Carillon

The daily concert from our 732-bell Carillon is one of the true joys of Stone Mountain Park. The Carillon was donated by our friends at Coca-Cola after being exhibited in the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. The Park’s carillon was played by Mabel Sharp for over 30 years. You can now hear recordings of Ms. Mabel daily at 12PM, 2PM, and 4PM.

Access to the park is included with a daily or annual parking pass.

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 History

SMP Historic Pass App

Take a self guided tour around Stone Mountain Park’s natural areas and discover colorful stories, legends, imagery and interesting facts about Stone Mountain Park. This easy to navigate guide will “edu-tain” you about Stone Mountain, its history, its beauty and the numerous people who have lived and worked there. Below are the instructions on how to start your historic adventure:

  • Download the NEW! SMP Historic Pass App

      

  • Once downloaded enter the username and password found in the daily Stone Mountain Park Map & Schedule. Username and password are subject to change.
  • Choose the tour you wish to take (Historic Landmarks or Historic Square) and enjoy!

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 History

Historical & Environmental Education Center

Explore, discover, and learn in over 5,400 square feet of interactive exhibit space, multiple state-of-the-art classrooms and a theater.

The focus of theHistorical Environmental Education Center, located at the base of the walk-up trail, is to educate Park guests and local students about the fascinating geology and ecology of Stone Mountain. Visitors can explore the gallery, experiencing everything from interactive science exhibits to the life-size cave with a video about the origin of the mountain. Guests can also view the educational documentary The Battle for Georgia a History of the Civil War in Georgia which has been updated to a large screen video format. The 25 minute film is narrated by Hal Holbrook and features hundreds of archival photographic images and reenactment footage from the Civil War. In addition, guests can learn how the Confederate Memorial carving came to be by viewing the 11-minute feature film “The Men Who Carved the Mountain”.

For further information including hours and programs at the Historical Environmental Education Center please visit www.stonemountainpark.org.

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Grist Mill

In 1965, this century-old mill was moved to the Park from its original site near Ellijay, GA. One of the most picturesque spots in the Park, it makes a great place for picnics.

Access to the park is included with a daily or annual parking pass.

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 History

Quarry Exhibit

This outdoor display was developed to tell the story of an industry that played a significant part in the history of Stone Mountain. Throughout the years, 7,645,700 cubic feet of granite were removed from the mountain. This is equal to one-foot-long paving stones stretching from the North Pole to the South Pole (12,444 miles)!

Granite was shipped all over the world. It was used at the federal gold depository at Fort Knox, the Panama Canal, the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, and in the foundation of the Lincoln Memorial, just to name a few. Virtually every state has a building that uses Stone Mountain granite.

The exhibit also describes the process of granite quarrying at Stone Mountain and the changes in technology over time. It illustrates the monumental contributions of the quarrymen and the industry at Stone Mountain.

Access to the park is included with a daily or annual parking pass.

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 History

Memorial Carving

The largest high relief sculpture in the world, the Confederate Memorial Carving, depicts three Confederate figures of the Civil War, President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. The entire carved surface measures three-acres, larger than a football field and Mount Rushmore. The carving of the three men towers 400 feet above the ground, measures 90 by 190 feet, and is recessed 42 feet into the mountain. The deepest point of the carving is at Lee’s elbow, which is 12 feet 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.

Three sculptors worked on the carving during its creation. Gutzon Borglum was hired in 1915 as the carving consultant, and in 1916 he was appointed carving sculptor by the Stone Mountain Monumental Association. Borglum envisioned a carving with seven central figures accompanied by “an army of thousands.” He was not able to begin work on the carving until 1923 due to funding problems and World War I.

After blasting away large portions of the mountain with dynamite, Borglum was able to complete the head of Lee on January 19, 1924. In 1925 a dispute arose between Borglum and the managing association. As a result of the conflict, Borglum left, taking all of his sketches and models with him. Borglum went on to carve the famous Mount Rushmore sculpture in South Dakota.

Augustus Lukeman, the second sculptor, resumed work on the project in 1925. Lukeman’s carving included the three central figures of the Confederacy on horseback. He removed Borglum’s work from the mountain and diligently worked with pneumatic drills, but by 1928 (the original deadline) only Lee’s head was complete and funds were depleted. The Venable family reclaimed their property, and the massive granite mountain remained untouched for 36 years.

In 1958 the state of Georgia purchased the mountain and the surrounding land. The Georgia General Assembly created the Stone Mountain Memorial Association. In 1960 the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial Advisory Committee was comprised of six internationally known figures in the world of art. A competition was held, and nine world-renowned sculptors submitted designs for a new sculpture.

In 1963, based upon recommendations by the Advisory Committee, the Stone Mountain Memorial Association chose Walker Kirkland Hancock of Gloucester, Massachusetts to complete the carving. Work resumed in 1964, and a new technique utilizing thermo-jet torches was used to carve away the granite. Chief carver Roy Faulkner, a marine veteran with a talent for using the new thermo-jet torch, was able to remove tons of stone in one day. For over eight years Park guests could see and hear the workmen and their jet torches.

The figures were completed with the detail of a fine painting. Eyebrows, fingers, buckles and even strands of hair were fine-carved with a small thermo-jet torch.

The carving is actually much larger than it appears from Stone Mountain Park’s attractions. Workers could easily stand on a horse’s ear or inside a horse’s mouth to escape a sudden rain shower. A dedication ceremony for the Confederate Memorial Carving was held on May 9, 1970. Finishing touches were completed in 1972.

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 History

Covered Bridge

Stone Mountain Park’s covered bridge was originally constructed at a cost of approximately $2,470 in 1891 in Athens, Georgia to connect College Street and downtown Athens with outlying farm lands across the Oconee River. The bridge served the community well for decades, until two severe floods in 1910 and again in 1963 damaged the bridge severely, and caused concern for its ongoing use.

The SMMA expressed interest in relocating the bridge to Stone Mountain Park in 1963, and in 1965, the bridge was partially disassembled to make the 60-mile trek before being re-assembled and re-installed atop new cement and granite piers connecting the park to a picturesque island across Stone Mountain Lake.

This covered bridge is one of only four remaining structures of the many created and constructed by Washington W. King. The King family were prominent African-American businessmen for decades in multiple Georgia cities. In 2019, the board of directors of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association (SMMA) unanimously voted to name this historic bridge the Washington W. King Bridge, in memory of, as well as honoring the bridge designer and builder.

Access to the park is included with a daily or annual parking pass.

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 History

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