Stone Mountain, Georgia

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Stone Mountain, Georgia
Main Street in Stone Mountain Village
Main Street in Stone Mountain Village
Official seal of Stone Mountain, Georgia
"A City of Vision"[1]
Location in DeKalb County and the state of Georgia
Location in DeKalb County and the state of Georgia
Stone Mountain is located in Metro Atlanta
Stone Mountain
Stone Mountain
Location of Stone Mountain in Metro Atlanta
Coordinates: 33°48′19″N 84°10′17″W / 33.80528°N 84.17139°W / 33.80528; -84.17139Coordinates: 33°48′19″N 84°10′17″W / 33.80528°N 84.17139°W / 33.80528; -84.17139
Country United States
State Georgia
County DeKalb
Established as New Gibraltar c. 1839
Renamed as Stone Mountain c. 1847
 • Mayor Patricia Wheeler[1]
 • Total 1.7[2] sq mi (4.2 km2)
 • Land 1.7 sq mi (4.2 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0 km2)
1,043 ft (318 m)
 • Total 5,802
 • Estimate 
 • Density 3,600/sq mi (1,400/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
Area code(s) 770
FIPS code 13-73816[3]
GNIS feature ID 0326087[4]
Website City of Stone Mountain Georgia

Stone Mountain is a city in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 6,368 according to the 2017 US Census estimate.[5] 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.


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. A post office was created in 1834 on the old Augusta Road, and Andrew Johnson built a hotel along the road in 1836. At around the same time, Aaron Cloud built an observation tower at the summit of the mountain. 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, where Cloud also had a restaurant and club. 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. [7][6]

Stone Mountain Village went physically unscathed during the Civil War until the Battle of Atlanta [8], 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 (pictured left) was gutted by fire, but it stood, owing to its 2-foot thick granite walls.

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. Shermantown was one of several such ramshackle enclaves which came into being after the Civil War; its title was a dour recognition of the destruction which Union General William T. Sherman had caused in his March to the Sea. Its newly freed African-Americans moved in search of work but were denied places to live in existing communities due to segregation. By the twentieth century, much of Shermantown had been replaced, becoming integrated into the growing Stone Mountain community.

A darker chapter in the history of Stone Mountain opened in 1915 during the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan as a radical terrorist group. Members assembled at Stone Mountain with permission of the quarry owner Samuel Venable, an active member. The dark legacy continued for several decades, 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 involvement of Stone Mountain with the group.[9] [10] [11]

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!" [12] 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.


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. [8]

Freedom Bell on Main Street


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[13] and is a member of Main Street America.


Stone Mountain is located at 33°48′19″N 84°10′17″W / 33.80528°N 84.17139°W / 33.80528; -84.17139 (33.805255, -84.171413)[14], 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[2], the city has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2), of which 0.62% is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 690
1880 799 15.8%
1890 929 16.3%
1900 835 −10.1%
1910 1,062 27.2%
1920 1,266 19.2%
1930 1,335 5.5%
1940 1,408 5.5%
1950 1,899 34.9%
1960 1,976 4.1%
1970 1,899 −3.9%
1980 4,867 156.3%
1990 6,494 33.4%
2000 7,145 10.0%
2010 5,802 −18.8%
Est. 2017 6,368 9.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]

According to 2017 US Census Bureau estimates [5], 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, & Leisure

  • ART Station Contemporary Arts Center and Theatre Company, a multi-disciplinary arts center, is located in the historic Trolley Car Barn built by the Georgia Railway and Power Company in 1913. ART Station hosts shows and gallery events throughout the year, including the infamous Tour of Southern Ghosts each year in October. [16] (5384 Manor Drive)
  • Wells-Brown House is an elegant early 1870s Neoclassical residence that is home of the Stone Mountain Historical Society. The Wells-Brown House now houses a growing artifact collection and research library. (1036 Ridge Avenue)
  • Cart-Friendly Community - Stone Mountain is one of a handful of Georgia communities that permit golf carts on city streets with a city-issued inspection permit. Carts are also permitted within adjacent Stone Mountain Park, giving the community an added leisure activity.
  • Museum of Miniature Chairs - a three-room gallery and shop featuring over 3000 miniature chairs. (994 Main Street)
  • PATH – the Atlanta Regional Trail of the PATH off-road trails, which serves walkers, runners, cyclists, and skaters, enters the Village on East Ponce de Leon Avenue, goes south on Main Street, and continues into Stone Mountain Park via a trail built atop the old railroad spur that once connected the CSX tracks to the Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad[17].
Stone Mountain Body Shop transformed into a set for the movie Need for Speed in May 2013

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 our historic downtown area, requests for filming in the Village are handled through the downtown development authority.[18] The proceeds help fund festivals and other public events for the community.

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


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

  • Stone Mountain Historical Society, 1036 Ridge Avenue
  • GFWC Stone Mountain Woman's Club, 5513 East Mountain Street
  • Stone Mountain Masonic Lodge No. 449, F&AM, 840 VFW Drive
  • DeKalb Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 10, 1238 Ridge Avenue
  • Side by Side Brain Injury Clubhouse, 1001 Main Street
  • Stone Mountain Cooperative Ecumenical Ministry (Food Bank), 5324 West Mountain Street


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.

Most younger children of Stone Mountain are assigned to Stone Mountain Elementary School, while sections are zoned to Stone Mill and Rockbridge elementaries.[19] All children within the city limits are assigned to Stone Mountain Middle School,[20] and Stone Mountain High School.[21]

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). [22]

Notable people


  1. ^ a b "City of Stone Mountain Georgia". Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Stone Mountain". State of Georgia. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ a b "US Census QuickFacts Stone Mountain city, Georgia". U.S. Census Bureau. 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Stone Mountain". Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  7. ^ "Stone Mountain". Bruce E. Stewart. October 31, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "About our Village". Stone Mountain Historical Society. 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  9. ^ "Stone Mountain And The Rebirth Of The KKK, One Century Ago". WABE. November 25, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  10. ^ "In the Shadow of Stone Mountain" - Smithsonian Magazine, May 4, 2018
  11. ^ "Stone Mountain Carving". Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  12. ^ 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!
  13. ^ "Cities of Ethics". Georgia Municipal Association. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  15. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  16. ^ "About Us". ART Station. 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  17. ^ "PATH Trails". Path Foundation. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  18. ^ "Economic Development-Downtown Development Authority". City of Stone Mountain. 2018. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  19. ^ "Elementary School Attendance Areas 2016 - 2017 School Year." DeKalb County School System. Retrieved on June 1, 2017.
  20. ^ "Middle School Attendance Areas 2016 - 2017 School Year." DeKalb County School System. Retrieved on June 1, 2017.
  21. ^ "High School Attendance Areas 2016 - 2017 School Year." DeKalb County School System. Retrieved on June 1, 2017.
  22. ^ "Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg Library". DeKalb County Public Library. Retrieved November 22, 2018.

Further reading

  • Stone Mountain Historical Society, Images of America: Stone Mountain (Arcadia Publishing, 2014)
  • Coletti, Dr. George D.N., Stone Mountain: The Granite Sentinel (Granite Sentinel Press, 2012)

External links

  • Stone Mountain travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • City of Stone Mountain official website
  • ART Station website
  • Stone Mountain Historical Society website
  • New Georgia Encyclopedia
  • Golden Ink (1994–2003). About North Georgia: Stone Mountain
  • Stone Mountain at

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