taylor-Brawner House Foundation member Mike Terry spent the better half of a decade compiling and writing the book.

It’s been a red-letter year for Smyrna’s Taylor-Brawner House and Brawner Hospital. , the first of their kind in Smyrna, and now their stories have been told in a book.

Mike Terry, a member of the Taylor-Brawner House Foundation, recently published his book “A Simpler Time: The Story of the Taylor-Brawner House and Brawner Hospital” with Southern Lion Books. He said he spent years compiling research and writing the book. 

“When we were going through the restoration on this people began coming to us saying, ‘My grandmother worked at the hospital’ or ‘I had family members who knew the Taylors and I have stories to tell and artifacts that I have saved and I don’t know what to do with them. Would you like to hear my story?’” Terry said.

Eventually, the foundation amassed “a mountain of notes” that they thought would be suitable for a book about the property.

“They thought I was the logical choice (to write the book) since I had collected all the data,” he said. “So I promised them that I would try to organize and if it looked like we had enough and it was interesting enough, which I thought it would be, I would try to write a book.”

While some of the people connected to the properties were eager to share their information and artifacts others were more reluctant when they received calls from Terry.

“They would hang up,” he said. “So I wound up having to write them. Eventually I’d get an email address and I’d email them. Overtime these people began to figure out you know, this is legit. And what these people saved my great-great-grandparents’ home and they just want to write a book.”

It took Terry two-and-a-half years to complete the book and though he’s proud of the work he said he doesn’t think he’ll write another one. All the proceeds from the sale of “A Simpler Time” benefit the Taylor-Brawner House Foundation for the upkeep of the 120-year-old home.

Sunday, September 9 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the home. Books will be available for purchase for $25 and Terry will sign autographs.

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