Stone Mountain timeline

8,000-1,000 B.C.: Native Americans begin quarrying granite from several sites for their tools.

1,000 B.C.-900 A.D.: Native Americans establish settlements on hilltops and a 2-acre village. They build a stone wall around the mountain's top, probably for rituals. The sites are destroyed by construction during the 20th century.

900-1600: Native American chiefdoms and complex societies are developed. These sites are destroyed by the construction of Stone Mountain Lake.

June 9, 1790: Col. Marinus Willet meets Creek Indian Nation chiefs at the top of Stone Mountain. He takes them to New York for treaty talks with President George Washington.

1836-1846: Aaron Cloud builds the first tourist attraction on the mountain's summit, a 165-foot octagonal wooden observation tower. He charges 50 cents to climb it. A tourist industry develops, and the town of New Gibraltar is founded west of the mountain. The name is changed to Stone Mountain in 1846.

1850: A small quarrying industry develops.

Feb. 5, 1867: Stone Mountain Granite and Railway Company purchases Stone Mountain for $37,000.

1869: With the arrival of a Georgia Railroad spur line, quarrying becomes a huge operation.

1870: The African-American neighborhood of Shermantown is established near Stone Mountain.

1887: Brothers Samuel H. and William H. Venable pay $48,000 for the mountain and surrounding lands.

1890: The area surrounding Stone Mountain becomes an international community, as skilled quarrymen from Scotland, Wales and Europe immigrate to the area.

1909: United Daughters of the Confederacy Atlanta Chapter President Helen Plane proposes creation of a Confederate monument on the mountain.

May 26, 1914: In a letter to the editor of the Atlanta Constitution, William H. Terrell suggests carving a monument to the Confederacy at Stone Mountain.

June 14, 1914: In the Atlanta Georgian, John Temple Graves, editor of the New York American, calls for the creation of a memorial to the men who fought for the Confederacy. Sam Venable, head of the family that owns Stone Mountain and has ties to the Ku Klux Klan, is an early supporter.

1914: Plane and other "Daughters" found the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial Association.

1915: Gutzon Borglum, a renowned sculptor from Connecticut, draws up the first sketches for the carving.

Nov. 25, 1915: William Simmons, along with some of the men who lynched Leo Frank, and others burn a cross at the top of Stone Mountain, signaling the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan.

May 20, 1916: Dedication of the official start of work on the carving at Stone Mountain. Part of the ceremony includes Venable conveying the deed to Plane with the stipulation that the carving be completed in 12 years.

June 23, 1923: Borglum begins work on the carving.

Jan. 19, 1924: Borglum unveils the head of Robert E. Lee.

Jan. 21, 1925: U. S. Mint strikes the first Stone Mountain coin to raise money for the project.

Feb. 25, 1925: Borglum is fired after feuding with the UDC, slow progress and an angry letter in the local papers over problems with the project. Borglum destroys his models in a rage and is indicted by a grand jury. He flees and is never arrested. Borglum will go on to carve Mount Rushmore.

April 1, 1925: Work begins on a new design under Sculptor Augustus Lukeman, who suggests Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis be carved on the face of the mountain.

July 3, 1925: Stone Mountain coins go on sale at 3,000 banks across the nation.

April 9, 1928: After blasting Borglum's work from the face of Stone Mountain, Lukeman unveils his work on the face of the mountain. Mayor Jimmy Walker of New York attends the ceremony. A few months later, work stops due to contract disputes and the property reverts to the Venable family. Only Lee's head is completed.

1931: The annual National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan rally begins on top of Stone Mountain. It is moved to land on the outskirts of the village in 1946.

March 27, 1941: The state creates the Stone Mountain State Park Authority.

1944: First Easter Sunrise Service held.

April 11, 1956: Venable family signs a quit claim deed for the area around Stone Mountain and gives it to Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial, Inc.

Feb. 21, 1958: Gov. Marvin Griffin signs a bill creating the Stone Mountain Memorial Association.

Sept. 19, 1958: State purchases Stone Mountain and the surrounding 3,200 acres from Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial, Inc. for over $1 million.

April 12, 1962: Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad opens.

Nov. 28, 1962: Skylift, an Alpine-style tramway, opens. Gov. Ernest Vandiver and Swiss ambassador August Lindt attend the ceremony.

April 16, 1963: Antebellum Plantation opens.

July 4, 1964: Work resumes under chief sculptor Walker Kirtland Hancock of Gloucester, Mass., and chief carver Roy Faulkner on a smaller design.

April 14, 1965: Stone Mountain Park officially opens and is run by Berlio of Georgia, Inc.

1968: 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones opens.

1968: Beach is completed.

1968: First Yellow Daisy Festival.

April 2, 1970: TV show "It Couldn't be Done" features the carving in one of its segments.

May 9, 1970: Carving is dedicated, even though work is not complete.

March 3, 1972: Stone Mountain carving is completed.

1972: First Highland Games, Annual Tour of Southern Ghosts and Georgia Frontier Days.

1977: Water slide added to beach; sports complex with mini-golf, tennis and roller skating opens.

1983: The first laser show; Ice Chalet, The Animal Forest (designed by Wild Kingdom's Jim Fowler) and Mountain Top Theater are built.

1986: Train station opens.

1990: Construction is completed on the Evergreen Conference Center. Additional 18 holes of golf added

1994: New golf clubhouse constructed.

1996: Stone Mountain Park hosts tennis, cycling and archery events during the Atlanta Olympics.

January 1998: Silver Dollar City Inc., later Herschend Family Entertainment, takes over the management of Stone Mountain Park's commercial attractions. Along with its partners, the Marriott Corp. and Zoo Atlanta, it is granted management of the park's businesses under a 30-year lease.

1999: Indian Festival & Pow Wow first held.

2001: Outdoor quarry exhibit opens. Great Barn opens.

2002: Crossroads attraction opens.

2002: First Pumpkin Festival and "A Southern Christmas."

2003: Spring FUN Break first opens as Kid's Spring Break; Olympic archery range restored to a songbird habitat.

Sept. 16, 2003: Single-engine plane hits the south side of the mountain, about 200 feet from the bottom, shortly before 8 p.m. killing the pilot, Philip D. Rogers of Dunwoody.

2004: Tree House Challenge opens.

2004: Ride the Ducks tours begin; major renovation of Confederate Hall as an Environmental Education Center.

2005: Firsts: Feria Latina; Cool Car Festival; Stone Mountain Gospel Celebration.

June 3, 2006: Extreme Summer Adventure opens.

May 3, 2008: Debut of digitally re-mastered laser show in celebration of 25 years

Summer 2008: Sky Hike opens.

Compiled by News Researcher Joni Zeccola

Sources: AJC news stories, Stone Mountain Park

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.