Larry Winslett Photography

Stone Mountain: a walk in the park

Photographs by Larry Winslett, forward by G. Curtis Branscome,



The Stone Mountain Memorial Association was created by the Georgia General Assembly in an act signed by the Governor on February 21, 1958. The purpose of the Association was to acquire and manage Stone Mountain Park as a memorial to the Confederacy and as a place of public recreation.

The “memorial” part of the Association’s mission has been accomplished through the completion and maintenance of the world’s largest bas relief carving depicting Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. The Antebellum Plantation and the Memorial Hall museum also contribute to this mission.

The “public recreation” part of the Association’s mission has been met through the development of attractions (e.g., Stone Mountain Lake, the aerial tramway, and riverboats), walking trails, festivals, and, more recently, an environmental and historical education program.

Throughout its existence, the Association has had to deal with tensions inherent in the purposes it serves. It must provide a fitting memorial to those who made great sacrifices and fought with valor for a cause they believed in while also condemning the evils of slavery and oppression that accompanied that cause. It must provide recreation/entertainment opportunities in a way that makes it financially self-supporting without impinging too much on the natural beauty of undeveloped woodlands and open spaces.

The Association stands to be judged every day on its success or failure in managing these tensions. As the Association approaches its fiftieth anniversary, this publication is an effort to “bookmark” the park – to record what it looks like in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Hopefully, it will provide an overview of the park to assist all of us in judging how we have managed so far and a baseline for future generations to evaluate how well they succeeded in taking care of one of Georgia’s greatest natural resources.

The Association expresses its great appreciation to Larry and Julie Winslett, whose love of the park and whose dedication and hard work have made this publication possible.

 – G. Curtis Branscome, May 2007