1969 Overview

Overview of Attractions

This Spring will herald the first full season of Georgia's newest tourist attraction, Stone Mountain Memorial Park. Located 16 miles East of Atlanta, Stone Mountain has become a mayor vacationland near the South's fastest growing city.

At the center of the 3,000-acre recreation complex is 683-foot high Stone Mountain which is the eighth wonder of the world. The world's largest granite monolith, it weighs approximately a half-billion tons and has a base of some five miles. Now, the world's largest work of sculpture is being completed on the sheer North face of Stone Mountain as a memorial to the Confederacy The deep relief carving will depict three 138-feet high equestrian figures -- Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis -- and will take 3 to 4 more years to complete.

The idea for such a carving was first introduced by the United Daughters of the Confederacy nearly 50 years ago. Sculptor Walter Hancock has said that no such carving has been attempted since the time of the Egyptians and Persians some 3,000 years ago. Even the famous Ramesses II carvings that guard the entrance to the Temple of Abu Simbel in Egypt are dwarfed in comparison. Throughout the year visitors will be able to view workmen carving with Jet torches the gigantic Confederate Memorial.

The activity surrounding the carving can be easily viewed from a Swiss Skylift or from the terrace of one of the nation's finest Civil War museums. The Skylift carries the visitor to the Mountain's summit for a breath-taking view of Atlanta and the Blue Ridge mountains. At the top of the Mountain is the Hall of Sculptors, a beautiful rock garden, and reflecting pool, surrounded by the flags of the Confederate states.

Around the five-mile base of the Mountain runs the Scenic Railroad. The train is modeled after the famous "General" of Civil War history. In keeping with the folklore of the region, a full-stage Indian battle is staged during the trip 'round the Mountain with the raiders repelled and the passengers returned safely to the old-fashioned station.

In a more nostalgic atmosphere is the Marina, where you can board the Mississippi-style paddle wheel steamboat and tour the lake at the base of the Mountain. While en route, Confederate stories and songs are offered to recapture the era that was the "Mississippi". For the young at heart, there is a stop at Mark Twain land where Huck Finn can be seen fishing.

For those interested in Civil War and regional history, there are several fine museums. One of the highlights is the Battlarena where history is relived through an exacting reenactment of Georgia battles in an auditorium especially built to enhance realism for the viewer. Through an arrangement of special lighting effects and stereophonic sound, the battles come alive on a 25 by 43 foot relief map ... making for an exciting and educational event.

Another point of interest is the restored Ante-bellum Plantation surrounded by a complete community of authentic buildings furnished with 18th and 19th century heirlooms. All the original buildings were moved from Georgia sites to Stone Mountain making the Plantation one of the more memorable attractions at the Park.

Those interested in automotive history will find the Antique Auto Museum most appealing. It reflects the "Golden Era" of automobile transportation complimented by mannequins dressed in costumes of the period. A Ford that Grandpa kept in the parlor, a Maxwell similar to the one made famous by Jack Benny, a 1928 Cadillac with velvet upholstery, are just a few of the cars in the collection.

For the children especially, there is a Game Ranch with 'look-and-do-touch" animals. Located on 10 acres near the Mountain, it offers the visitor a chance to see Georgia wildlife in its natural habitat.

Accommodations at the park range from camp sites with all modern facilities to the newly-opened Stone Mountain Inn. This luxurious 92-room motor hotel, beautifully designed in Georgian style, has heated indoor and outdoor swiming pools. This is a "Gone With the Wind" Inn of moonlight and magnolias and gourmet food -- reflecting the graciousness of Southern hospitality.

Whether you want to ride horseback, walk nature trails, relive history or relax in Southern hospitality, Stone Mountain is an ideal resort for a day or week. The variety of its attractions is especially appealing and the recreation complex so vast, the tourist should allow more than a day to enjoy all of this beautiful new facility.

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