Monument on Main Street: The Oglethorpe Monument just north of the historic wooden bridge on Main Street in Jasper. It was dedicated in 1930, moved to Jasper in 1999
By David Altman
Did you know that the beautiful Oglethorpe Monument at the top of Main Street is made of Pickens County marble—the same marble used to build the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.? The 38-foot high structure was dedicated in 1930 by Col. Sam Tate of the Georgia Marble Company as a tribute to General James Edward Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia.
What we know about Oglethorpe, who was from Surry, England, was not only that he founded the “colony” of Georgia in 1733 but he also helped ‘recruit’ his fellow countrymen to come and live here. He spent more than 10 years here after founding the colony helping to protect it militarily and also create jobs and further economic development.
The striking monument now stands opposite the old jail, and is about 100 steps from the offices of this newspaper. Newcomers to the area might not know that the monument hasn’t always been on Main Street. From 1930 until 1958, the monument stood at Grassy Knob, about 10 miles east of town on Mount Oglethorpe (which is still the highest point in Pickens County at just over 3,200 feet). Mount Oglethorpe, which is now on private land, was once the Southern end of the Appalachian Trail--when the trail was first established in 1937--although the trail’s Southern Terminus was later moved to Springer Mountain.
The monument was refurbished before the move to downtown and ultimately moved to its current location in 1999.