50 things you might not know about Stone Mountain Park

1. Jefferson Davis' thumb is the size of a sofa. 2. Stone Mountain Park is home to the world's largest piece of exposed granite. 3. On a clear winter day you can see 45 miles from the top. 4. Shrimp live in seasonal pools on top of the mountain. 5. It is believed a ghost occupies the Thornton House at the Antebellum Plantation. 6. The Laser Show Spectacular is the longest running laser show in the world. 7. The Scarlett O'Hara Riverboat is an authentic paddlewheel riverboat. 8. The campground is the large

1. The historical carving on Stone Mountain is the only memorial to a trio of Southern generals and their horses: Jefferson Davis on Blackjack, Robert E. Lee on Traveler and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson on Little Sorrel.

2. Robert E. Lee is as tall as a nine-story building.

3. Jefferson Davis' thumb is the size of a sofa.

4. The carving measures 90 feet tall, 190 feet wide and 11 feet deep. It spans 3 acres and is larger than Mount Rushmore.

5. Stone Mountain Park is home to the world's largest piece of exposed granite.

6. By calculated "guestimate," Stone Mountain weighs more than 1 trillion pounds.

7. Granite originally mined from Stone Mountain was used in the foundation of the Georgia Capitol building, the steps of the east wing of the U.S. Capitol, the dome of the Federal Gold Depository at Fort Knox and the locks of the Panama Canal. Frank Lloyd Wright also used it to build the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. Because it was constructed of granite, the hotel was one of the few buildings to survive the powerful 1923 earthquake.

8. Workers in the granite quarry were skilled stonecutters from countries such as England, Wales, Scotland, Sweden, Norway and Italy.

9. You can only see one-third of the mountain. It is estimated that it extends up to 7 miles down and into parts of North Carolina.

10. On a clear, winter day you can see more than 45 miles from the top of the mountain.

11. The natural district, the undeveloped area of Stone Mountain Park, is home to a Covered Bridge built in 1892 and originally spanned the Oconee River in Athens.

12. The natural district also is home to the Grist Mill, built in 1867. It was moved to Stone Mountain Park from Lawrenceville.

13. There are 10 miles of hiking and walking trails.

14. The Songbird Habitat and Trail was previously the site for the 1996 Olympic archery and cycling competition.

15. You can see more than a dozen species of birds in the park, including American bluebirds, brown thrashers, yellow-breasted chats, indigo buntings, goldfinches, blue grosbeaks and field sparrows.

16. Dogs are welcome for walks, runs and hikes.

17. Some of the trees that can be seen on the mountain are loblolly pine, red cedar, Georgia oak and black cherry.

18. Shrimp live on the top of Stone Mountain Park. The depressions at the top of Stone Mountain seasonally gather water. Shrimp inhabit these pools. They leave tiny eggs behind in the soil when the pool dries up, and their young are able to hatch and can be seen when the area receives adequate rains.

19. The park is a natural habitat for a variety of animals, insects, reptiles and birds, including white-tail deer, red-tailed hawk, monarch butterflies, cottontails, black rat snakes, eastern chipmunks, painted and box turtles, tiger swallowtail, American toad, great blue herron, gray squirrels, mallards, gray fox and wild turkeys.

20. A variety of plants can be seen throughout the seasons. They include trout lillies in late winter; red moss, sandwort, poolsprite and quillwort in spring; prickly pear cactus, yucca and dayflowers in summer and yellow daisies in fall.

21. The confederate daisy is also called the "Stone Mountain yellow daisy" because it is only found in a 60-mile radius of Stone Mountain. It was discovered as a new species in 1946. Beginning in August, the mountain is scattered with the flowers, which grow on the granite outcrops in shallow soil.

22. Stone Mountain Lake is manmade and took almost two years to fill.

23. Park land was once farmed. The primary crop was corn, primary animals were pigs and most farms had beehives for honey, scuppernong grape arbors and several fruit trees.

24. The farm animals at the Antebellum Plantation know how to march single file out of their barn for a fire drill.

25. The plantation grows an organic vegetable garden for guests and employees.

26. It is believed a ghost occupies the Thornton House at the Antebellum Plantation. Built in 1784, it is the oldest restored house in the state.

27. Stone Mountain Park is home to a custom-made carillon. It was built by the Coca-Cola Company for the New York World's Fair in 1964.

28. The carillon is 13 stories high and has 732 bell tones.

29. Stone Mountain Park is the only place in Georgia to hear daily electronic carillon concerts. They are at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. Sundays and at noon and 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

30. Mabel Sharp has been the exclusive Stone Mountain Park carillonneur for 30 years.

31. Between 1942 and 1945, more than 20,000 DUKW vehicles, known as the Ducks, were produced and built by women. Stone Mountain Park is the only place you can ride the Ducks in Georgia.

32. On land, Ducks can reach a top speed of 45 mph and in water about 6 mph.

33. Guests can travel nearly a half-mile roundtrip on the Skyride.

34. On July 18, 1996, at 3 a.m., the Skyride transported the Olympic torch to the top of the mountain before it headed downtown for the opening ceremonies.

35. On April 26, 1962, the first Stone Mountain train, General II, pulled out of the station. The engine alone weighed 138,750 pounds.

36. The Laser Show Spectacular has been a fixture at Stone Mountain Park for 25 years and is the longest running laser show in the world.

37. When it opens its newest attraction this summer, Sky Hike, Stone Mountain Park will have the nation's largest family adventure ropes course.

38. The sunken remains of the first riverboat, the Robert E. Lee, can be seen at the bottom of Stone Mountain Lake. It took nearly three truck loads of granite to make the riverboat sink.

39. The Scarlett O'Hara Riverboat is an authentic paddlewheel riverboat built at Stone Mountain Park in 1976. It holds 150 passengers, measures 62 feet in length and weighs 62 tons. It only needs 3 feet of water to float.

40. The Antique Car and Treasure Museum opened in 1963 and contains over 4,000 items, including 30 jukeboxes, 22 player pianos, six band organs, 55 bicycles, seven motorbikes, two motorcycles, 20 electric radios and 21 carousel animals.

41. Automobiles such as the Tucker, Stanley Steamer, Hupmobile and Sutz can be seen in the museum. Bikes such as the Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Donald Duck and the Black Phantom Schwinn also are on display.

42. The park is host to over 25 festivals and events.

43. Stone Mountain Park has been host to over 3 million people at the Fantastic Fourth Celebration during the past 41 years.

44. Stone Mountain Park hosts the Yellow Daisy Festival, the nation's No. 1 arts and crafts show, according to Sunshine Artist Magazine.

45. Stone Mountain Park has 12 pavilions.

46. The campground is the largest in the state with 441 sites.

47. It is one of two in Georgia to receive the highest rating of 5W by Woodall's North American Camp Directory.

48. The Evergreen Conference Center and Resort has 31,000 square feet of meeting space.

49. Stone Mountain Inn has 92 spacious rooms.

50. Stone Mountain Park?s Golf Course is the first Marriott property worldwide to achieve a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary which enables golf facilities to protect the environment by enhancing natural areas and wildlife habitats.

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