Fernbank: a Forest in the City

Emily Harrison once wrote to her parents, “These heartstrings of ours have a curious way of getting tangled up in things: particularly trees and rocks and hill slopes…but gradually I had come to feel that Fernbank was too big and too beautiful for [one] family[‘s] consumption…The best thing to do with it would be to put it into the lives of children…”

And so the seed was planted that would ultimately grow into Fernbank.  Emily Harrison’s family owned the land that the natural history museum would come to stand on.  However, it was through her own determination that the institution was transformed from a dream to reality.  She had a deep love for the forest surrounding her home, and with developers encroaching on wooded spaces, she felt it was increasingly important to save the land. Continue reading “Fernbank: a Forest in the City”

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“The Old Man of the Mountain”

Stone Mountain has been standing in DeKalb long before the county was apportioned and named.  It has drawn the attention, wonder, and curiosity of people from around the world.  Visitors are able to climb up a hiking trail for exercise, to take photographs, have a picnic, or simply to marvel at the view from the top.  Taking a walk up the mountain is straightforward; one need only follow the yellow lines up, and closer to the top a fence keeps hikers safe from getting trapped on steep sides or falling down to the bottom.

However, it was not always such a safe endeavor to take a trek up the mountain.  Before Stone Mountain was turned into a public park, there was no incentive to have a marked trail.  The fence around the top of the mountain was falling apart, and had only been placed to keep people from throwing rocks down on workers carving the monument back in 1923.

Stone Mountain 4
Fence atop Stone Mountain

So it was inevitable that people, either lost or hoping to get a better look at the carving from the top, would lose their footing and find themselves stuck, perilously close to falling.  Salvation for these people came in the form of a man: Elias Nour. Continue reading ““The Old Man of the Mountain””