A “rocky” visit to the Granite Capital of the World: It’s an unusual fact, but one you’ll probably never forget: One North Georgia city is responsible for roughly two-thirds of all the headstones in this country. That place is Elberton – and for people interested in exploring Georgia history, there’s a fascinating story waiting there.
Elberton was founded back in 1803, and it located about 35 miles east of Athens. Before the Civil War, Elberton was an agriculture town, but in the years following the way, granite quarrying became more and more important to the area, as the rock was used in rebuilding railroad infrastructure. It just so happens that Elberton is located on what could be called a “river of rock,” with unusually high-quality granite running right through the area. According to Christopher J. Kubas of the Elberton Granite Association, "You're talking about a vein of granite that is 35 miles long, it's about six miles wide, and it's about 2-3 miles in depth of solid rock, so there is an abundance of granite available, some of which we'll probably never get to."
So how did Elberton granite come to be so famously used for monuments? The answer lies in the strange story of a scandalous statue nicknamed “Dutchy.” According to Kubas, a group of women in the 1890s decided they wanted to build a granite monument in the town square to commemorate Confederate veterans who has passed away in the war. However, things didn’t quite go according to plan: "The sculptor was probably a German immigrant, maybe from up north, who had never seen a Confederate soldier. So, when he sculpted Dutchy, he actually sculpted Dutchy with a Union uniform,” says Kubas. “The last thing people here in Elberton wanted was a statue of a Northern Union solder looking over them.”
Dutchy soon became the most hated “man” in town, and in 1900, angry townspeople yanked him down. But as news of Dutchy spread, so did the fact that the granite from which he was sculpted was so pure and beautiful. Thus, craftsman began using Elberton granite for monuments, launching an entire industry.
Good Day Atlanta’s Paul Milliken spent some time exploring the Elberton Granite Museum (which happens to be Dutchy’s final resting place) and the downtown area, learning more about the area’s unique history.
"MasterChef Junior" winner Jasmine Stewart stops by Good Day Atlanta to talk about Camp MasterChef and discuss her new online show "Cooking With MasterChef." For more information on today's spicy jerk poppers recipe see below. For more on Camp MasterChef or how you can attend click here.
Spicy Jerk Poppers
• Mix ground sirloin
• 1 egg
• ¼ cup of breadcrumbs
• 1 tbsp of olive oil
• 2 tbsp of soy sauce
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 tbsp of fresh chopped rosemary
• 1 tsp of fresh garlic
• 2 tsp of cayenne pepper
• ¼ tsp of nutmeg
• ¼ tsp of allspice
• ½ tsp of ginger
• ½ tsp of cinnamon
Mix the spices together and add ¾ of the mixture to the ground sirloin
Mix all of the ingredients with the meatball and roll into 1inch size meatballs
Then, on medium heat sear all of the meatballs until a nice crust forms on the outside
Then put 2 ½ tbsp of butter, 3 cloves of garlic, the rest of the spice mixture, and 2 sprigs of rosemary to your pan. Then baste all of your meatballs with the butter mixture. Put the meatballs in the oven at 350 until the meatballs are fully cooked through
• Zucchini noodles
Take a vegetable peeler and peel thin ribbons of the zucchini
Stack the ribbons on top of each other, and roll them up
Then slice thin strips of the zucchini
Take your zucchini noodles and put them in pan on medium heat with olive oil
and 1 tsp of garlic and salt and pepper and the juice of ¼ of a lemon and cook until the noodles are tender
½ a cup of plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp of garlic
1 ½ tsp of parsley
1 tsp of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
mix all the ingredients together