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Stone Mountain, GA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ChapterhouseInc
N 33° 48.571 W 084° 08.649
16S E 764360 N 3744703
Quick Description: A large relief sculpture memorializes the Civil War. It serves as the centerpiece for a large park complex.
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 10/25/2009 9:25:39 AM
Waymark Code: WM7GY2
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member onfire4jesus
Views: 17

Long Description:
"Stone Mountain (1,686 alt.), 158.4 m, is the largest exposed granite dome (L) in North America. The mountain rises 650 feet above the surrounding Piedmont Plateau, is about two miles long, has a circumfence of more than seven miles at the base, and is estimated to weigh about 1,250,000,000 tons, although geologists believe that the mass appearing above ground is only a fraction of the entire granite formation. Its gray, almost bare, elliptical surface is given a greenish cast by the profuse growth of moss and lichen.
According to geologists, Stone Mountain was formed about two hundred million years ago as a subterranean molten mass, and its gradual apperance above earth's surface has been due to erosion of the overlying soil. Running throughout the dome in two principal directions and giving the surface a streaked apperance are crevices formed probably by the contraction of the rock in cooling. The sides of the mass have been streaked by iron oxide and organic matter carried down by rain water from the top.
Before Georgia was settled, Stone Mountain had been used as a signal tower by the Indians of this section. In 1790 Alexander McGillivray, the half-breed Creek chief, met here the tribesmen who were to accompany him to New York to treat with Government officials. By 1825 white settlers had a stagecoach terminus at the mountain and a hotel at the western base. The place became a popular resort, and before 1842 Cloud's Tower, 165 feet high, was erected on the summit to afford visitors broader views of the surrounding country. The mountain was in the possession of various white owners until 1880, when it was acquired by Samuel Hoyt Venable, who quarried the granite for use in construction of bridges, buildings, and roadways. In the 1920's the Ku Klux Klan held state-wide conclaves on the top of the mountain.
Until recent years there remained upon the crest some large boulders piled in regular formation and believed by some to have been the ruins of an old fortress or perhaps a sacrificial altar used by some prehistoric race. To prevent injury to the workmen carving the Confederate Memorial on the sheer northeastern wall, most of the loose stones were rolled down the mountainside.
The unfinished figure of Robert E Lee on his horse Traveler measures from the crown of the general's hat to the hoof of his mount 130 feet, approximately the height of a ten-story building. Appearing in rough outline are the head of Jefferson Davis (L) and that of Stone-wall Jackson (r). Tons of granite, removed during the carving, form a pile reaching from the base of the mountain almost to the foot of the memorial.
Across the road from the memorial is a small museum, where information is given and souvenirs are sold. The museum contains a model of the project work and plaster molds of some of the figures, including those of Lee, Jackson, and Davis. A study of these working models reveals some of the difficulties of the sculptors; against so vast a background the figures need to be of gigantic size and require an appreciable change of scale from head to foot, since the feet are so much nearer the eyes of the spectator.
In 1915 the United Daughters of the Confederacy invited Gutzon Borglum to consider the practicability of carving on the mountain a colossal figure of General Rober E Lee. The plan he submitted portrayed Confederate forces, led by their generals, seemingly emerging from a depth within the surface. The plan was accepted and the Stone Mountain Monumental Association organized. Samuel H Venable, with his sister, Mrs Frank T Mason, and his nieces, Mrs Priestly Orme and Mrs Walter G Roper, donated the northeastern side of the mountain, a gift valued at more than $1,000,000, and on May 20, 1916, it was dedicated as a memorial.
Before carving began in 1923, the workmen had traced the outlines of the giant figures from a photograph projected upon the mountain side. Thei projection, one acre in size, was made from a two-inch stererpticon slide by a means of a specially prepared triple-lens projection lamp. Daily thereafter Borglum was suspended by steel cables over the mountainside, where he not only closely supervised the work of his artists and stone cutters but also did much of the carving himself. On January 19, 1924, the head of Lee was unveiled.
Soon afterward a violent quarrel disrupted the Stone Mountain Monumental Association. Borglum, unwilling to have his unfinished work completed by anyone else, destroyed all his working models except a completed figure of Jefferson Davis and left the monument on which he had worked for seven years. The association engaged another sculptor, Augustus Lukeman, who began work on his placid, classical design of soldiers going across the face of the mountain. When another head of General Lee had been completed, the earlier work was blasted away. By this time the funds had been exhausted and public enthusiasm had cooled.
The site for a new memorial has been offered to the city of Atlanta by Venable and his associates. Gutzon Borglum has created a new design and the state has endorsed the project, but no work has yet (1939) been undertaken."
--Georgia: a Guide to its Cities and Countryside, 1940
This left off where the story was just beginning. The carving was completed and the park surrounding it ha been developed into a famous attraction. Here is the Wikipedia article's [up to date] history of the memorial.
Stone Mountain
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[edit] Carving

Close-up of carvingThe largest bas relief sculpture in the world, the Confederate Memorial Carving depicts three Confederate leaders of the Civil War, President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson (and their favorite horses, "Blackjack," "Traveller," and "Old Sorrel," respectively). The entire carved surface measures 3 acres (12,000 m2), about the size of three football fields. The carving of the three men towers 400 feet (120 m) above the ground, measures 90 by 190 feet (58 m), and is recessed 42 feet (13 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.

In 1912, the carving existed only in the imagination of Mrs. C. Helen Plane, charter member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). The Venable 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 was commissioned to do the carving, and he with the Stone Mountain project.

Borglum abandoned the project in 1923 (and later went on to complete Mount Rushmore). American sculptor Augustus Lukeman continued until 1928, when further work stopped for thirty years.

In 1958, at the urging of Governor Marvin Griffin, the Georgia legislature approved a measure to purchase Stone Mountain for $1,125,000. In 1963, Walker Hancock 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[2] on March 3, 1972.

On many summer nights the mountain is home to the Lasershow Spectacular which uses popular and classic music to entertain park guests with a large fireworks and laser light display. The show is a patriotic tribute to the southern United States and the country as a whole. The American Civil War 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.

(visit link)
Book: Georgia

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 418

Year Originally Published: 1940

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