Stone Mountain
Overview
 
Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock
Monadnock
A monadnock or inselberg is an isolated rock hill, knob, ridge, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain...

 in Stone Mountain, Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Stone Mountain is a city in eastern DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 5,802 at the 2010 census. It is an outer suburb of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area.-Geography:...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. At its summit, the elevation
Elevation
The elevation of a geographic location is its height above a fixed reference point, most commonly a reference geoid, a mathematical model of the Earth's sea level as an equipotential gravitational surface ....

 is 1,686 feet (513 m
Metre
The metre , symbol m, is the base unit of length in the International System of Units . Originally intended to be one ten-millionth of the distance from the Earth's equator to the North Pole , its definition has been periodically refined to reflect growing knowledge of metrology...

) amsl
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

 and 825 feet (251.5 m) above the surrounding area. Stone Mountain granite extends underground 9 miles (14.5 km) at its longest point into Gwinnett County. Numerous reference books and Georgia literature have dubbed Stone Mountain as “the largest exposed piece of granite in the world".
Encyclopedia
Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock
Monadnock
A monadnock or inselberg is an isolated rock hill, knob, ridge, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain...

 in Stone Mountain, Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Stone Mountain is a city in eastern DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 5,802 at the 2010 census. It is an outer suburb of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area.-Geography:...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. At its summit, the elevation
Elevation
The elevation of a geographic location is its height above a fixed reference point, most commonly a reference geoid, a mathematical model of the Earth's sea level as an equipotential gravitational surface ....

 is 1,686 feet (513 m
Metre
The metre , symbol m, is the base unit of length in the International System of Units . Originally intended to be one ten-millionth of the distance from the Earth's equator to the North Pole , its definition has been periodically refined to reflect growing knowledge of metrology...

) amsl
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

 and 825 feet (251.5 m) above the surrounding area. Stone Mountain granite extends underground 9 miles (14.5 km) at its longest point into Gwinnett County. Numerous reference books and Georgia literature have dubbed Stone Mountain as “the largest exposed piece of granite in the world". This misnomer is most likely a result of advertisement by granite companies and early park administration. Stone Mountain, though often called a pink granite dome, actually ranges in composition from quartz monzonite
Quartz monzonite
Quartz monzonite is an intrusive igneous rock that has an approximately equal proportion of orthoclase and plagioclase feldspars. The plagioclase is typically intermediate to sodic in composition, andesine to oligoclase. Quartz is present in significant amounts. Biotite and/or hornblende...

 to granite and granodiorite. Stone Mountain is well-known not only for its geology
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

, but also for the enormous bas-relief on its north face, the largest bas-relief in the world. The carving depicts three figures of the Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

, and Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

.

Description

The mountain is more than five miles (8 km) in circumference at its base. The summit of the mountain can be reached by a walk-up trail on the west side of the mountain only. The trail starts near the Confederate Hall, inside the west gate entrance. Alternatively, the summit is reachable by the Skyride.
The top of the mountain is a landscape of bare rock and rock pool
Stream pool
A stream pool, in hydrology, is a stretch of a river or stream in which the water depth is above average and the water velocity is quite below average.-Formation:...

s, and it provides views of the surrounding area including the skyline of downtown Atlanta
Downtown Atlanta
Downtown Atlanta is the first and largest of the three financial districts in the city of Atlanta. Downtown Atlanta is the location of many corporate or regional headquarters, city, county, state and federal government facilities, sporting facilities, and is the central tourist attraction of the city...

, often Kennesaw Mountain
Kennesaw Mountain
Kennesaw Mountain is a high-running ridge between Marietta and Kennesaw, Georgia in the United States with a summit elevation of . It is the highest point in the core metro Atlanta area, and fifth after further-north exurban counties are considered...

, and on very clear days even the Appalachian Mountains
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

. On some days, the top of the mountain is shrouded in a heavy fog, and visibility may be limited to only a few feet. The clear freshwater pools of the summit form by rainwater gathering in eroded depressions, and are home to unusual clam shrimp
Clam shrimp
Clam shrimp are a taxon of bivalved branchiopod crustaceans that resemble the unrelated bivalved molluscs. They are extant, and known from the fossil record, from at least the Devonian period and perhaps before...

 and fairy shrimp
Fairy shrimp
Anostraca is one of the four orders of crustaceans in the class Branchiopoda; its members are also known as fairy shrimp. They are usually long . Most species have 20 body segments, bearing 11 pairs of leaf-like phyllopodia , and the body lacks a carapace...

. The tiny shrimp appear only during the rainy season, and it is believed that the adult shrimp die when the pools dry up, leaving behind eggs to survive until the next rains.

The mountain's lower slopes are wooded. The rare Georgia oak
Georgia oak
Quercus georgiana, the Georgia oak or Stone Mountain oak, is a rare deciduous oak. It is native to the southeastern United States, with a very restricted range in the southern Appalachian Mountains and outlying monadnocks, mainly in northern Georgia, but also very locally in portions of Alabama and...

 was first discovered at the summit, and several specimens can easily be found along the walk-up trail and in the woods around the base of the mountain. In the fall
Autumn
Autumn is one of the four temperate seasons. Autumn marks the transition from summer into winter usually in September or March when the arrival of night becomes noticeably earlier....

, the extremely rare Confederate Yellow Daisy (Helianthus porteri) flowers appear on the mountain, growing in rock crevices and in the large wooded areas.

Geology

Stone Mountain is a pluton
Pluton
A pluton in geology is a body of intrusive igneous rock that crystallized from magma slowly cooling below the surface of the Earth. Plutons include batholiths, dikes, sills, laccoliths, lopoliths, and other igneous bodies...

, a type of igneous
Igneous rock
Igneous rock is one of the three main rock types, the others being sedimentary and metamorphic rock. Igneous rock is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava...

 intrusion
Intrusion
An intrusion is liquid rock that forms under Earth's surface. Magma from under the surface is slowly pushed up from deep within the earth into any cracks or spaces it can find, sometimes pushing existing country rock out of the way, a process that can take millions of years. As the rock slowly...

. Primarily composed of quartz monzonite
Quartz monzonite
Quartz monzonite is an intrusive igneous rock that has an approximately equal proportion of orthoclase and plagioclase feldspars. The plagioclase is typically intermediate to sodic in composition, andesine to oligoclase. Quartz is present in significant amounts. Biotite and/or hornblende...

, the dome of Stone Mountain was formed during the formation of the Blue Ridge Mountains
Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. This province consists of northern and southern physiographic regions, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, starting at its southern-most...

, part of the Appalachian Mountains
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

. It formed as a result of the upwelling of magma
Magma
Magma is a mixture of molten rock, volatiles and solids that is found beneath the surface of the Earth, and is expected to exist on other terrestrial planets. Besides molten rock, magma may also contain suspended crystals and dissolved gas and sometimes also gas bubbles. Magma often collects in...

 from within the Earth's crust
Crust (geology)
In geology, the crust is the outermost solid shell of a rocky planet or natural satellite, which is chemically distinct from the underlying mantle...

. This magma solidified to form granite within the crust five to ten miles below the surface.

The granite is composed of quartz
Quartz
Quartz is the second-most-abundant mineral in the Earth's continental crust, after feldspar. It is made up of a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon–oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall formula SiO2. There are many different varieties of quartz,...

, feldspar
Feldspar
Feldspars are a group of rock-forming tectosilicate minerals which make up as much as 60% of the Earth's crust....

, microcline
Microcline
Microcline is an important igneous rock-forming tectosilicate mineral. It is a potassium-rich alkali feldspar. Microcline typically contains minor amounts of sodium. It is common in granite and pegmatites. Microcline forms during slow cooling of orthoclase; it is more stable at lower temperatures...

 and muscovite
Muscovite
Muscovite is a phyllosilicate mineral of aluminium and potassium with formula KAl22, or 236. It has a highly-perfect basal cleavage yielding remarkably-thin laminæ which are often highly elastic...

, with smaller amounts of biotite
Biotite
Biotite is a common phyllosilicate mineral within the mica group, with the approximate chemical formula . More generally, it refers to the dark mica series, primarily a solid-solution series between the iron-endmember annite, and the magnesium-endmember phlogopite; more aluminous endmembers...

 and tourmaline
Tourmaline
Tourmaline is a crystal boron silicate mineral compounded with elements such as aluminium, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium. Tourmaline is classified as a semi-precious stone and the gem comes in a wide variety of colors...

. Embedded in the granite are xenolith
Xenolith
A xenolith is a rock fragment which becomes enveloped in a larger rock during the latter's development and hardening. In geology, the term xenolith is almost exclusively used to describe inclusions in igneous rock during magma emplacement and eruption...

s or pieces of foreign rocks entrained in the magma.

The granite intruded into the metamorphic rocks of the Piedmont region
Piedmont (United States)
The Piedmont is a plateau region located in the eastern United States between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the main Appalachian Mountains, stretching from New Jersey in the north to central Alabama in the south. The Piedmont province is a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division...

 during the last stages of the Alleghenian Orogeny
Alleghenian orogeny
The Alleghenian orogeny or Appalachian orogeny is one of the geological mountain-forming events that formed the Appalachian Mountains and Allegheny Mountains. The term and spelling Alleghany orogeny was originally proposed by H.P. Woodward in 1957....

, which was the time when North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 collided. Over time, erosion eventually exposed the present mountain of more resistant igneous rock, in processes similar to those that have exposed Devils Tower National Monument
Devils Tower National Monument
Devils Tower is an igneous intrusion or laccolith located in the Black Hills near Hulett and Sundance in Crook County, northeastern Wyoming, above the Belle Fourche River...

 in Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

. This vein of granite also gave rise to Arabia Mountain
Arabia Mountain
Arabia Mountain is a monadnock in DeKalb County, Georgia. The peak is 940 feet above sea level, rising 180 feet above Arabia Lake reservoir. It is now part of the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve, a DeKalb County park....

 and Panola Mountain
Panola Mountain
Panola Mountain is a granite monadnock near Stockbridge on the boundary between Henry County and Rockdale County, Georgia. The peak is above sea level, rising above the South River. The South River marks the boundary between Henry/Rockdale counties and DeKalb County, Georgia...

 in DeKalb County
DeKalb County
-Counties in the United States of America:* DeKalb County, Alabama* DeKalb County, Georgia* DeKalb County, Illinois* DeKalb County, Indiana* DeKalb County, Missouri* DeKalb County, Tennessee-Other:...

, smaller outcroppings further east of Stone Mountain.

The mountain's composition was described by one political commentator—and used as such as a simile
Simile
A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two different things, usually by employing the words "like", "as". Even though both similes and metaphors are forms of comparison, similes indirectly compare the two ideas and allow them to remain distinct in spite of their similarities, whereas...

 for racial segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 in the 1950s—as "soft, exfoliating rock [which] turns to dust under the hammer."

Confederate Memorial

The largest bas relief sculpture in the world, the Confederate Memorial Carving depicts three Confederate leaders of the Civil War, President Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

 and Generals Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

 and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson
Stonewall Jackson
ຄຽשת״ׇׂׂׂׂ֣|birth_place= Clarksburg, Virginia |death_place=Guinea Station, Virginia|placeofburial=Stonewall Jackson Memorial CemeteryLexington, Virginia|placeofburial_label= Place of burial|image=...

 (and their favorite horses, "Blackjack", "Traveller
Traveller (horse)
Traveller was Confederate General Robert E. Lee's most famous horse during the American Civil War.-Birth and war service:...

", and "Little Sorrel", respectively). The entire carved surface measures 3 acres (12,140.6 m²), about the size of two and a quarter football fields. The carving of the three men towers 400 feet (121.9 m) above the ground, measures 90 by 190 feet (57.9 m), and is recessed 42 feet (12.8 m) into the mountain. The deepest point of the carving is at Lee's elbow, which is 12 feet (3.7 m) to the mountain's surface.

The carving was conceived by Mrs. C. Helen Plane, a charter member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy
United Daughters of the Confederacy
The United Daughters of the Confederacy is a women's heritage association dedicated to honoring the memory of those who served in the military and died in service to the Confederate States of America . UDC began as the National Association of the Daughters of the Confederacy, organized in 1894 by...

 (UDC). The Venable
Venable
Venable is a surname shared by several notable people:* Abraham B. Venable , American state and national politician* Abraham Watkins Venable , American state and national politician* Charles S...

 family, owners of the mountain, deeded the north face of the mountain to the UDC in 1916. The UDC was given 12 years to complete a sizable Civil War monument. Gutzon Borglum
Gutzon Borglum
Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum was an American artist and sculptor famous for creating the monumental presidents' heads at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, the famous carving on Stone Mountain near Atlanta, as well as other public works of art.- Background :The son of Mormon Danish immigrants, Gutzon...

 was commissioned to do the carving.

Borglum abandoned the project in 1923 (and later went on to begin Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, in the United States...

). American sculptor Augustus Lukeman
Augustus Lukeman
Henry Augustus Lukeman was an American sculptor, specializing in historical monuments. He was born in Richmond, Virginia, and introduced to sculpting at age 10 at a boys' club miniature workshop. From 10 to 13 he worked with clay and wood. He then became a pupil of sculptor Launt Thompson until...

 continued until 1928, when further work stopped for thirty years.

In 1958, at the urging of Governor Marvin Griffin
Marvin Griffin
Samuel Marvin Griffin, Sr. was a politician from the US state of Georgia. He served as the 72nd Governor of Georgia from 1955 to 1959.-Early life:...

, the Georgia legislature approved a measure to purchase Stone Mountain for $1,125,000. In 1963, Walker Hancock
Walker Hancock
Walker Kirtland Hancock was a 20th-century American sculptor and teacher. He created notable monumental sculptures, including the Pennsylvania Railroad World War II Memorial at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania...

 was selected to complete the carving, and work began in 1964. The carving was completed by Roy Faulkner, who later operated a museum (now closed) on nearby Memorial Drive commemorating the carving's history. The carving was considered complete on March 3, 1972.

Carving and the Ku Klux Klan

Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

 activities at Stone Mountain are deep-rooted, although the original conception of the memorial pre-dates the 1915 revival of the Klan. The revival of the Ku Klux Klan was emboldened by the release of D. W. Griffith
D. W. Griffith
David Llewelyn Wark Griffith was a premier pioneering American film director. He is best known as the director of the controversial and groundbreaking 1915 film The Birth of a Nation and the subsequent film Intolerance .Griffith's film The Birth of a Nation made pioneering use of advanced camera...

's Klan-glorifying film The Birth of a Nation
The Birth of a Nation
The Birth of a Nation is a 1915 American silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and based on the novel and play The Clansman, both by Thomas Dixon, Jr. Griffith also co-wrote the screenplay , and co-produced the film . It was released on February 8, 1915...

, and by the lynching
Lynching in the United States
Lynching, the practice of killing people by extrajudicial mob action, occurred in the United States chiefly from the late 18th century through the 1960s. Lynchings took place most frequently in the South from 1890 to the 1920s, with a peak in the annual toll in 1892.It is associated with...

 of Leo Frank
Leo Frank
Leo Max Frank was a Jewish-American factory superintendent whose hanging in 1915 by a lynch mob of prominent citizens in Marietta, Georgia drew attention to antisemitism in the United States....

, who was convicted in the murder of Mary Phagan. On November 25, 1915, a group of robed and hooded men met at Stone Mountain to create a new incarnation of the Klan. They were led by William J. Simmons
William J. Simmons
William Joseph Simmons was the founder of the second Ku Klux Klan on Thanksgiving Night of 1915.-Early life:Simmons was born in Harpersville, Alabama, to Calvin Henry Simmons, a physician; and Lavonia David. He served in the Spanish-American War and later claimed to have studied medicine at Johns...

, and they included a group calling itself the Knights of Mary Phagan. A cross was lit
Cross burning
Cross burning or cross lighting is a practice widely associated with the Ku Klux Klan, although the historical practice long predates the Klan's inception...

, and the oath was administered by Nathan Bedford Forrest II, the grandson of the original Imperial Grand Wizard, Gen. Nathan B. Forrest, and was witnessed by the owner of Stone Mountain, Samuel Venable.

Fundraising for the monument resumed in 1923, and in October of that year, Venable granted the Klan easement with perpetual right to hold celebrations as they desired. Because of their deep involvement with the early fund-raising and their increasing political clout in Georgia, the Klan, along with the United Daughters of the Confederacy, were able to influence the ideology of the carving, and they strongly supported an explicitly Confederate memorial. Of the $250,000 raised, part came directly from the Ku Klux Klan but part came from the federal government, which in 1924 issued special fifty-cent coins
United States commemorative coin
Commemorative coinage of the United States consists of coins that have been minted to commemorate a particular person, place, event, or institution. They are legal tender but are not intended for general circulation....

 with Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson on them.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

 mentioned the monument in his 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, D.C., when he said "let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!" Granite suppliers in Georgia sent samples cut from Stone Mountain to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation to be considered for use in a planned monument in King's honor; the Foundation later chose to use granite imported from China.http://buildthedream.blogharbor.com/

History


Human habitation of Stone Mountain and its surroundings date back into prehistory
Prehistory
Prehistory is the span of time before recorded history. Prehistory can refer to the period of human existence before the availability of those written records with which recorded history begins. More broadly, it refers to all the time preceding human existence and the invention of writing...

. When the mountain was first encountered by Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an explorers, its summit was encircled by a rock wall, similar to that still to be found on Georgia's Fort Mountain
Fort Mountain State Park
Fort Mountain State Park is a 3,712 acre Georgia state park located between Chatsworth and Ellijay on Fort Mountain. The mountain is named for an ancient 885 foot long rock wall located on the peak. The wall is thought to have been built by area Native Americans either for defense or for...

. The wall is believed to have been built by early Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 inhabitants of the area, although its purpose is still unclear. Sadly by the beginning of the 20th century the wall had disappeared, the rocks having been taken away by early visitors as souvenirs, rolled down the rockface for fun, or removed by the commercial quarrying operation. The mountain was as well the eastern end of the Campbelton Trail, a Native American
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 path that ran through what is now the Atlanta area.

Europeans first learned of the mountain in 1597, when Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 explorers were told of a mountain further inland which was "very high, shining when the sun set like a fire." By this time, the Stone Mountain area was inhabited by the Creek and (to a lesser extent) Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 peoples. In 1790 the mountain was the site of a meeting initiated by President George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 in hopes of negotiating a peace treaty with the Creek. Instead a series of wars ensued, and the Creek were forced to cede the land to the state of Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 in 1821.

In the early nineteenth century the area was known as Rock Mountain. After the founding of DeKalb County
DeKalb County
-Counties in the United States of America:* DeKalb County, Alabama* DeKalb County, Georgia* DeKalb County, Illinois* DeKalb County, Indiana* DeKalb County, Missouri* DeKalb County, Tennessee-Other:...

 and the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Decatur
Decatur
Decatur is the name of many places in the United States, most of which are named for Stephen Decatur, a U.S. Naval officer at the turn of the 19th century.- Cities, Towns, Villages :* Decatur, Alabama, county seat of Morgan County, Alabama...

 in 1822 Stone Mountain was a natural recreation area; it was common for young men to take their dates on horseback from Decatur
Decatur
Decatur is the name of many places in the United States, most of which are named for Stephen Decatur, a U.S. Naval officer at the turn of the 19th century.- Cities, Towns, Villages :* Decatur, Alabama, county seat of Morgan County, Alabama...

 to the mountain.

Entrepreneur Aaron Cloud built a 165 foot (50 m) wooden observation tower at the summit of the mountain in 1838, but it was destroyed by a storm and replaced by a much smaller tower in 1851. Visitors to the mountain would travel to the area by rail and road, and then walk up the 1.1 mile mountaintop trail to the top, where Cloud also had a restaurant and club.

Granite quarrying started at Stone Mountain in the 1830s
1830s
- Wars :* The First Opium War between the United Kingdom and the Qing Empire of China started in 1839. It would end three years later with the signing of the Treaty of Nanking on 29 August 1842.- Internal conflicts :* French Revolution of 1830...

, but became a major industry following the completion of a railroad spur to the quarry site in 1847. This line was rebuilt by the Georgia Railroad in 1869. Over the years, Stone Mountain granite was used in many buildings and structures, including the locks of the Panama Canal
Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...

, the steps to the East Wing of the United States Capitol
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

 and the Imperial Hotel
Imperial Hotel, Tokyo
The Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, Japan, was created in the late 1880s at the request of the Japanese aristocracy to cater to the increasing number of western visitors to Japan. The hotel site is located just south of the Imperial Palace grounds, next to the previous location of the Palace moat...

 in Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

. Unfortunately, quarrying also destroyed several spectacular geological features on Stone Mountain, such as the Devil's Crossroads, which was located on top of the mountain.

In 1887 Stone Mountain was purchased for $45,000 by the Venable Brothers of Atlanta, who quarried the mountain for 24 more years, and descendents of the Venable family would retain ownership of the mountain until it was purchased by the State of Georgia in the 1950s
1950s
The 1950s or The Fifties was the decade that began on January 1, 1950 and ended on December 31, 1959. The decade was the sixth decade of the 20th century...

.

Stone Mountain was the setting for the 1915 revival of the Ku Klux Klan. The mountain was the site of annual Klan rallies from 1931 until 1981.

During the 1996 Summer Olympics
1996 Summer Olympics
The 1996 Summer Olympics of Atlanta, officially known as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad and unofficially known as the Centennial Olympics, was an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia, United States....

, Stone Mountain Park provided venues for Olympic events in tennis, archery
Archery at the 1996 Summer Olympics
Archery at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta consisted of four events. The events were held in neighboring Stone Mountain.All archery was done at a range of 70 metres. 64 archers competed in each the men's individual and women's individual competitions. They began with a 72-arrow ranking round...

 and track cycling
Cycling at the 1996 Summer Olympics
Final results for the Cycling competition at the 1996 Summer Olympics. There were three categories of events – road cycling, track cycling and mountain biking...

. The venues for archery and cycling were temporary and are now part of the songbird and habitat trail.

Aviation accidents

According to George Weiblen's annotated calendar for Monday, May 7, 1928: "Mail plane crashed on mountain at 8:00 P.M."

Around dusk on September 16, 2003, in clear weather, a small airplane circled the mountain five times, then crashed headlong into the south side, bursting into flames and killing the pilot. A witness testifying at the NTSB investigation stated that the pilot, a 69-year-old accountant, had threatened on multiple occasions to commit suicide by flying into the mountain. The official NTSB accident report lists the probable cause as "The pilot's intentional flight into the ground for the purpose of suicide while impaired by alcohol."

Governance

Stone Mountain Park, which surrounds the Confederate Memorial, is owned by the state of Georgia and managed by the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, a Georgia state authority. The Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation
Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation
Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation is a privately owned themed-entertainment company that operates several theme parks and tourist attractions within the United States....

 currently has a long-term contract to operate park attractions while the Stone Mountain Memorial Association retains ownership and the right to reject any project deemed unfit.

Places of interest

Confederate Hall, operated directly by the Stone Mountain Memorial Association or SMMA, is a museum that educates students and park guests on the geology and ecology of Stone Mountain as well as historical aspects of the area. A small theater shows a historical documentary about the Civil War in Georgia called "The Battle for Georgia".
The education department is host to thousands of students each school year teaching the subjects of history, ecology, and history. Classes are designed to meet the Georgia Performance Standards and the North American Association for Environmental Education guidelines.

The Antebellum Plantation and Farmyard is an open air museum
Open air museum
An open-air museum is a distinct type of museum exhibiting its collections out-of-doors. The first open-air museums were established in Scandinavia towards the end of the nineteenth century, and the concept soon spread throughout Europe and North America. Open-air museums are variously known as...

 composed of 19 historic buildings, built between 1790 and 1875, which have been re-erected to the site to represent a pre-Civil War Georgia plantation
Plantation
A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

. The historic houses have been furnished with an extensive collection of period furniture and decorations. The farm features live animals that guests can pet.

A 732-bell carillon
Carillon
A carillon is a musical instrument that is typically housed in a free-standing bell tower, or the belfry of a church or other municipal building. The instrument consists of at least 23 cast bronze, cup-shaped bells, which are played serially to play a melody, or sounded together to play a chord...

 that originated at the 1964 New York World's Fair
1964 New York World's Fair
The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair was the third major world's fair to be held in New York City. Hailing itself as a "universal and international" exposition, the fair's theme was "Peace Through Understanding," dedicated to "Man's Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe";...

, provides a daily concert.

A covered bridge
Covered bridge
A covered bridge is a bridge with enclosed sides and a roof, often accommodating only a single lane of traffic. Most covered bridges are wooden; some newer ones are concrete or metal with glass sides...

, dating from 1892, which originally spanned the Oconee River
Oconee River
The Oconee River is a river which has its origin in Hall County, Georgia, and terminates where it joins the Ocmulgee River to form the Altamaha River near Lumber City at the borders of Montgomery County, Wheeler County, and Jeff Davis County. South of Athens, two forks, known as the North Oconee...

 in Athens, Georgia
Athens, Georgia
Athens-Clarke County is a consolidated city–county in U.S. state of Georgia, in the northeastern part of the state, comprising the former City of Athens proper and Clarke County. The University of Georgia is located in this college town and is responsible for the initial growth of the city...

.

A grist mill, dating from 1869 and moved to the park in 1965.

Broadcast Tower

The short broadcast
Broadcasting
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

 tower
Tower
A tower is a tall structure, usually taller than it is wide, often by a significant margin. Towers are distinguished from masts by their lack of guy-wires....

 on the top of the mountain transmit
Transmission (telecommunications)
Transmission, in telecommunications, is the process of sending, propagating and receiving an analogue or digital information signal over a physical point-to-point or point-to-multipoint transmission medium, either wired, optical fiber or wireless...

s two non-commercial
Non-commercial
Non-commercial refers to an activity or entity that does not in some sense involve commerce, at least relative to similar activities that do have a commercial objective or emphasis...

 stations: television station
Television station
A television station is a business, organisation or other such as an amateur television operator that transmits content over terrestrial television. A television transmission can be by analog television signals or, more recently, by digital television. Broadcast television systems standards are...

 WGTV
WGTV
WGTV channel 8 is the metro Atlanta station and flagship for Georgia Public Broadcasting , Georgia's Public Broadcasting Service Public television network....

 channel
Channel (communications)
In telecommunications and computer networking, a communication channel, or channel, refers either to a physical transmission medium such as a wire, or to a logical connection over a multiplexed medium such as a radio channel...

 8, and weatheradio
Weatheradio
A weather radio service is a broadcast service that airs weather reports. When the radio is on and tuned to the weather band, it airs both normal and emergency weather information...

 station KEC80
KEC80
KEC80 is a NOAA Weather Radio station that serves the Atlanta metro area with 500 watts effective radiated power on 162.550MHz. Its radio transmitter is located east of the city atop Stone Mountain, with its radio antenna on the short tower owned by Georgia Public Broadcasting for transmitting...

. FM
FM broadcasting
FM broadcasting is a broadcasting technology pioneered by Edwin Howard Armstrong which uses frequency modulation to provide high-fidelity sound over broadcast radio. The term "FM band" describes the "frequency band in which FM is used for broadcasting"...

 radio station
Radio station
Radio broadcasting is a one-way wireless transmission over radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. Stations can be linked in radio networks to broadcast a common radio format, either in broadcast syndication or simulcast or both...

 WABE
WABE
WABE FM 90.1 is a radio station in Atlanta, Georgia, that is affiliated with National Public Radio and Public Radio International . WABE's format features mostly classical music. It has lately added the short feature Atlanta Sounds and twice weekly previews of weekend events around the city...

 was located on this tower from 1984 until 2005, when it was required to relocate to accommodate WGTV's digital conversion.

Stone Mountain Trails

Walk Up Trail: A 1.3 miles (2.1 km) trail to the top of Stone Mountain ascending 786 ft (239.6 m) in elevation to a height of 1686 ft (513.9 m) The trail is steep, but spectacular panoramic views and cool winds await tired hikers at the top.

Cherokee Trail: A 5 miles (8 km) National Recreation Trail, the Cherokee Trail loops around the mountain base, with a mile section going up and over the west side of the mountain (crosses Walk Up Trail). Primarily passes through an oak-hickory forest, but views of the lakes, streams, and mountain are common. map of Cherokee Trail

Nature Garden Trail: A scenic 3/4 mile loop trail through a mature oak-hickory forest community. Excellent for viewing shade-loving native plants. A small garden with interpretive native plant signs is a the entrance to trail.

Songbird Habitat Trails: Two loop trails each running one mile (1.6 km) in length.The field trail is an excellent birding spot and the woodland trail provides shade and numerous native plants. Dogs not allowed.

Attractions

The Park features several attractions that are operated by Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation.

On summer evenings the mountain hosts the Stone Mountain Laser Show Spectacular, which uses popular and classic music to entertain park guests with a large fireworks and laser light display. The colorful lightshow of lasers project moving images of the Deep South as well as Georgia history onto the Confederate Memorial carving on the side of the mountain. The American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 is acknowledged, but the strength of a reunited country concludes the message, with Sandi Patti singing the Star Spangled Banner. There are still old favorites included with the show, “Devil Went down to Georgia”, “Celestial Soda Pop”, and “Trilogy”. There have been several additions to the show for its 25th anniversary.

The Skyride is a Swiss
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

-built cable car
Aerial tramway
An aerial tramway , cable car , ropeway or aerial tram is a type of aerial lift which uses one or two stationary ropes for support while a third moving rope provides propulsion...

 to the summit of the mountain which passes by the carving on the way up.

The Riverboat offers a scenic cruise aboard a reproduction Mississippi
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 riverboat
Riverboat
A riverboat is a ship built boat designed for inland navigation on lakes, rivers, and artificial waterways. They are generally equipped and outfitted as work boats in one of the carrying trades, for freight or people transport, including luxury units constructed for entertainment enterprises, such...

 on 363 acre (147 ha) Stone Mountain Lake.

Crossroads is a recreation of an 1872 southern town with several attractions including a modern 4-D movie theater, an adventure mini-golf course, a duck tour
Duck tour
Duck tours, or DUKW tours, are tours that take place on purpose-built amphibious tour buses or military surplus DUKWs and LARC-Vs.Duck tours are primarily offered as tourist attractions in harbor, river and lake cities, such as Halifax, Albany, Austin, Baltimore, Chattanooga, Pittsburgh, Belfast,...

 ride, stores and restaurants. Crafts demonstrators include glass blowing and candy making. Other attractions in this area include:

The Great Barn is a children's activity area that features 65 interactive games, climbing structures, trampoline floors, slides and more.

Sky Hike is a family ropes adventure course. Guests can choose their own path and level of challenge.

Further reading


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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