15 September 2010

Stone Mountain, Georgia, and the Old South: Southern Literary Tour, Part Two: #23

Willard Neal's Georgia's Stone Mountain (late 1970s?) is an interesting booklet about the history of the carving on Stone Mountain, which is 90ft tall and 190ft wide, 400ft above the ground, originally conceived in 1915 and completed in 1970.

In 1915, The United Daughters of the Confederacy consulted Gutzon Borglum - who had erected a statue of Abraham Lincoln, and who became very interested in the huge block of granite - about a Confederate monument. World War I prevented any progress on the monument, and although Borglum wanted to continue with his task afterward, disagreements forced him to leave Georgia in 1925, to pursue different work on the Mount Rushmore monument in South Dakota. Augustus Lukeman continued work on the Stone Mountain monument in 1925.

One of the many signs proclaiming that this is Stone Mountain Park.

The block of granite from a distant viewpoint.

And the same view close up.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

General Robert E. Lee.

General Thomas J. 'Stonewall' Jackson.

Blackjack, Davis's favorite horse, is at top, and Traveller (with the British spelling), Lee's favorite horse, at the bottom.

Little Sorrel, Jackson's favorite horse.


Snatch51 said...

Slip of the keyboard there, Doc, Mount Rushmore is South Dakota!

Fabulous piece of carving on that granite though.

Snatch51 said...
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Dr Tony Shaw said...

Thanks for pointing this out, Snatch51. Actually, the whole thing - as must have been quite clear to anyone - was badly edited, and I've yet to finish the post. The Rushmore error was subconsciously caused by this Robert Hughes guy, who has this obsession with North Dakota, as it's one of the few states he's not been too: yes, I think it's that trainspotting gene.

I can't say North Dakota thrills me in any way, and unless I'm mistaken there's nothing of literary interest there. In South Dakota there's just a plaque where Hamlin Garland's home once stood before being burned down in the early 20th century, although there's a fair amount of stuff on Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote the Little Prairie books.

As a matter of interest, there are guided tours of the William Allen White House in Emporia, Kansas.

And there's a wealth of stuff in Oklahoma: eight Ralph Ellison-related sites in Oklahoma City (leaflet available from the library, which is open on Saturday); a Woody Guthrie display at the Ofuskee County Historical Museum in Okemah, where he was born; the Will Rogers Iron Dog Ranch and Birthplace Home in Oologah, plus the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore; finally, Sequoyah's cabin is ten miles north of Sallisaw.

Snatch51 said...

Sallisaw was the local town of the family in "Grapes of Wrath". Is there any kind of an acknowledgement to be found in the town?

You can certainly add Muskogee to a list of Oklahoma destinations, as there is the Museum of the Five Civilized Tribes, (documenting fairly dispassionately some dirty secrets of American history); and yet the town gives its name to Merle Haggard's hymn to American patriotism, "Okee from Muskogee".

The Black Hills of South Dakota contain Mount Rushmore, yes; but also the unfinished Crazy Horse monument, sample website:


Perhaps this is a fitting metaphor for the unfinished business of the native American peoples. (Now again called Indian Nations it appears).

And yes, visiting North Dakota is unfinished business for this poster!

Snatch51 said...

The Will Rogers Highway was another name for the iconic Route 66.

This site is quite interesting:


There is plenty about Route 66 of course, on the internet and everywhere else, with Steinbeck's 'Grapes of Wrath' as possibly the definitive Route 66 novel.

One end of the Highway is supposed to be Santa Monica, at 'Lincoln and Olympic', according to one song.

Will Rogers is commemorated in Los Angeles by Will Rogers Park, where at least one celebrity has been caught in an embarrassing situation. I wouldn't mind naming names, but am a bit hazy on my celebs.

The site above mentions plenty of places that I missed, but seems to omit Lucille's in Hydro OK. Hope they haven't knocked that down!

Snatch51 said...

Can't resist another comment based on the Route 66 thread: stayed at a KOA campground in Seligman AZ. (They may mean Kampgrounds of America, but anyway, you get a loyalty card and a handbook).

"So," I say to the lady, "is it Seligman, [as in lignite], or Seligman, [as in Cellphone]?"

"Well," she says, "we talk about that a lot around here...in fact, there isn't a whole heap more around here to talk about!"