“Most people who drive through Stone Mountain Village on their way to the mountain don’t know about this city’s past and who helped build it, so for our 175th anniversary, we really want to focus on our ancestry,” said local historian Mary Beth Reed.
Earlier in the year, the Historical Society of Stone Mountain published a book of historic photos from some of the city’s earliest moments.
Many of the photographs will be enlarged and displayed as decorative banners along the village’s Main Street area.
“I’m most excited about the banners highlighting some of our city’s proudest moments because those people were so important to this town,” Mayor Patricia Wheeler said. “We’re celebrating all kinds of folks, from neighbors to mayors to doctors. Each person built this town and everyone on those banners is someone who gave something to this city.”
Reed and Wheeler both described the town as a “tight-knit, working man’s community” whose history spans important events like the Civil War, integration and the granite industry, which drew in immigrants from all around the world.
“By taking a walk through our cemetery, people realize that some of our oldest residents came to Stone Mountain from all over the world to pursue a job in the granite industry, which is definitely a big part of who we are,” Reed said.
The historic celebrations will also highlight Shermantown, a historic African-American neighborhood in the village as well as the once-thriving trolley system that allowed residents to travel back and forth from the city to Atlanta.
“This town was very diverse early on and we want to celebrate this anniversary by sharing the stories of the people who made Stone Mountain what it is today,” said Reed.
Upcoming events include a guided cemetery tour, where families will share stories about their ancestors, an archaeology field day for children and a May Day Dance at the Village Corner May 3.
For more information, visit www.stonemountainvillage.com.