History of Stone Mountain Memorial Association

The Stone Mountain Memorial Association was formed in 1958 as an Act of the Georgia Legislature to purchase the Stone Mountain and surrounding land for a park to serve as a memorial to Southern history and a place of recreation for Georgia’ s citizens and visitors. In its role as a memorial, a large sculpture commemorating the Confederacy has been carved on the north face of the mountain overlooking a broad memorial lawn and adjacent museum.

1958-1963During this six year period, the core Stone Mountain Park layout, infrastructure, and architecture is developed.
1964The Carving under Walter Hancock begins utilizing the original design of Augustus Lukeman.
1964-1968Additional improvements and attractions are completed
1970Memorial Carving is dedicated by Vice President Spiro Agnew.
1983Laser Show begins.
1996Three Olympic Events – archery, cycling, and tennis are held at Stone Mountain Park. Other attractions are renovated.
1998Commercial aspects of Stone Mountain Park are privatized and a public/private partnership begins with Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation.

Carving

The Confederate Memorial Carving depicts three Southern heroes of the Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. The figures measure 90 by 190 feet, surrounded by a carved surface that covers three acres, it is larger than a football field – the largest relief sculpture in the world. The carving is recessed 42 feet into the mountain. Work on the Carving began in 1915 and was completed in 1972.

Over the almost half a century that it took to complete the Carving, designs were offered by three sculptures.

  • Gutzon Borglum Worked on the Carving from 1915 – 1925
  • Augustus Lukeman Worked on the Carving from 1925 – 1928
  • Walter Hancock Worked on the Carving from 1963 – 1972