Lithonia quarry workers in the 1930s.
Photo: DeKalb History Center/Courtesy
Photo: DeKalb History Center/Courtesy

Learn how a treasured Georgia nature preserve became what it is today

More than a century ago, it was a major granite quarrying site. Today, it’s a 2,000-acre site known for its scenic landscape and miles of hiking and biking trails.

But how did the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve come to be? The DeKalb History Center hopes to provide some insight at an upcoming speaker event.

The “Lunch and Learn” on Tuesday, Sept. 17, will feature Chip Davidson III, whose family owned the company that operated the granite quarry at Arabia Mountain.

The Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area in DeKalb County features a granite outcrop and blooming yellow daisies during September.
Photo: Eric Bowles

Davidson Granite Enterprises began operating around 1895 and owned the mountain for much of the 20th century, the history center said. In the 1970s, the Davidson family donated more than 500 acres of the mountain and some of the surrounding land to DeKalb County.

The nature preserve now encompasses more than 2,000 acres and is considered a hidden gem in DeKalb. Arabia Mountain is also a National Heritage Area. Davidson is expected to speak more about the history of the land and his family’s company.

The talk is free and will take place from noon to 1 p.m. on the second floor of the Historic DeKalb Courthouse, located at 101 E. Court Square in Decatur. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch.

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In other news:

Parents found reports detailing mismanagement of finances within the Dekalb County School District athletic program.

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