"Henry County's Connection to Stone Mountain"
Henry County's connection to the famous Confederate Memorial at Stone Mountain and the Civil War
is through Aaron Cloud. He is one of Ezekiel Cloud's sons. He built an observation tower on top of
the mountain in 1838. It was destroyed by high winds a few years before the beginning of the Civil
1. Aaron Clouds Tower
2. Stone Mountain
3. The two mysteries of Stone Mountain
4. Stone Mountain and the Civil War
5. Finished product of the Stone Mountain Memorial
6. Photo's of the mountain from the ground & on top
7. Stone Mountain Half Dollar
"Aaron Clouds Tower on Stone Mountain"
In 1838, Aaron Cloud, son of Ezekiel Cloud, of McDonough began erecting an observation tower
on the tallest part of Stone Mountain. There was a platform
at the top where visitors could pay a fee to climb three hundred steps to the top.
Aaron had the idea that the tower known as "Clouds Tower" would make him money.
It did until a few years before the Civil War the wind blew the tower over. He had not anchored the
structure to the mountain. The tower was 165 feet tall and only gravity was holding it in place. It
cost some $5,000 to build the tower. It had to be a hard
task to build the tower because the logs used to build the tower had to be hauled up the mountain. It
was a good feat for the time to build such a structure in the early days of DeKalb County.
"Stone Mountain and the Civil War"
There is a Confederate Cemetery at Stone Mountain where 150 unknown soldiers who died in local
hospitals or in skirmishes with the Union Cavalry who raided through th e area. The mountain was a
perfect viewing point for observing troop movements but was a poor site for fortifications due to the
fact it could not be sustained.
In 1916, Gutzon Borglum the famous sculptor started work on a huge plan to put seven large figures
being followed by the army marching behind. The First World War cut funding for the project. Mr.
Borglum was finishing General Lee's head when in 1925 he got into an argument with the organizers
and destroyed his plans and left. He went on to create Mount Rushmore. The carving was finally
finished in 1972 on a smaller
scale with the figures of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis. The carving is still
the world's largest. It is 400 feet above the ground and recessed 42 feet into the face of the
This is the largest exposed granite rock in the world. It is some 700 foot tall and 2 miles long. The
mountain is east of Atlanta in DeKalb County. The Arabia Mountain and Panola Mountain areas
are part of this type of out-cropping of granite. The Indians called it "Lone Mountain." The early
white settlers called it "Rock Mountain" or "Rock Fort Mountain."
The name was changed in 1847 after the town of Stone Mountain which came into existence in
1839 with the beginning of a post office. The town was in the shadows
of the mountain.
The 3,000 acre Stone Mountain Park was created to honor the Confederate soldiers and sailors.
The carving of the Confederate soldiers on the mountain is in honor to the Old South. It was begun
in 1916 and stopped in 1925. But was again restarted in 1958 and finished in 1972. It was a grand
"The Mystery of Stone Mountain"
There were two mysterious granite formations that attracted the speculation of generations of Stone
Mountain tourists that no longer exist. Time and man have destroyed them.
The first oddity was a ring of huge boulders that completely encircled the crown of the mountain.
The wall was about four feet tall and had one opening. It was a gap under one stone that a man
could crawl under on hands and knees to get inside.
On June 25, 1822, Rev. Francis R. Goulding, a novelist and inventor, described the site as a wall
built breast high of loose stone. He did not know who built the structure. His Indian Guide was
Kanooka who told him that the wall was there when his people settled the area.
Leila Venable Eldridge said in 1951 that she believed it has a connection to Fort Mountain near
Chatsworth, GA and the stone structures on Lookout Mountain used during the Civil War. The
structure was destroyed by quarrying and sculptor Gutzon
Baglum in 1923 destroyed the rest to protect his workers.
The second strange mystery of Stone Mountain ws the "Devil's Crossroads." Mrs. Eldridge wrote
about two fissures in the rock which began as cracks. They widened and crossed at right angles.
The width and depth was five feet at their intersection.
The cracks were of different lengths, with the longer one extending about 400 feet.
One crevice ran exactly norh and south, the other east and west. The natural compass was
covered at the junction by a flat rock about 200 feet in diameter and 5 to 10 feet thick. This was a
favorite spot for those who climbed the mountain to see the sunrise. The unusual phenomenon was
destroyed by those quarrying the stone several years ago. Another great loss to history.
1. The Mother of Counties, 1971, Mrs. Rainer
2. The Atlanta Journal, Story about DeKalb Co., 1989.
3. History of Stone Mountain, 1970, Franklin M. Garrett.
4. U.S. Coins, 2004, Yeoman.