You’ve Heard of Georgia Peaches. What About Georgia Marble?

You’ve Heard of Georgia Peaches. What About Georgia Marble?

April 14, 2015

Did you know that in Georgia, marble is nearly as iconic in status as peaches? In fact, once a year, the public is allowed to tour the largest open pit marble quarries in the world during the Annual Georgia Marble Festival. Indeed, Georgia Marble has been mined for decades and has been used to create historic architecture around the world.


Historic photo of the Georgia Marble Company. Image from the collection of Ed Jackson, from This Day in Georgia History.
In 1884, Samuel Tate founded the Georgia Marble Company. The company’s mines contained some of the best quality marble, and almost every type of marble found in the U.S. Tate leased out the land for others to use the plentiful supply of marble. Every variety, in just about every size, was extracted and transported by railroad.
In 1905, Tate partnered with Earl Mayes Caldwell and the two became co-presidents and general managers of the company. The business grew quickly. That is, until concrete began replacing marble in buildings. In January of 1946, the nearby Etowah River in nearby Cherokee County reached a depth of 26.7 feet and flooded the county—including the Georgia Marble Company plant, which was under over a foot of water. In 1969, with business failing, the company was purchased by Jim Walter Corporation. It changed hands many times over the next few decades and was finally acquired by Polycor in 2003.

Today at Marble and Granite, Inc., we offer two kinds of Georgia Marble. Pearl Grey features vast veins with varying shades of gray meandering throughout classic white. The effect creates a subtle, yet captivating effect. And Cherokee White marble is characterized by a soft blend of shimmering white crystals, gently brushed with subdued light grey veining that softly skims across the surface, offering timeless brilliance.

                    Pearl Grey from the Georgia Marble Company (Now Polycor); photo via Marble and Granite, Inc.                        



Cherokee White Marble from the Georgia Marble Company (Now Polycor); photo via Marble and Granite, Inc.

Some of the most notable buildings to be built with marble from the Georgia Marble Company include the New York Stock Exchange annex, the statue of Abraham Lincoln at Washington D.C.’s Lincoln Memorial, The National Air and Space Museum, the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art, the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland and the Buckingham Fountain in Chicago.


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