Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

December 27, 2009

Stone Mountain, GA — Part 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 8:14 am

Stone Mountain, 16 miles east of Atlanta, is the  world’s largest exposed granite monolith.  It rises more than 800 feet above the surrounding land. The mountain covers almost 600 acres.  Cut into the side of this granite mountain is a Confederate Memorial, the world’s largest piece of sculpture.  The carving is 80 feet tall and 180 feet wide.  

   The first white man to see the mountain seems to have been a Spanish captain in 1507.  He regarded the mountain so important that he called it Crystal Mountain.  He thought he saw diamonds and other precious stones lying on the ground.  However, he and his men were kept too busy fighting off Indians to get close enough to discover that what he thought were precious gems were the crystals of quartz.

There are stories of how Stone Mountain, which also has been called Rock Mountain, was traded by the Indians for $40 and a pony.  Other stories of a trade were for a muzzle-loading gun and $20, and with some trades , a jug of whiskey.  Ownership passed through several individuals,  but it is known by deed that the Venable family acquired the mountain in 1887.   Although the public was allowed access to the mountain, it remained private property until 1958 when the Georgia Legislature purchased the mountain and the surrounding land, 3,800 acres in all.  Today it is a Georgia State Park.

Having spent much time on the mountain as a young boy and teenager, I have a special fascination for the mountain.  There is much to intrigue the explorer.  A special story about Buzzard Roost I will share later.  As a young boy, the growth of trees on the mountain challenged my mind.  Dirt does collect and pines, cedars, and even oaks grow.  Of course, the are stunted, gnarled and twisted.  Even in season, you could find blackberries and huckleberries.  Most exciting for me was the discovery of fish in small rain pits on top of the mountain.  However, I learned they were not fish, but fairy shrimp. They are very small, and even swim backwards.  They would disappear when the pits dried up, but they soon came back after the next rain.  Evidently eggs were left and would hatch when water returned.

Around the base of the mountain there were two lakes, which in my boyhood days, were simply called the old lake and the new lake.  In the old lake we thought we had found oysters, and we  believed that we would thus find pearls.  However, they were only  fresh water mussels.

Truly, Stone Mountain is a fascinating and marvelous sight.  It has been suggested by geologist that the mountain is perhaps 2 million years old. How could this formation come into existence?  I cannot even speculate on the age of the mountain or the earth.   But I do know Who was there when it came into existence.  I even know Who created it, don’t you?

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  (Genesis 1:1)

But Stone Mountain, the formation is  but a rock!  Stone Mountain, however, is much more that a large protruding rock or tourist attraction.  It is a community–a village–people.  I want to introduce you to Stone Mountain!  So, I will have a Part 2 tomorrow!


Stone Mountain, GA–Part Two,



  1. JRJ, Florida – Love you!

    Comment by Judith Jolly — December 27, 2009 @ 8:39 am | Reply

  2. Enjoyed the blog on The Rock. Spent many hours there and around town. Clarkston and St. Mt. high schools were great rivals in all sports. I remember going onto the mountain with Elias Nour with his old jeep to rescue dogs which had fallen over the steep side and even remember watching an old car being pushed over the steep side with mock ups of Hitler, Toyjo and Musalina and everyone cheering as the figures fell out on the way down. Keep up the good work. Great to be back in touch with you.

    Comment by Sidney Clay — December 27, 2009 @ 4:29 pm | Reply

  3. Lawson, I want to thank you for sharing things from your memories.

    Carole and I are so glad ya’ll decided to retire here in Dade City. We have loved you from the first meeting long ago.

    Comment by Franky Croft — December 27, 2009 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

  4. I am loving this blog! Thanks for giving us all such insight into your view of the world-it’s fun and inspiring. And, I’m not just saying this because you’re my DAD!

    Comment by jjr, mo — December 29, 2009 @ 9:45 pm | Reply

  5. Can’t wait for part 2, makes me want to visit Stone Mountain, and makes me thankful for another part of God’s creation.
    Thank you for the blogs, enjoying very much!

    Comment by doriswhite — December 13, 2010 @ 8:18 pm | Reply

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