The World's Largest Mountain of Solid Granite!
We are lucky enough to have a geological and historical wonder almost in our own backyard in the Atlanta area.
About 300 million years ago, Mother Nature created a true masterpiece! Magma was cooking below the surface of the earth because of the extremely high temperatures. A huge amount of pressure from internal earth forces caused some of the liquid rock to be forced up to the surface. It took about 100 million years for the rock to cool and form crystals. While it was originally covered with a sediment overlay, the surface has now eroded revealing a mountain of almost solid rock (granite). However, while granite is the earth's most common igneous rock, Stone Mountain's granite is unique. It is composed of a mixture of quartz, mica and feldspar and is dense in texture. The domed top rises 825 feet into the air.
The largest bas-relief sculpture in the entire world is on the face of Stone Mountain. The Confederate Memorial Carving shows Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Generals Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson. The carved surface is three acres in size which is larger than a football field! The sculpture is so huge that when it rained on the mountain, workers on the sculpture could easily stand inside a sculptured horse's mouth to be protected from the downpour! It took from 1923 until 1972 to complete the massive effort for various reasons. The carving was originally the idea of a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy to memorialize the leaders of the Confederacy.
The granite from Stone Mountain has been used in construction projects around world including, the Panama Canal, the United States Capital building, the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, and the University of Havana in Cuba. The rock has also in used in building various hospitals, banks and courthouses. You may have already seen a piece of our magnificent Stone Mountain and not even have known it!
The area around and including Stone Mountain is now a 3,200 acre park, with many attractions and recreational activities. About four million people from all over the world visit Stone Mountain yearly.
Go back to the Mining Tunnels!