Stone Mountain, Georgia

Last updated

Stone Mountain, Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia downtown.JPG
Main Street in Stone Mountain Village
Stone Mountain City Seal.jpg
Seal
Motto(s): 
"A City of Vision" [1]
DeKalb County Georgia Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Stone Mountain Highlighted 1373816.svg
Location in DeKalb County and the state of Georgia
Metro atlanta.jpg
Red pog.svg
Stone Mountain
Location of Stone Mountain in Metro Atlanta
Coordinates: 33°48′29″N84°10′13″W / 33.80806°N 84.17028°W / 33.80806; -84.17028 Coordinates: 33°48′29″N84°10′13″W / 33.80806°N 84.17028°W / 33.80806; -84.17028 [2]
Country United States
State Georgia
County DeKalb
Establishedas New Gibraltar c. 1839
Renamedas Stone Mountain c. 1847
Government
   Mayor Patricia Wheeler [1]
Area
[3]
  Total1.65 sq mi (4.27 km2)
  Land1.64 sq mi (4.26 km2)
  Water0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
Elevation
[2]
1,043 ft (318 m)
Population
 (2010)
  Total5,802
  Estimate 
(2019) [4]
6,281
  Density3,820.56/sq mi (1,475.39/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
  Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
Area code(s) 770
FIPS code 13-73816 [5]
GNIS feature ID0326087 [2]
Website City of Stone Mountain Georgia

Stone Mountain is a city in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 5,802 according to the 2010 US Census. Stone Mountain is located in the eastern part of DeKalb County and is a suburb of Atlanta that encompasses nearly 1.7 square miles. It lies near and touches the western base of the geological formation Stone Mountain. Locals often refer to the city as Stone Mountain Village to distinguish it from the larger unincorporated area traditionally considered Stone Mountain and Stone Mountain Park.

Contents

History

Railroad depot Stone Mountain, Georgia City Hall and Police Station.JPG
Railroad depot

The history of Stone Mountain began long before white European settlers and the Creek Indians before them. Evidence of numerous earlier Native American tribes, including mound builders, have been found in the area of the mountain. [6]

The Treaty of Indian Springs in 1821 opened a large swath of Georgia for settlement by European Americans on former Creek Indian land, including present-day Stone Mountain Village. In 1822, the area that now makes up the city was made a part of the newly formed DeKalb County.

Settlement

By the 1820s, Rock Mountain, as it was then called, was "a major travel center", with an inn for travelers. A stagecoach line linking the village with Georgia's capital, Milledgeville, began in 1825. Another stage line ran to Winder and Athens. In 1828 another stage line began trips to Dahlonega, and a fourth connected the community with Macon. [7] :27 "Hundreds of people visited Rock Mountain in the summer [of 1828] and...a house of entertainment was nearby." [7] :28 Rail service did not reach the town, by then New Gibraltar, until 1845. [7] :33

A post office was created in 1834 on the old Augusta Road, and Andrew Johnson, called the founder of New Gibraltar and first mayor, [8] around whose house the city limits were drawn, [7] :32 built a hotel along the road in 1836. ("An 1843 amendment to the act of incorporation extended the town limits to 600 yards (550 m) in every direction from the house of Andrew Johnson." [7] :31) About 1839 Aaron Cloud, who also had a hotel, [7] :33 built a wooden observation tower, octagonal like a lighthouse and 150 feet (46 m) high, along with a restaurant and club, at the summit of the mountain. This tower was destroyed in 1849 by a storm; a smaller, 80 feet (24 m) tower, with telescopes so it could serve as an observatory, was built by Thomas Henry in 1851. [7] :29 Visitors to the mountain would travel to the area by rail and road, and then hike up the 1.3-mile (2.1 km) mountaintop trail to the top. By 1850, Stone Mountain had become a popular destination of Atlanta urbanites who would endure the 4-hour round trip via rail just to experience its natural beauty, fine lodging, and attractions. [9] [6]

Industry

Quarrying of granite at the mountain was the lifeblood of the area for decades, employing many thousands over those years. The excellent grade of building stone from the mountain was used in many notable structures, including the locks of the Panama Canal, the roof of the bullion depository at Fort Knox, the Liberty National Building in Philadelphia, and the steps in the east wing of the US Capitol in Washington, DC. [10]

In August 1846, New Gibraltar hosted Georgia's first state fair, then known as the Agriculture Fair and Internal Improvement Jubilee. The fair had just one exhibit—three horses and two cows, both belonging to the event's organizer, John Graves. The following year, the village again hosted the event, which featured caskets, marble, embroidery, brooms, bedspreads, vegetables, blooded stock, wheat, farm tools, and a magnetic telegraph. Stone Mountain hosted the event until 1850 when it moved to Macon. [8]

Stone Mountain in 1908 Detail, Stone Mountain. 1908. Photo by Huron H. Smith. (4987035218) (cropped).jpg
Stone Mountain in 1908

Civil War

Though DeKalb County voted against secession from the United States, it was not spared the devastation of the Civil War. Stone Mountain Village went physically unscathed until the Battle of Atlanta, [11] when it was destroyed by men under the command of General James B. McPherson on July 19, 1864. Several antebellum homes were spared as they were used as hospitals. The railroad depot had its roof burned, but the building stood, owing to its 2-foot thick granite walls. [12]

From the time of the Village’s initial destruction in July 1864 until the following November, Stone Mountain and the surrounding area were scavenged by Union forces, taking corn, wheat, cotton, cattle, and other goods. On November 15, 1864, between 12,000 and 15,000 Union troops marched through Stone Mountain and further destroyed the rail lines. The rails were rendered useless by heating them over burning railroad ties, then twisting them around trees. The term Sherman’s neckties was coined for this form of destruction. [12]

Birth of Shermantown

After the Civil War ended, housing in the area was rebuilt as Stone Mountain granite was again in demand for construction across the nation. A significant portion of the quarry's work force consisted of African Americans. However, they were generally excluded from areas where white families lived, so a shantytown, Shermantown, came into being at the southeast side of the village; its name was a reference to Union General William T. Sherman.

In 1868, Bethsaida Baptist Church was organized by Reverend R.M. Burson to serve the Shermantown community. A church building was then built under Reverend F.M. Simons at what is now 853 Fourth Street. Simons was among a delegation of southern African American pastors to meet with General Sherman in Washington, D.C. after the war to discuss the treatment of the freedmen. Bethsaida Baptist is still an active part of the Stone Mountain Village. [12]

By the twentieth century, much of Shermantown’s original structures had been replaced. Bethsaida’s original wooden structure was replaced with stone in 1920. Though Shermantown has mostly integrated into the growing Stone Mountain Village, it retains its own distinct community.

Rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan

1915 was the year of the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist organization. Members assembled at Stone Mountain with permission of the quarry owner Samuel Venable, an active member. Their activities, including annual cross-burnings, continued for over 40 years, but Stone Mountain’s association with the Klan began to erode when the State of Georgia began acquisition of the mountain and surrounding property in 1958. In 1960, Governor Ernest Vandiver took the bold move to condemn the property the state had purchased in order to void the perpetual easements Venable had granted the Klan. This ended any official link between Stone Mountain and the Klan. [13] [14] [15]

Freedom Bell on Main Street Freedom Bell, Stone Mountain, Georgia.jpg
Freedom Bell on Main Street

Civil Rights Movement

During the Civil Rights Movement's March on Washington, DC on August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. referred to Stone Mountain in his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech when he proclaimed "let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!" [16] The Freedom Bell on Main Street was dedicated in his honor on February 26, 2000 by the late Charles Burris, the Village's first African-American mayor. At an annual ceremony held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the bell is rung to commemorate Dr. King's legacy.

Many names

The mountain has been known by countless names throughout the centuries. The mountain was called Crystal Mountain by 16th-century Spanish explorer Juan Pardo when he visited in 1567. The Creek Indians who inhabited the area at that time used a name translating to Lone Mountain. Around the turn of the 19th-century, settlers called it Rock Mountain or Rock Fort Mountain. [6] By the close of the 1830s, Stone Mountain had become the generally accepted name. Like the mountain, the village formed at its base was initially known as Rock Mountain but was incorporated as New Gibraltar in 1839 under an Act of the General Assembly. The name was changed again in 1847 to its current moniker Stone Mountain by the Georgia Legislature. [11]

Cemetery

The Stone Mountain Cemetery, established around 1850, is a microcosm of the Village’s past. It is the final resting place for roughly 200 unknown Confederate soldiers. There are 71 known Confederate soldiers buried there, along with James Sprayberry, a Union soldier. Another notable site would be the grave of George Pressley Trout, who is buried there with his wife and his horse. [8] James B. Rivers, the Village’s first African American police chief, is at rest there on a hillside facing the mountain. The cemetery is still in active use.

Government

Stone Mountain is governed by a council-manager form of government. Citizens elect a mayor and six council members who are all elected at-large. The terms of office are four years, with elections staggered every two years. Daily operations of the city are managed by an appointed professional city manager. Services provided by the city include police, public works, code enforcement, and municipal court.

The city also has standing commissions for historic preservation, downtown development, and planning & zoning. The city holds a City of Ethics designation from the Georgia Municipal Association [17] and is a member of Main Street America.

Geography

Stone Mountain is located at the western base of the quartz monzonite dome monadnock of the same name. While Stone Mountain city proper is completely within DeKalb County, the postal regions designated, and traditionally considered as Stone Mountain include portions of DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties.

According to the State of Georgia, [18] the city has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2), of which 0.62% is water.

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1870 690
1880 79915.8%
1890 92916.3%
1900 835−10.1%
1910 1,06227.2%
1920 1,26619.2%
1930 1,3355.5%
1940 1,4085.5%
1950 1,89934.9%
1960 1,9764.1%
1970 1,899−3.9%
1980 4,867156.3%
1990 6,49433.4%
2000 7,14510.0%
2010 5,802−18.8%
2019 (est.)6,281 [4] 8.3%
U.S. Decennial Census [19]

According to 2017 US Census Bureau estimates, [20] Stone Mountain has 6,368 residents, a 9.0% increase since 2010. There are 2,519 households with an average of 2.42 persons per household. 8.9% of Stone Mountain residents were foreign born. Estimates of the racial makeup of the city are 73% African-American/Black, 22.1% White, 1% Asian, 0.9% Native American/Alaskan, and 1.1% of two or more races.

Of persons 25 years or older, 87.3% attained are high school graduates or higher, while 30.8% have attained a bachelor's degree or higher. The median income is $35,964 with a per capita income of $21,134.

Arts, culture and leisure

Ghost sign of a fictional company left from a previous film production. Star Biscuit Sign Stone Mountain.jpg
Ghost sign of a fictional company left from a previous film production.

In film

The Stone Mountain area has been a beneficiary of the flourishing film industry in Georgia. The sight of film crews and production personnel have become common in Stone Mountain Village. Due to the demand for filming in the historic downtown area, requests for filming in the Village are handled through the downtown development authority. [23] The proceeds help fund festivals and other public events for the community.

Most of the shops and buildings on Main Street were built right after the turn of the 20th century and maintain many of the original facades. This has provided an appropriate backdrop for a number of filming projects, ranging from period pieces to those requiring a quaint village setting.

Portions of motion pictures like Footloose (2011) and Need for Speed (2014) were filmed in the Village. The growing number of television show credits include The Vampire Diaries , Kevin (Probably) Saves the World , MacGyver , and the popular Netflix science fiction/horror series Stranger Things .

Organizations

Stone Mountain Village is home to a number of community, civic, and outreach organizations:

Education

The children of Stone Mountain are served by the DeKalb County Public Schools. Stone Mountain Elementary School and Champion Theme Middle School are within the city limits.

Georgia Military College (GMC) has a satellite campus in Stone Mountain Village. (5325 Manor Drive)

DeKalb County Public Library operates the Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg Library (952 Leon Street). [24]

Notable people

Related Research Articles

DeKalb County, Georgia County in Georgia, United States

DeKalb County is located in the north central portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 691,893, making it Georgia's fourth-most populous county. Its county seat is Decatur.

Avondale Estates, Georgia City in Georgia, United States

Avondale Estates is a city in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 2,960 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area and is near Decatur.

Clarkston, Georgia City in Georgia, United States

Clarkston is a city in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 7,554 as of the 2010 census. The Clarkston Campus of Georgia State University's Perimeter College is just south of the city limits.

Decatur, Georgia City in Georgia, United States

Decatur is a city in, and the county seat of, DeKalb County, Georgia, which is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. With a population of 19,335 in the 2010 census, the municipality is sometimes assumed to be larger since multiple ZIP Codes in unincorporated DeKalb County bear Decatur as the address. The city is served by three MARTA rail stations. The city is located approximately 5 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta and shares its western border with both the city of Atlanta and unincorporated DeKalb County. The Druid Hills neighborhood is to the northwest of Decatur. The unofficial motto of Decatur used by some residents is "Everything is Greater in Decatur."

Druid Hills, Georgia CDP and neighborhood of Atlanta in DeKalb, Georgia, United States

Druid Hills is a community which includes both a census-designated place (CDP) in unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, United States, as well as a neighborhood of the city of Atlanta. The CDP's population was 14,568 at the 2010 census. The CDP formerly contained the main campus of Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); they were annexed by Atlanta in 2018. The Atlanta-city section of Druid Hills is one of Atlanta's most affluent neighborhoods with a mean household income in excess of $238,500.

Dunwoody, Georgia City in Georgia, United States

Dunwoody is a city located in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. As a northern suburb of Atlanta, Dunwoody was incorporated as a city on December 1, 2008 but its area establishment dates back to the early 1830s. As of 2019, the city has a population of 49,356, up from 46,267 in the 2010 Census.

Lithonia, Georgia City in Georgia, United States

Lithonia is a city in eastern DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The city's population was 1,924 at the 2010 census. Lithonia is in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

Tucker, Georgia City in Georgia, United States

Tucker is a city located in DeKalb County, Georgia located near Atlanta and was originally settled in the 1820s, and later developed as a railroad community in 1892. According to the 2016 United States Census Bureau annual estimate of resident population, it has a population of 35,322. In a November 2015 referendum, by a 3:1 margin (73.94%), voters approved incorporating Tucker into a city. In March 2016, Tucker residents elected the city's first mayor and city council.

Lawrenceville, Georgia City in Georgia, United States

Lawrenceville is a city and the county seat of Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. It is a suburb of Atlanta, located approximately 30 miles (50 km) northeast of downtown. As of the 2010 census, the population of Lawrenceville was 28,546. In 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city population to be 30,834. Lawrenceville has six ZIP codes, and it is part of the 678/770/404 telephone area code, which is used throughout metropolitan Atlanta.

Stone Mountain Mountain and park in Georgia, United States

Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock and the site of Stone Mountain Park, near the city of Stone Mountain, Georgia. The park is owned by the state of Georgia and managed by Norcross-based Herschend Family Entertainment. At its summit, the elevation is 1,686 feet (514 m) above sea level and 825 feet (251 m) above the surrounding area. Stone Mountain is well known for not only its geology, but also the enormous rock relief on its north face, the largest bas-relief artwork in the world. The carving depicts three Confederate leaders, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. The president of the NAACP called it "the largest shrine to white supremacy in the history of the world".

History of Atlanta Aspect of history

The history of Atlanta dates back to 1836, when Georgia decided to build a railroad to the U.S. Midwest and a location was chosen to be the line's terminus. The stake marking the founding of "Terminus" was driven into the ground in 1837. In 1839, homes and a store were built there and the settlement grew. Between 1845 and 1854, rail lines arrived from four different directions, and the rapidly growing town quickly became the rail hub for the entire Southern United States. During the American Civil War, Atlanta, as a distribution hub, became the target of a major Union campaign, and in 1864, Union William Sherman's troops set on fire and destroyed the city's assets and buildings, save churches and hospitals. After the war, the population grew rapidly, as did manufacturing, while the city retained its role as a rail hub. Coca-Cola was launched here in 1886 and grew into an Atlanta-based world empire. Electric streetcars arrived in 1889, and the city added new "streetcar suburbs".

Perimeter College at Georgia State University

Perimeter College at Georgia State University is a college of Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia Perimeter College was originally a public community college founded by an Atlanta area county board of education before merging with Georgia State University in 2016 to create one of the largest universities in the United States with over 50,000 students. The Perimeter College (PC) campuses became components of Georgia State University, still maintaining their own mission, degrees, and admittance requirements, separate from those of the main campus. Before merging with GSU, PC served metro Atlanta with five campus locations and offered more than 40 programs of study, including Arts, Music, Theatre, Nursing, Business Administration, Education, Dental Hygiene, Criminal Justice, and Sign Language Interpreting.

Arabia Mountain

Arabia Mountain is the northern of two peaks in the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve, in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. A low saddle separates it from Bradley Mountain, several hundred feet to its south. The two form a monadnock. The peak is 955 feet (290m) above sea level, rising 172 feet (52m) above Arabia Lake reservoir. Bradley Mountain is closer to the visitor trails than Arabia Mountain and is often mis-identified by visitors as Arabia Mountain.

Redan High School is a public secondary school of the DeKalb County School District located in Redan, Georgia.

The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) is a school district headquartered at 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard in unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, United States, near Stone Mountain and in the Atlanta metropolitan area. DCSD operates public schools in areas of DeKalb County that are not within the city limits of Atlanta and Decatur. It will serve a portion of Atlanta annexed by that city in 2018 until 2024, when that portion will be re-assigned to Atlanta Public Schools (APS).

Lithonia High School is a public high school located in Redan census-designated place, Georgia, United States, near Lithonia. A part of the DeKalb County School District, it serves 1,450 students in grades 9-12. Darrick McCray is the current principal. The school offers many clubs and extracurricular activities, including book club, Men of Distinction, Future Business Leaders of America, robotics, marching band, and chorus. Sports include baseball, football, basketball, volleyball, swimming, golf, tennis, soccer, track, gymnastics, cheerleading, softball, and wrestling.

Stone Mountain High School Public school

Stone Mountain High School is a college preparatory and public high school located in unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, United States, near Stone Mountain and in the Atlanta metropolitan area. It is one of the oldest high schools in the DeKalb County School System.

Stephenson High School is a public school serving grades 9-12 located in unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. It has a "Stone Mountain" postal address but is not in the city limits. It is part of the DeKalb County School District.

Venable Brothers

The Venable Brothers was a business venture formed by brothers William Hoyt Venable (1852–1905) and Samuel Hoyt Venable (1856–1939) in DeKalb County, Georgia. The brothers owned rock quarries. Sam Venable was involved in the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan and in the creation of the Confederate memorial on Stone Mountain, Georgia. He owned Stone Mountain, where a cross burning was held in 1915, and granted the Klan an easement to the mountain in 1923. The Venable brothers granted a 12-year lease to Stone Mountain for the carving of the Confederate memorial carving started by Gutzon Borglum.

References

  1. 1 2 "City of Stone Mountain Georgia" . Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Stone Mountain, Georgia
  3. "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  4. 1 2 "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  5. "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  6. 1 2 3 "Stone Mountain". About North Georgia . Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Freeman, David B. (1997). Carved in Stone. The History of Stone Mountain. Mercer University Press. ISBN   0865545472.
  8. 1 2 3 Delaney, Kim (February 17, 2011). "A Look at Stone Mountain's Rich History". Patch Media. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  9. Stewart, Bruce E. (2004). "Stone Mountain". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Georgia Humanities.
  10. "Big market supplied by local granite". The DeKalb New Era. Decatur, GA. December 21, 1939.
  11. 1 2 "About our Village". Stone Mountain Historical Society. 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  12. 1 2 3 Civil War Sesquicentennial 1861-1865. City of Stone Mountain. 2011.
  13. Stokes, Stephannie (November 25, 2015). "Stone Mountain And The Rebirth Of The KKK, One Century Ago". WABE . Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  14. Powers, Benjamin (May 4, 2018). "In the Shadow of Stone Mountain". Smithsonian Magazine .
  15. Golden, Randy. "Stone Mountain Carving". About North Georgia . Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  16. King, Martin Luther Jr. (August 28, 1963). "I have a Dream". Lillian Goldman Law Library. Retrieved October 8, 2011. Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
  17. "Cities of Ethics". Georgia Municipal Association. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  18. "Stone Mountain". State of Georgia. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  19. "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  20. "US Census QuickFacts Stone Mountain city, Georgia". U.S. Census Bureau. 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  21. "About Us". ART Station. 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  22. "PATH Trails". Path Foundation. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  23. "Economic Development-Downtown Development Authority". City of Stone Mountain. 2018. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  24. "Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg Library". DeKalb County Public Library . Retrieved November 22, 2018.

Further reading