Granite relics, historic homesteads and spiritual sanctuaries were showcased at the first Arabia Mountain Expedition entitled “Lithonia Rocks.” The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation organized the day-long tour for more than 80 curious explorers. Highlights of the day included tours of private homes and gardens and personal discussions with artisans, designers and historians.
The November 17th event started with explorations of two early library sites in historic downtown Lithonia and concluded with candlelight tours of two private homesteader sites in the Klondike National Register Historic District. This “expedition” was different from typical tours arranged by the Georgia Trust for enthusiasts of architectural history. First, there was great variety in the types of sites available to guests in a single tour. Second, a natural conservation area and former granite quarry, the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve, was also featured.
Visitors lunched in the relaxing Heritage Center at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit and were treated to a discussion with Father Methodius, who designed and constructed the stained glass windows in the Abbey Church. At the Smryna Presbyterian Church and Campground, a pilgrimage site for family worship since 1827, church members shared stories of their campground traditions.
Mark McDonald , president & CEO of the Georgia Trust, sums up the group’s visit to the National Heritage Area: “The Georgia Trust greatly enjoyed our visit to Arabia Mountain and to the historic and cultural sites in the area. Many of our members have commented on the rich heritage of this part of DeKalb County and remarked on what an undiscovered jewel it is.”
Thanks to the Georgia Trust for organizing the event and to Vulcan Materials Company for their sponsorship.
You can read local coverage of the Lithonia tour from “On Common Ground” by clicking here.
Take a virtual tour below! And for more pictures from a “expeditioner” follow this link to Toni Mattson’s photography page.