333 Hershey Lane
Clayton Georgia 30525
At a time when oppression, not only related to racial but also to gender identities, was developing with greater visibility around the world, Lillian Eugenia Smith found herself compelled to speak out for rational thinkers who were becoming increasingly aware of the urgent need for social change. This woman born into a southern family and raised in a society still trying to recover from not only the "War Between the States" but also the traumas of two subsequent global conflicts, decided she was in the right time and place to work for change. She had been schooled first hand in a culture which had perpetuated such oppressions and she had a vision of how the journey ahead should be undertaken.
Lillian Smith's family was close knit and when her father's Florida businesses failed in 1915 they came to Rabun County, Georgia, where her father had recently acquired property and where he opened a summer camp for girls. At first Lillian worked with her family to create the camp but soon she, with her father's blessing, became the owner and director of Laurel Falls Camp for Girls, an institution that came to be well known, not only throughout the South but nationally, for being a progressive and well rounded camp for young women.
The Lillian E. Smith Foundation was established to honor her memory and to recognize her artistry as a writer and her tireless devotion to humanitarian works. One of the first 20th century white Southerners to champion the cause of desegregation, she used her creative vision through writing and through her truthful, honest and engaging personal presence to work for social change.
First mountain home for the Smiths
Receiving honorary degree from Atlanta University
Paula Snelling and Lillian Smith
Lillian with campers at
Laurel Falls Camp
Tours of the Center including a presentation of several documentary films may be arranged - click the link to the right