People visiting Senoia, Georgia, for the first time often feel they’ve been there before. If they are film fans, they probably have. With a population of less than 3500 people and a 19th century atmosphere, Senoia is the quintessential American small town which the film industry loves.
A veteran of 24 movies and TV shows, Senoia is presently the fictional town of Woodbury, Georgia in the popular AMC series “Walking Dead”. Previously it was featured in such movies as “Driving Miss Daisy” and “Fried Green Tomatoes”.
The town appreciates the revitalized economy from the entertainment business. Main Street now boasts many new stores as well as restored old ones. They like the many new jobs which are now available, and they welcome the many tourists, including the “Walker Stalkers” that come by the thousands.
Such attention and economic growth, however, is a double-edge sword. With all the current hustle and bustle, how does the city keep its quiet, quaint personality?
Much of the filming of the TV series is done on a farm, away from the town center. This year some work will be hidden behind a large wall to hide the process and prevent “spoilers” for the show. In addition, the town advertises its non-film related assets. There are some beautiful older homes, two of which have been featured in the Southern Living magazine. Citizens are also quick to mention two family-owned businesses that have been in operation more than 100 years. Three commercial areas offer different store varieties including specialty shops and restaurants, historic and antique shops and tourist merchandise.
City leaders also work to focus on the city’s history which goes back to 1860. The town was most likely named after a chief of a Creek Native American tribe of the area. Many of the restored businesses are recreated back to their late 19th century style. Driving tours are set up to view the historical homes and buildings, while museums feature items from the town’s past, including classical cars. Race fans can enjoy a genuine Georgia red clay dirt track for weekly stock car races and other scheduled events.
While enjoying its small town atmosphere, Senoia’s location 25 miles south of Atlanta allows visitors easy access to big city energy, shopping and tourist attractions. In fact, the city slogan “The perfect setting. For life.” seems just right.