Stone Mountain, Georgia, is more than one place — a city along the railroad tracks, a sprawling postal address and a state park that is a lightning rod for protests because of its history as a memorial to the Confederacy.
So if you are looking for Stone Mountain, the first question is: Which one?
The most famous answer is Stone Mountain Park, home to a massive granite outcropping with a carving of Confederate leaders on its face.
Stone Mountain Park, owned by a state government authority, is a major recreation attraction and tourist destination. It’s also a state-designated Confederate memorial that includes Confederate flags and a giant carving of three Confederate leaders, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis.
Stone Mountain, the city, borders the park’s western entrance. It is a quaint old railroad town that has grown to include 6,700 residents, more than three-quarters of which are Black.
The city was established in 1839, long before the park. AJC reporter Tyler Estep said the city leaders are looking to create their own brand, to distinguish between the two.
But newly-elected Mayor Beverly Jones, the first Black woman to hold that job, still wants to attract visitors who come to see the mountain, and capture those dollars for local businesses.
Estep wrote: “But she also wants to make clear that the city — which has its own obstacles and history, good and bad — stands by itself.”
Within the city is a National Historic District, centered on either side of Main Street and covering all of downtown. Outside the city limits is a sprawling “postal Stone Mountain” that spills over into unincorporated areas of DeKalb County and neighboring Gwinnett County.
An article on the Georgia tourism website captures the challenge of describing Stone Mountain. Under a photo of Main Street, with the mountain rising in the background, the article says, “Packed with history, memories and natural history, Stone Mountain is sure to be an experience for visitors.”
The article describes the setting of Stone Mountain Village, in the city, and its proximity to the park with “3,200 acres of adventure” just 15 miles east of Atlanta. It does not mention the Confederacy. The last line of the article is an invitation: “Come, stay, and enjoy!”
A search of Google returns results for both the park and the city, along with questions “people also ask,” including:
- Which city is Stone Mountain in? (see above)
- What cities surround Stone Mountain?
- Is Stone Mountain real? (Thanks for asking. It is considered a mountain-ish, or more properly a monadnock, a very large stone hill, as are neighboring Arabia and Panola mountains.
- Who is on Stone Mountain?
On the map
Here is a map of the Stone Mountain city limits. Stone Mountain Park is just to the east.
Information about visiting Stone Mountain Park
Learn about the debate over the park’s Confederate imagery and history
The disputed sculpture Who is carved on the side of Stone Mountain?
Read about Stone Mountain city and its leaders’ vision for revitalization
About the Author
Credit: Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com