|Latitude 34 North|
Historic Markers Across Georgia
The Granite Bowl
Elberton contains one of the most unique features in the state of Georgia and thousands of football fans will attest to this fact. Elberton, chartered December 10, 1803, was settled because turkey hunters found a pleasant area situated around a spring. In 1812, town commissioners purchased the spring from a private owner. It was used for drinking water until the city of Elberton built a water system around 1899. From that time forward, the spring was forgotten.
The spring was unfortunately used as a dump and was overgrown with weeds and bushes. Because it was right off the downtown square, citizens had to view this eyesore on a regular basis. Local resident and Elberton City Parks Director Ben Sutton came up with the idea of improvement. He envisioned a football stadium for the Elberton School System, whose football team was the Blue Devils. After floating the idea by Elberton High School Football Coach Lee "Chuck" Atkinson, Mr. Sutton talked to City Council members and convinced them to support his plan. The Council promised to purchase a culvert, clean the area, and install lights and poles.
Beginning in the summer of 1951, local contractors loaned bulldozers for the project. The spring was covered, and a drainage pipe funneled it under the portion leveled for the playing field. Since Elberton is the Granite Capital of the World, there were several local companies willing to donate various sizes of sawed granite pieces for the seating area. Sand for mortar and fill dirt was donated and money was contributed.
In 1954, the Elberton Blue Devils prepared for the first game. The new stadium had a field-level granite wall encirclement. On the home side, five rows of granite seats were completed between the 20 yard lines. The visitors´ side had only two rows, with a 40 foot dirt hill rising above it. Unfortunately, the first game played in the Granite Bowl was lost in the fourth quarter to Morgan County, 7-0. A week later, a victory was celebrated when the Blue Devils defeated a team from Greenwood, South Carolina, 33-0.