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Georgia Marble
About North Georgia

Marble in Georgia

Marble is a crystalline form of calcium carbonate that has been quarried in Gilmer and Pickens County in North Georgia. The colors of these marbles varies from white in Gilmer County marble (known as Murphy Marble), to pink or rose known as Etowah marble (only found near Tate, Georgia),

Beginning of Production

Marble work in North Georgia began with the Cherokee Indians, although it was not a major craft within the Cherokee Nation. There are some existing examples of their work still in existence. Henry Fitzsimmons (some sources list the name as Fritz Simmons) spotted a marble outcrop in Pickens County in 1836 along the Old Federal Road. In 1838 Fitzsimmons began limited production of marble taken from outcrops.

Quarrying operations began in 1840 in Longswamp Valley near Tate, but production seems to be limited at the time to tombstones. Polishing was done by hand and Fitzsimmons' work left a lot to be desired. In 1842 he began milling the marble in a facility near the Marble Hill post office, the first marble milling operation in the state. A second mill was built east of Jasper, Georgia with a partner.

Tate, Adkinson & Company began to quarry marble in 1850. They organized two mills on Longswamp Creek and hired an agent to travel throughout North Georgia to take orders for tombstones. Delivery was done in a mule wagon. The Tate Company changed ownership to Rankin, Summy and Hurlock in 1852. In 1854 Fitzsimmons' mill in Jasper was reopened and expanded by these men. All these mills were abandoned during The Civil War.

Georgia Marble Company founded

With capital of 1.5 million dollars the Georgia Marble Company was founded on May 10, 1884, spending some $800,000 on land, mills, and adding a branch railroad to the Marietta and North Georgia Railroad, later the Atlanta, Knoxville and Northern Division of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.

The following year the Southern Marble Company (sometimes called the Southern Marble Quarries), a Massachusetts company with quarries centered in Marble Hill, Georgia (Pickens County), opened for business. In 1897 the 9-mile Amicalola Railroad was completed to Marble Hill, completing a loop with the railroad built by the Georgia Marble Company.

By 1900, only Vermont produced more marble than Georgia.



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