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SPRING 2021 70 YEAR ANNIVERSARY A year later, and what is the new normal…. We have just cycled past the one-year mark from when the COVID-19 pandemic began to wreak havoc upon all of our lives. This pandemic has lasted much longer than any of us could have imagined. It has been a very somber year, marked with considerable grief and loss of life. Even for us in the death care industry, who are accustomed to seeing the reality of death on a daily basis, this has been an emotionally trying time. As we climb out from the past year, we begin trying to re-open our lives and our businesses. We also begin to assess what has changed in a year and what we find is that a great deal has changed. Everything from dealing with customers and employee issues to production and delivery schedules has changed. What was normal a year ago is no longer normal today. It leaves us asking, “what is the new normal?” My retail memorialist friends tell me that a year ago, they thought nothing of customers walking into the office and carrying on personal face-to-face conversations. The more customer traffic that walked through the front door the better; that was how business was done. In dealing with customers today, they are setting up Zoom sales meetings to keep customers out of the office or requiring that the customers make an appointment before just walking through the front door. On the production side of the house, it is the same story. A year ago, the manufacturing plants worked business as usual. The employees all worked together to get the job done, and the products shipped. Today it is different; the employees work with PPE requirements and individual workspaces. In addition, the threat of contracting the virus and passing it on to their family has kept some employees home. All of this along with occasional 2-week quarantine shut-downs has created a backlog of historical proportions for manufacturers that some of them are still trying to climb out from underneath of. Order inflows have jumped so much that new capital expenditures in labor and equipment may be required to catch up and keep up. There is not a quick fix in sight. As much as we don’t like it, this may be the new normal. The reality is, that customer interaction and production and delivery have all been affected by the pandemic and probably will be for the foreseeable future. In speaking with our manufacturing counterparts in other areas of the country, they are facing the same issues as we are here in Elberton. I probably get a dozen phone calls a month from retailers asking about changing suppliers. When I drill down to the reason why they want to change, the answer is usually the same, they are looking for faster delivery. Unfortunately, the new normal for delivery is something much different than it was a year ago. The Elberton Granite Association and its members are committed to producing the finest granite monuments and memorials available, and no, we are not running out of granite in this country. We are however, having to work through and around a pandemic that has pushed us to limits not seen before in our industry. To all of our retail customers, we thank you for your support and for working with us during this unprecedented time. Together, we will define what will be the new normal. Solid Rock Expands Their Production Space SOLID ROCK GRANITE INTERIORS, an EGA Member-Firm began construction of a brand-new addition to their plant in late 2020. The new building serves to house the countertop manufacturing firm with additional storage for their granite along with an orderly place for customers to browse the many options available. The building had been in the planning stages for over a year until the decision was made to purchase more land to the left of the existing building and begin laying a foundation. Chad and Kari Booth, owners of Solid Rock put extra thought into the many functions that they would want this building to serve so they equipped the building with special features such as a 3 Ton Overhead Crane from Travco, fellow EGA Member-Firm. They also installed a set of rails that go from inside the main building, through a side door and into the new building to that granite pieces can be loaded onto a transfer cart and carried from building to building without much effort. The building expanded their facility by about 5,400 square feet. It offers the business easier accessibility and a more fluid work flow. Solid Rock has been a voting member of Elberton Granite Association since 2008. The business has been in operation since 2003 when Chad and Kari opened the doors on Hartwell Highway. The business is mostly focused around countertops but also work on special projects such as podiums, tables, signs and showers. The team is always up for a new projects and this new building addition has only made it easier to rise up to those challenges. It is always exciting watching the businesses of Elberton, Georgia grow and thrive. River Edge Grows Their Family Operations River Edge Granite would like to welcome Anna Ruff. Anna graduated with a Bachelors degree from the University of Georgia in the fall of 2018. In 2020, Anna decided to join the family company alongside her mom, dad and Uncle Kyle. Since, she has been in charge of all of the drafting work for River Edge. “I am so grateful to be able to work alongside my family. I am excited to contribute to a company and industry that has been so good to my family and many others in Elberton.” Anna stated. Ansley Ruff Hill has joined her parents Greg & Shannon Ruff along with Uncle Kyle Ruff in their family business. She is a home school Graduate of 2015 and attended Athens Technical College. Ansley will be helping in the order entry system and answering the phones along with all the other clerical duties. Ansley also enjoys doing photography work on the weekends. She and her husband, Max Hill of Hillcrest Granite, are expecting a sweet baby girl in July of this year. The Elberton Granite Association is thrilled for the Ruff family and want to wish both girls the best in their professional and personal endeavors! Congratulations to both daughters and the family! Matthews Granite Adds Scott Gunter To The Fold MATTHEWS GRANITE recently introduced new employee, Scott Gunter. Scott will be fulfilling the role of Operations Manager. He is a 30-year veteran of the granite industry and will carry over his experiences to make a great impact in the business. Scott will be working directly with sandblasting, material/order entry, quality control, import purchasing and domestic purchasing in his new role. The Elberton Granite Association would like to wish a huge welcome to Scott Gunter into the granite industry family. Wilson Celebrates a Good Year with New Machinery WILSON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRIC has recently added several new machines to their production lineup. Each of these new machines will be used to build new granite manufacturing equipment that will be sold to manufactures here in Elberton and throughout the United States. The investment of these new machines is a commitment by Wilson Electric to progressively stay on the cutting edge of manufacturing, and to be able to offer their customers the highest quality American made granite manufacturing tools and equipment. Automated Hydraulic Brake Press One of their newest additions is a press brake machine used for bending sheet metal and plate material. It forms predetermined bends by clamping the workpiece between a punch and die. Ram movement is powered by AC Servo motors driving hydraulic oil in line with Variable Speed Pump. New technology allows silent bends as the noise level is reduced to 63 dbA and saves 62% energy in stand-by mode. 100 Ton Hydraulic CNC Metal Shear A must-have in any metal fabrication company is a strong and reliable hydraulic metal shear. Wilson Industrial Electric recently purchased a 100-ton hydraulic CNC metal shear machine. Shearing is a metal fabricating process used for cutting sheet metal, plate, aluminum and stainless steel to size. The machine can cut sheets of metal as thick as 6 mm. It can cut a sheet of metal just over 10-feet long. The blades can be set to cut at a maximum 2-degree angle and minimum .5 degree to assist the blades in a smooth and clean cut. The metal to be cut is held in place with hold-downs. The cuts are positioned by a squaring arm with scale on it or with a back gauge. Other angles are possible with an angle gauge. On some sheet metal shears and most plate shears, the blade gap is adjustable for different metal thicknesses. Metal is placed between two blades: one upper and one lower blade. One of the blades will generally remain stationary. Wilson Industrial Electric works hard to ensure that they have the latest of technologies and capabilities to keep up with their goal of top-level, quality work. This machine is yet another way that they have maximized their production. 3D Hand Held Scanner, A Great Addition! This Portable 3D Scanner is a great addition to Wilson Industrial Electric. It is able to represent the original object with astounding 0.1 mm 3D point accuracy. The scanner is versatile, flexible and portable. It is able to read both the geometry and color of the object being 3D scanned. As a result it collects two sets of data by which to track and to perform post-processing. Laser scanners are able to quickly measure large parts while generating millions of data points instead of hundreds without the need for templates or fixtures. CAD modeling from laser scan data is typically about eight times faster than the time required for the previous process which involved manually creating the model. 3D laser scanning offers tremendous time savings and cost benefits for the metal fabricating and sheet metal forming industry. Most importantly, it provides the ability to reverse engineer and inspect complex parts, assemblies and tooling to a higher level of accuracy and in a shorter period of time than with other methods. Wilson Industrial Electric is excited to be able to step up their production quality and speed with this new addition. New 15 HP, 220 Volt Precision Engine Lathe Another great addition to the Wilson Industrial Electric’s toolbox is this new Precision Engine Lathe. Metal lathes are a large class of lathes designed for precisely machining relatively hard materials like metal, though it can be used for other materials like plastic. These rigid machine tools remove material from a rotating workpiece via the movements of various cutting tools, such as tool bits and drill bits. This lathe features a 15 Horse Power motor. The universal gearbox design allows easy selection of inch and metric threading by just turning the lever to the assigned position instead of changing individual gears outside the headstock. A rotational style lever that results in less movement of the gears compare with the back-and-forth shifting style lever. Less movement of the gears means less wear and greater accuracy. Baston Monuments, Inc. Added A New Pellegrini CNC Diamond Wire Profile Saw To Their Production Line When walking through the manufacturing side of the Baston Monuments’, production warehouse, it is hard to miss the big green machine that runs constantly throughout the business day. The decision came to purchase a machine to improve the production level in their manufacturing plant, so Michael and Sarah Baston did the research they needed and reached out to Miles Supply of Elberton. Baston is an ever-growing company and their demand for monuments continues to grow with them. Diamond Wire Profile Saws are the perfect way to further that goal onward. The diamond wire system has four controlled axes for two dimensional profiling of granite or marble blocks or slabs. The diamond wire is tensioned using an “open circuit” hydraulic system; the wire tension can be adjusted, so both normal and spliced wires can be used. The speed of the saw varies according to each job specification and the material being cut but this machine can easily double the production time in a manufacturing plant. For instance, the saw can be cutting at a consistent speed when cutting a straight edge but will automatically slow down when reaching a corner cut to ensure surfaces are smooth and can be easily polished afterward. The possibilities of what this machine will help Baston accomplish are endless. It can also be used to cut blocks into slabs. It can be used to cut slabs or blocks into monuments. It has the capabilities to take a computer file and cut a stone to match whether it be the external edges being cut or using the machine to create a cutout image in a monument. This CNC Profile Saw was a great addition to the toolbox at Baston Monuments, Inc. It will help them to increase their production level and their capabilities easily. Jenson Etching Adds New Laser Etching Machine Jenson Etching joined in with the many other EGA member-firms in updating and growing their capabilities and production. They recently purchased another Vytek L-Star Laser System to streamline their production. This machine offers a little more power and speed to their existing line-up allowing them to continue serving the granite industry in Elberton and around the nation with the quality that has become their trademark. The new machine utilizes micro stepping drives for unprecedented engraving detail. At any given time, one can walk into Jenson Etching and see multiple impact and laser etching machines simultaneously operating along with several hand etch artists working away on various stones. The Jenson family pride themselves in their work and the trust that their customers puts in them is not something that they take lightly. The purchase of this machine was to ensure that their quality and production speed was the best they can offer to those customers. Keystone Memorials Graduates Robert Reiten As A Certified Stonecutter From EGA’s Apprenticeship Program Keystone Memorials, Inc. and Elberton Granite Association are proud to announce their newest certified stonecutter, Robert Reiten. Robert went above and beyond the required 1,530 hours and completed 1,591 hours of apprenticeship under his trainer, Scott Ruff of Keystone. Robert has been with Keystone since September of 2019. Scott stated, “Robert did a good job, and there needs to be many more young people like Robert coming up behind him to learn like he did.” We are looking forward to seeing the future works of art created by Robert. The best of luck is sent his way. Elberton Granite Association Welcomes The Newest Voting Member - Bear Creek Mining, LLC The Elberton Granite Industry has recently experienced quite a bit of excitement as there is a new entity in town. Welcome to the newest member of the Elberton Granite Association family, Bear Creek Mining. The company is owned and operated by Chapin Phillips. The company was formed in 2018 as an investment and development company whose main focus was raw material being quarried. Bear Creek Mining is a community-oriented company and are mission driven. Their goal is to increase production in the granite quarries and create jobs that can offer the coming generations a livelihood in Elberton. This is being accomplished through Savanah Valley Quarries (SVQ), a subsidiary of Bear Creek Mining. They are working to update machinery in the quarry sites that have been acquired and making a better and safer workplace. Bear Creek Mining recently purchased several quarries in the area and partnered with several key men in the granite industry. Several of the quarries that will be overseen by Bear Creek are shown in the photographs. Though many of the quarries are owned by Bear Creek, the men who formerly operated the quarries and their teams are still doing so. Some of the men that have partnered with Chapin at Bear Creek Mining are David Dye, Randy & Jake Smith, and Mike & Bo Rutherford. “I play a part, but these guys are the main characters. They keep things moving” stated Chapin Phillips when asked about his partnerships. Many advancements have been made in the last months since Bear Creek and team have begun their work. Two new ledges have been opened at the Harmony Blue Quarry. Harper’s Quarry has increased their production, A new section is in the process of opening at Tri-Star Quarry and the Robin Blue Quarry has been reopened. Echol Mills has also continued its production. Bear Creek’s desire to move the granite industry further is certainly in motion. The Elberton Granite Association would like to extend a big welcome to Bear Creek Mining. We look forward to working with the team that they have put together to continue the growth of the granite industry. EGA Welcomes Newest Member, Georgia Mausoleums, Inc. Georgia Mausoleums, Inc. is one of Elberton Granite Association’s newest members. The owner, Jesse Hernandez, is excited to be producing custom mausoleums and columbariums here in Elberton, Georgia. Jesse is very experienced in the granite industry, as he has been the general manager of another firm for over twenty years. Jesse has dedicated his life to the granite industry since 1987. He has diversified his abilities throughout the years, specializing in laser and hand etching, sculpting work, and the creation of granite mausoleums and memorials. For many years, Jesse has dedicated time each fall to participate in Elberton Granite Association’s Monument Retail Course. Year after year, Jesse tours the class through the warehouse and answers any and all questions that the students have about manufacturing mausoleums and columbaria. Georgia Mausoleums, Inc. is located on Bowman Highway. EGA wants to extend a warm welcome to Jesse and wish him all the best in his new endeavors. A Tribute To Elberton’s Own Sculptor Steve Mooney December of 2020 brought a loss to Elberton’s granite industry and many monument retailers across the nation. The Elberton Granite Association would like to take just a moment to recognize the life-long contribution that sculptor and artisan, Steve Mooney made to the granite industry. Steve spent his days taking blocks of granite and chiseling them into works of art in the form of memorials and monuments. His work will stand for all days to come in cemeteries and parks throughout not only the United States but overseas as well. Steve first showed up in the Elberton’s Graniteer magazine spring of 1987 when he was hired by Keystone Memorials. He became the first full-time staff artist to produce etched pictorial carvings in granite with an EGA member. However, Steve’s desire to become a sculptor guided him and it didn’t take him long to turn his career in that direction. By Fall of 1993 he was once again in the Graniteer assuming the position of in-house sculptor for Keystone Memorials. Throughout Steve’s career he was noted in the Graniteer seventeen times. Thirteen of his works of art were featured including his famous UGA granite bulldog sculpture that stood behind the east end zone at Sanford Stadium, the veterans monument on the Hartwell, Georgia courthouse square and a Pearl Harbor Memorial located in Marietta, Georgia. Steve’s works of arts made the cover of the Graniteer magazine seven times. He was a legend in his time and he will be missed by all who had the honor to know him and work with him. Laser, Hand or Impact? Which Will You Choose? Have you ever contemplated the differences between the services that can be done on a stone to fulfill its need or purpose of its owner? There are so many options with today’s technology and they can all blend together if you aren’t paying attention. In the previous edition of The Graniteer, we briefly discussed the differences between a few options to personalize your stone whether it be a personal stone portraying a person’s life, a war monument memorializing brave acts of our military or a public monument that may depict the name of a company, park or cemetery. Today, we are going to dive deeper into the options available with three forms of etching. We are going to take a look at the differences between laser etching, impact etching and hand etching. These services are all similar, yet so vastly different and each one has its own unique characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. The images used in this article, along with many of the details, are all provided by EGA Member-Firm, Jenson Etching. Jenson is a member that provides each of these skills in-house on a daily basis. Jenson has been operating for over 35 years and is owned by Anne Jenson and her family. Anne carefully selects her artists to ensure they can fulfill the needs of her customers with the utmost quality. Etching in stone is likely the oldest form of art as it was seen in the Paleolithic period, the age of cavemen. Ancient humans began carving symbols and signs on walls of caves during the Stone Age. They used a combination of chisels and hammer stones to create murals and maps showing trails, rivers, people and animals. This was a great form of communication for time and distances traveled and great instructions on how to follow a herd. It left a storyline for centuries to come. The modern day form of etching does a very similar task. Etching allows a family to depict a scene of one’s life or that which was important to a person. For instance, a person who may have loved their life on a farm would likely have an etched scene of their farm or their beloved animals or tractors on their headstone. This tells the generations to come what was at the heart of their passed family. One may prefer to display a collage of photographs of family. This can also be accomplished with etching. In the case of a war memorials, such as a Vietnam monument, may depict a scene of soldiers with their weapons with a medic helicopter landing. The art of etching leaves place for art that can portray the emotions and reality of a moment permanently engraved in stone. Hand etching is a top choice for a person who truly wants to personalize a piece of art onto their monument. The art of hand-etching is one where the artist has full control of each stroke the same as a painter would on a blank canvas. Hand etching is done using a hand-held rotary tool equipped with a diamond tipped bit. This allows the artist to methodically scratch an image onto the granite surface. The artist can etch a photograph given to them by simply “sketching” the image given to them or one described to them by the customer. A big advantage to hand etching is that a flat surface is not required. For instance, an etched image of a flag can be draped around the edges of a monument giving a 3D effect of a flag laying on the monument. Another example is a monument may have the image of a waterfall sitting atop a base that features a chamfer where the artist can make the waterfall appear to pool into the chamfer on the base. Hand etching is not as restricted to what granite is used. Colors of granite that would not be as ideal for other forms of etching can be used more frequently when utilizing a hand-etched artistic approach. Hand-etching also allows for a deeper impression of the image which allows the use of color paint on the image. Laser etching is done by using a machine equipped with a laser and mirrors. The stone is placed on the laser machine perfectly level. The art is loaded into a computer connected to the laser machine which has been turned into a series of dots to create the image desired. The machine then uses the computer along with mirrors to move a laser across the stone. As the laser moves across the stone it burns the series of dots into the surface of the granite monument, creating the desired image. Laser etching offers a consistent pattern when looking directly at the dot pattern that creates the image. This is preferred by many over the hand etching which offers more diverse of a pattern. Laser etching is most visible and clear when etched on a darker granite with a smaller grain, however with the right team working on the project, other colors and variances of grain can be etched as well. The image being etched can be a photograph, a collage of photographs or a scene created on the computer. Laser etching does require a flat surface for the image to be placed. Once the laser etching is completed, a paint such as acrylic will be painted onto the image to brighten its appearance. Impact etching is a middle ground between laser and hand etching. It is still done on a machine (as is laser etching), but it is also accomplished by actually striking the stone with a diamond tipped tool (as in hand etching). The image is sent to the machine via a computer that has converted the image to a series of dots and the machine systematically creates the image on the stone by physically hitting it with the sharp diamond tip. The machines hit the stone physically, which results in bright, deep, sparkling etchings. The etching instantly is at customer-ready quality and does not require the painting that the laser etching requires. Another perk to impact etching is that since it is created with deeper dots, it can hold color paint much better whereas laser etching often-times is not burnt deep enough to hold color paint as well. The impact etching machine is not as tedious to set up as the laser machine. The impact etching machine is built with a surface tracking technology, which means that the stone does not have to be perfectly flat or level, as opposed to the laser etchers. How Do You Correct Wrong Information Being Spread? You Speak The Truth. The Elberton Granite Association would like to take a moment to correct a few articles that have been printed and been broadcast in the media. It is said that there is a shortage of granite this year the same as there was a shortage of toilet paper last year due to recent events that have affected every one of us. Let us assure everyone with facts that this is not the case for Elberton, Georgia and we feel confident it is not the case in America at all. The supply of granite under the surface of the earth has barely been scratched and is sufficient to continue to supply the needs. Truth #1 -Elberton Georgia is known as the “Granite Capital of the World”, and it is with good reason that we make this claim. Since the 1870’s, Elberton has been supplying beautiful blue gray granite which is used for monuments and memorials throughout the United States. The Elberton Granite District sits on a vein of accessible granite, which is approximately 35 miles long, 6 miles wide and 2 miles in solid rock depth. Because of this accessible vein of granite, there are approximately 40 quarries in operation, more than 50 granite manufacturers in operation and a multitude of support businesses, all which employ over 2,000 people. In addition, the quarrying operations in the Elberton granite district have only scratched the surface of the granite that is still available for the future. Truth #2 -Because of the tremendous resource of granite and the industry that supports it, the Elberton granite district is able to quarry, manufacture and ship millions of tons of granite each year. In fact, approximately two-thirds of all the monuments and memorials manufactured in the United States come from Elberton Georgia! Every day, Elberton manufacturers ship truckload after truckload of finished monuments and memorials made from Elberton granite, out to monument retailers, cemeteries, and funeral homes throughout the United States. Truth #3 -The Elberton granite industry sells granite wholesale-only and our manufacturers maintain excellent relationships with monument retailers, funeral homes, and cemeteries across the nation. There is no shortage of granite in Elberton nor is there a shortage of monuments or memorials leaving Elberton Georgia. Although Elberton primarily quarries blue gray granite, our manufacturers also use a variety of other colors of granite that are quarried in various locations throughout North America. Colors such as American Black from PA., Missouri Red from MO., Texas Red from TX., Dakota Mahogany from SD, Salisbury Pink from NC. Chapel Rose from OK. and Barre Grey from VT., just to name a few. These granites are all quarried in North America and are shipped in block form to Elberton every day for our manufacturers to use. Truth #4 -The COVID-19 pandemic has affected manufacturing here in America and the Elberton granite is no exception. We are experiencing production delays associated with the pandemic, which are ultimately affecting our ability to deliver our products. However, the Elberton Granite Association can assure anyone interested that the granite industry here in Elberton Georgia, along with the other granite quarriers and manufacturers throughout America, are fully capable of supplying granite for monuments and memorials, we are not running out of granite. Retailers, who choose to buy imported finished monuments from manufacturers outside of the United States, may definitely be seeing a disruption in their supply and availability. The Elberton Granite industry is in the business of producing the finest American made granite monuments and memorials. Our products bring closure to families after the loss of a loved one and leave a lasting legacy of a life well lived. Our products highlight war memorials and honor people who sacrificed for the greater good of mankind. Design Mart & Zoom - Making Training Easier Than Ever Easy Access For Gerber Omega & Corel Draw Instruction Design Mart prides itself with staying ahead of the game and on top of the technology available to assist their customers. One of the latest strategies used is introducing Zoom to assist them with staying in touch with their customer’s needs. Zoom calls have made Gerber Omega & Corel Draw instruction easier than ever for EGA member-firm Design Mart. Design Mart has been using Zoom for instructing monument designers with Gerber, Corel Draw and their very own Online Monument Designer & Catalog. Instruction and technical support for Design Mart’s Online Monument Designer & Catalog is of no cost to the active subscribers. An email invitation is sent to the student, and in a couple of clicks, your screen will be shared, and the Design Mart Studio will help with your task as they teach along the way. Most students are new to the Gerber and Corel applications, but help is also available for advanced users. Instruction is available in half hour increments, and multiple students are welcome. Below are some frequent questions asked and can be answered via Zoom call training. How do I draw from scratch? How do I install fonts? How do I open a file that was emailed to me? How do I fit text to a path? How can I get a design to fill correctly? How do I outline/contour? There is no charge for instruction or technical support for Design Mart’s Online Monument Designer & Catalog. If you are an active subscriber free help is available for these questions and many more: Signing Up & Managing Your Account Logging In & Exploring Your Dashboard Using Keyword Search To Find The Monument You Need Creating Your First Monument Adding, Deleting & Editing Components Saving & Printing Your Work Exporting & Cutting Your Work In: Gerber Omega, MonuCAD, CorelDraw, Illustrator, Flexi, Signlab, WinPC Design Mart also has short helpful tutorial videos that can be helpful in learning things like Learning Tools & Features Building a Monument from Scratch Creating a Monument for Laser Etching & Impact Etching Customizing Your Granite Prices Online Catalog & Monument Designer on Mobile Devices Using Your Online Catalog What Makes Design Mart’s Monument Designer Different Importing Custom Images 5TH ANNUAL MUSEUM FOUNDATION GOLF TOURNAMENT ARROWHEAD POINTE GOLF COURSE. It’s time again for EGA to begin preparing for the Annual Museum Foundation Golf Tournament. SPONSORSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE! Hole-In-One Contest • Closest To Pin • Longest Drive Putting Contest • Awards Ceremony & Buffet Sponsor Platinum, Gold & Silver Sponsors Hole Sponsors • Gift Bag Sponsors All proceeds of the Elberton Granite Association’s Annual Golf Tournament are used to benefit the renovation and upkeep of the Elberton Granite Museum. More details to come this summer. 2021 Sponsorship Form There are several ways for your organization to be part of this unique event Awards Ceremony & Buffet Sponsor- $1500 (1 Available, First Come-First Serve) 4 Man Team Name on Event Flyer & Event Website Signage & Recognition at Ceremony 10x10 Tent/Canopy area at Clubhouse if desired. Giveaway items, literature, etc. may be distributed from any tent area (Canopy Not Provided) Platinum Sponsor-$1,500 4 Man Team Name on Event Flyer & Event Website Signage on Holes 1, 10, 18, Driving Range, & Putting Green 10x10 Tent/Canopy area on course if desired. Giveaway items, literature, etc. may be distributed from any tent area (Canopy Not Provided) Gold Sponsor- $1,000 4 Man Team Name on Event Flyer & Event Website Signage on Holes 2 and 11 10x10 Tent/Canopy area on course if desired. Giveaway items, literature, etc. may be distributed from any tent area (Canopy Not Provided) Beverage Cart-$800 4 Man Team Signage at Beverage Cart Name on Event Flyer & Event Website Signage & Recognition at Ceremony 10x10 Tent/Canopy area at Clubhouse if desired. Giveaway items, literature, etc. may be distributed from any tent area (Canopy Not Provided) Silver Sponsor- $500 4 Man Team Name on Event Website Signage at Registration Table 10x10 Tent/Canopy area at Clubhouse if desired. Giveaway items, literature, etc. may be distributed from any tent area (Canopy Not Provided) HOLE SPONSOR PUTTING CONTEST SPONSOR GIFT BAG SPONSORS LONGEST DRIVE SPONSOR HOLE-IN-ONE SPONSOR. Contact Matthew Pruitt at 706-283-2551 or for registration or more information on how you could help with sponsorship. The Elberton Granite Association Museum Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 entity. COMING THIS FALL… MONUMENT RETAILERS COURSE NOVEMBER 1-5, 2021. Start Planning Your Trip Now! FIVE FULL DAYS OF TRAINING INCLUDING...Setting Techniques • Advertising & Marketing • Pricing EGA Cemetery Planning Services • EGA Certified Memorial Program Computer Graphics & Design • Symbolism • Industry Terminology Quarrying Process Manufacturing Techniques Cleaning Options Networking DURING THE 5 DAY SESSION WE WILL VISIT A Working Quarry Manufacturing Plants A Mausoleum Plant An Etching Studio Cost: $300 For More Information Contact Matthew Pruitt at 706-283-2551 or email ON THE COVER One thing that Elberton Granite Association is not short on is talented and dedicated member-firms. Central Granite Company worked with Central Florida Monument Company from Inverness, Florida to create this spectacular triangular obelisk memorial for female veterans of the United Armed Forces, past, present and future. The purpose of the memorial is to teach future generations of Americans the importance of steadfast female presences in the U.S. Military. This monument is on the grounds of the historic Old Citrus County Courthouse in downtown Iverness. It was unveiled and dedicated on January 30, 2021. The triangular obelisk is all polished Flash Black granite with sandblasting on all three sides and blended with laser etched military emblems on one side. The front left side shows a sandblasted silhouette of a female service member saluting. The front right side features the laser etched military emblems with sandblasted stars at the top left and right. The back of the monument shows a sandblasted flag blowing in the wind with the pledge of allegiance directly underneath. The unique imagery of this monument continues with the pitched roof that drops 8-inches on the back side. The angular edges feature curved lines from bottom to top, giving the monument a fluid look of movement and flow. The three steps area all made from Central Granite and are all sawn finish with pencil rounds. It is easy to write of all the special features on this monument and how they all work together but nothing describes the purpose of each feature better than the words sandblasted on the monument underneath the military emblems...“The design of this monument represents what it took the female veterans to accomplish their goals. The three steps signify: family, faith & courage. The three points signify God, country & service. The single point represents their crowning achievements. The curves and height represent the female veteran so they can relate on a more personal level to their monument.” FLASH BLACK Triangular Obelisk CENTRAL GRAY GRANITE. Jenson Etching can always be trusted for excellent etching. Whether it be laser, hand or impact, their work is always spot on. This beautiful monument was designed to show the life of this young gentleman and the smooth transition of the different shades and gradations blend perfectly to accomplish that exact task. This special shaped monument was created by CENTRAL GRANITE COMPANY for Adnerb Enterprises Memorials and Monuments in Ft. Gaines, Georgia. Coping on this project was crafted by FLATWOODS GRANITE. The monument is laced with multiple personal touches from the family of Ms. Brown including a special shaped porcelain insert from PORCELAINS UNLIMITED. The monument’s shape features a rounded top that outlines the musical notes along the top. The tablet and vases are polished on the front and back while the edges are rock pitched. The subbase, base, flower block and coping share the same rock pitch as the tablet with the tops polished. This monument can be found at Benevolence Baptist Church cemetery in Cuthbert, Georgia. This memorial is a perfect example of Elberton member-firms working together with their customers to create a lifelong memorial for a family. CETNRAL BLUE GRANITE. CARNELIAN GRANITE. EAGLE GRANITE COMPANY is responsible for the making of this beautiful and unique Carnelian memorial for Glenwood Cemetery in Houston, Texas. The tablet is polished on front and back with rock pitching on the top and sides. At the head of each burial space are polish topped bevels with 2” polished margins on the sides. Drill holes were placed to attach the special VA bronze plaques. The head of this memorial is flanked with 5-feet of polished topped coping. The edges are rock pitched to blend in with the corner posts that feature a polished apex top. To allow the family a space to sit, a bench was added at the foot of the memorial. The bench seat is all polished sitting atop 2 rock pitched legs. This beautiful memorial will be a place of beauty for this family for centuries to come. KEYSTONE MEMORIALS, INC. fabricated this beautiful American Black memorial for Campbell Monument Company in Provencal, Louisiana. The monument has a polished front with a 2-inch shell rock border and scalloped edges. The back is polished. The base is polished on top with rock pitch edges. Both Vases have polished front and back with rock pitch on both sides and a steel finish on the top. Southern Mausoleums created this columbarium from Dakota Mahogany granite for Campbell Monuments in Provencal, Louisiana. The columbarium contains a total of eighteen niches. The unit is made of Dakota Mahogany with Galaxy Jet Black doors. The exposed granite is all polished except the edges of the base which are finished with a rock pitch. The family name is sandblasted with the family name on front and back while the back of the columbarium is sandblasted with Ecclesiastes 3:1. This final resting place is a great solution for families that need a place for their beloved cremains. Member-Firms HILLCREST GRANITE COMPANY and GLASS ART made this monument the piece of art that you see. The stone was made for Smith Monuments of Stockton, Kansas. The theme that was achieved with the full coverage Glass Art artwork is “The Four Seasons” representing Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. This wonderful stone beautifully conveys the family’s loving expressions and demonstrates the emotional impact of GLASS Art for generations to come. This custom monument is a truly one-of-a kind original work of art. The tablet is all polished and made of Hillcrest Blue granite. Keystone Memorials, Inc. crafted this spectacularly unique monument for The Johns-Carabelli Company in BrookPark, Ohio. The monument is made from Impala Black granite and is all polished. The tablet is flat topped with a check, polished bead and scotia around the sides. The front and two sides have recessed and curved panels. The back of the tablet is laser etched. The tablet sits atop a subbase that has a rounded front side. The oversized base of this monument is polished on all external edges. Keystone did a great job with this extraordinary family memorial. River Edge Granite Company, M&R Granite in Spartanburg, South Carolina and Sculptor Clint Button worked together to create this beautiful Georgia Blue granite memorial. The monument is polished on front and back with rock pitch along the edges and top. The base features a polished top with rock pitch along the sides. The beautiful bas relief carving is the work of sculptor Clint Button and is a good example of simple and inexpensive carvings that have become less common in recent years. The 2-inch deep bas relief of daffodils measures 7-inches wide and 15-inches tall. This monument can be found in the First Presbyterian Church of Woodruff behind Emma Gray Methodist Church in Woodruff, South Carolina. This classic, yet regal mausoleum was created by Star Granite & Bronze, a division of Matthews Granite for Historic Northview Cemetery & Columbarium Garden in Hartwell, Georgia. The mausoleum is nestled against a tree line at the edge of a newly landscaped portion of the cemetery. It is made from the beautiful Silver Cloud granite quarried in Lithonia, Georgia. Silver Cloud granite features a light gray base tone with silvery dynamic veins running through giving it a unique character of its own. The Imperial mausoleum is part of Star Granite’s Legacy Estates collection. Legacy Estates mausoleums offer a highly personalized tribute that allows you to tell your family’s story that will stand the test of time. This style of mausoleum holds six crypts and 12 niches ensuring that there is room for a family to last the span of multiple generations. The overall size is 131-inches wide, 149-inches deep and 146-inches tall. The classic design of the Imperial mausoleum combines clean lines and a well-appointed arched header. The Doric style fluted columns stand tall at each side of the double bronze door and were crafted on a 5 axis CNC Machine along with the oversized planters. The McMullan family chose to personalize their mausoleum by utilizing the exterior side walls to list genealogy to show the history of the McMullan family in Hart County. The right-side wall features a list of grandchildren while the left side wall displays a timeline of seven generations. There is something truly remarkable in the relationship between a handler and his K-9 partner. A trust. An oath. A silent pact that they are there to protect each other. STAR GRANITE & BRONZE, a division of MATTHEWS GRANITE was given the honor of portraying that relationship in this stunning K-9 cremation monument to memorialize K-9 Heroes that gave their lives in the line of duty. From the bronze to the base, Star Granite meticulously formed every detail. The monument was made for Quality Vaults and Monuments in Ocoee, Florida. Jet Black granite was used in the creation of this cremation memorial. The outer edges are all polished to a shine and features a beautiful bevel along the edge of the cap. The tail-end of the memorial has a removable door where each cremation internment can take place. Panels with each K-9’s name and End Of Watch of existing K-9’s who have died in the line of duty are attached to the front face. The base is made of Star Blue granite. This memorial can be found at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Central Operations in Orlando, Florida. Photograph provided by Orange County Sheriff’s Office This unique monument was made by EAGLE GRANITE COMPANY for Brown Memorials in Florence, South Carolina. Brown Memorials sent the design to Eagle and Eagle set to the task of bringing it to life. The monument is made of American Black and Blue Ridge granite. The front and back of the tablet are polished with a rock border on the front and rock pitch on all edges. The base has a sawn finish. Keystone Memorials, Inc. created this stunning 17th Infantry Regiment monument for Columbus Monument Company in Columbus, Georgia. All of the pieces were cut from Keystone Blue Granite and feature a steeled finish on all external edges. Set into the concrete are four granite tiles with sandblasted verbiage depicting honor and dedications to various entities along with a list of donors. The front tile states “IN HONOR OF OUR FALLEN AND MISSING COMRADES, THEY SHALL NOT BE FORGOTTEN”. Keystone also fabricated each bench along the corners of the concrete pad giving guests a place to sit and reflect as they read the various verses that the monument has been sandblasted with. The base of the monument consists of four panels creating the front, back and sides of the monument along with a cap along the top. A total of 7,156 pounds of Keystone Blue Granite was used to create this monumental tribute to the 17th Infantry Regiment. This monument is located on the Walk of Honor at the National Infantry Museum just beyond the parade field on Fort Benning, Georgia. MBNA Virtual Conference kicked off with a bang. Several sessions were scheduled for the first day including EGA sponsored “Do’s & Don’ts of Monument Cleaning featuring Mart Clamp. Miles Supply of Elberton sponsored “Benefits of Digital Design”, “Safety That Makes Sense”, and “Digital Copyright Law For Monument Artists”. Wednesday brought “How To Grow Your Business” sponsored by Porcelains Unlimited among many other helpful sessions. Porcelains Unlimited also sponsored a session on Thursday titled “Employee Engagement: Why It Matters.” EGA brought another session Thursday titled “Monument Letter, Line, Chip And Carving Repairs” by Jeremy Strong with Matthews Granite. The week was a different experience, but we have all become accustomed to new experiences in the last year of our lives. Much fun was had and the sessions wERE a hit with the attendees. It was a success by all measures. VIRTUAL CONFERENCE MONUMENT BUILDERS OF NORTH AMERICA. MBNA. FEBRUARY 23-26, 2021. LAS VEGAS MARCH 10-12, CALIFORNIA MONUMENT ASSOCIATION CMA, PNMBA PACIFIC NORTHWEST MONUMENT BUILDERS ASSOCIATION. California Monument Association and Pacific Northwest Monument Builders Association joined together to partake in their 2021 Convention held in Las Vegas, Nevada. the convention was held March 11th and 12th. The convention consisted of a trip to the Neon Museum, a local cemetery tour along with a presentation and round table discussion. After a rough 2020, many participants were happy to get back to a little bit of normalcy and enjoy the face to face relationships that we have all come to miss. Getting started with our 2021 annual convention in Las Vegas with Danny Creech Darren & Molly Rummel, Great Falls, MT; Sheyanna & Jerry Weber, Lewiston, ID; Bob & Michelle Jordan, Missoula, MT; Jennifer Bush, Yakima, WA; Bruce, Mary & Joey Fuerstenberg, Vancouver, WA; Mark Cowart, Columbus, MS; Mike Johns, Brookpark, OH; and Matt & Ryan Worthington, Arlington, TX. 2021 UPCOMING EVENTS. - May -International Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association Annual Convention & Expo May 17 – 21, 2021 Online Only Virtual Convention For more information, visit Contact: ICCFA Staff +1.800.645.7700 - June - StonExpo June 16 – 18, 2021 Las Vegas, NV - Mandalay Bay Mid- America & Southern Monument Builders Association Joint Convention June 25-27, 2021 Choctaw Casino and Resort, Durant, OK Contact: Ruth Bell, CM - September - School of Hard Rocks Sept 10-12, 2021 Scott Luken Sculpture Studio, Yankton, SD Scott Luken at Catholic Cemetery Conference Annual Convention & Exposition September 20-24, 2021 National Doral Hotel, Doral, Florida CCC Staff - September (Continued) - Wisconsin Association of Monument Builders Convention Sept 24-26, 2021 Oshkosh, WI - Best Western Waterfront Hotel and Convention Center, on the Fox River. Contact Greg Mathewson - October - AICA Annual Meeting Oct 2 - 5, 2021 Menger Hotel, San Antonio, Texas Contact: Jed Hendrickson Carolinas/Kentucky/Tennessee Monument Builders Joint Convention Oct. 21 – 23, 2021 Sonesta Nashville Airport Hotel, Nashville, TN Contact: Pam Schultz - November - EGA Monument Retailers Course Nov 1 - 5, 2021 The Granite Capital of the World Sign up online at Contact Elberton Granite Association Still Offers One Free Design Download A Month In 2004 the Elberton Granite Association began offering a monthly free download of a cut file on the egaonline website. Each month the design is changed to a different file. To this day, EGA still offers a free monthly download for their members and nationwide retailers to utilize. The files consist of a jpg of the file to be used for sales presentations or such along with four options of cut file formats. Formats offered are .DXF, .PLT, .EPS and .AI files to accommodate whichever CAD system that you may need. To get to the EGA’s website, go to and under the “Industry” tab is an option for “Design Download”. Once that page is opened, scroll to the bottom for the five different file options that can be downloaded. In Memoriam James Donald Hulme, Sr. August 30, 1939 - November 9, 2020 Mr. James Donald “Don” Hulme, Sr., husband of 52 years to the late Jean McClain Hulme, finished his course in faith on Tuesday, November 9, 2020, at Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital following a sudden illness. He was 81. A life long resident of Elbert County, Don was born in Dewy Rose on August 30, 1939, to James Madison Hulme, Sr. and Hilda Snellings Hulme. He was a 1957 graduate of Bowman High School and a 1962 graduate of North Georgia College in Dahlonega. Mr. Hulme worked as a salesman in the granite industry for 45 years including for member-firms such as Eagle Granite and Wallace Granite Sales. Mr. Hulme also became part owner of Georgia International Stone, Inc., which operateD Childs Brothers’ Granite, a former Elberton Granite Association member-firm in 2008. Mr. Hulme was a member of First United Methodist Church of Elberton. He was a life member of The Alumni Association of North Georgia College in Dahlonega. Survivors include his daughter, Lee Anne H. Freeman and her husband Peter Freeman of Alpharetta; son, James D. “Jim” Hulme, Jr. and his wife Sonya Rucker Hulme of Elberton; grandchildren: Brandt and Rebecca Freeman, Madison Freeman, McClain Freeman, Parker and Cassie Hulme, and Rachel Hulme; and one great-grandchild on the way. He is also survived by his brothers: Doug Hulme of Knoxville, TN and Johnny Hulme of N. Little Rock, AR; very special friend, Paula Foreman Bullock of Elberton ; and numerous other relatives and friends. Allan Eaves McGarity September 4, 1936 - December 20, 2020 Mr. Allan Eaves McGarity, 84, of Brookside Drive, Elberton, died peacefully on Sunday, December 20, 2020, at Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital with his family at this side. He had suffered a major stroke earlier in the day on Saturday. A native and lifelong resident of Elberton, Mr. McGarity was born on September 4, 1936, the youngest of two sons of the late Thomas Glenn McGarity, Sr. and Hattie Lee Eaves McGarity. He was a graduate of Elberton High School, attended Emory at Oxford, and graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelors in Business Administration. Allan joined the family business, Harmony Blue Granite Company, and eventually retired as President. Mr. McGarity was a former member of the Elberton Granite Association. He owned and operated Harmony-Blue Granite Company, Inc., a member of EGA from 1951 through 2019. Mr. McGarity served as Director of American Monument Association from 1975-1976, President of Elberton Granite Association for the terms 1976-77 and 1985-86, and Divison Director of Monument Builders of North America from 1980-1992. He was also a member of the Elberton Rotary Club as well as the First United Methodist Church of Elberton where he served on many committees. Allan was a pilot, an avid tennis player, and later enjoyed playing pickleball. He loved traveling, snow skiing, trout fishing, and attending Indy Car Racing. Above all, his favorite thing to do was be “Granddaddy” to his favorite granddaughter, Allison. Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Anita Gorman McGarity; one son, Michael Allan McGarity and his wife Lisa; and granddaughter and the apple of his eye, Allison Michelle McGarity, all of Elberton. George Albert Gaines, Jr. August 17, 1919 - January 1, 2021 Mr. George Albert Gaines, Jr. passed away on New Year’s Day having lived, as he said often, a wonderful 101 years in Elberton. Sixty-nine of those were with his beloved wife who died in 2012, Matilda Joe Johnson, better known as Tootsie. He was the son of George Albert Gaines, Sr. and Verlie Mae Mathews Gaines who, along with a younger brother James Smith Gaines, preceded him in death. George graduated from South Georgia College with an accounting degree and worked in sales for Colgate Palmolive before joining the Elberton National Guard unit when WWII broke out. Upon hearing that his unit was heading to North Africa in a month or so, he and Tootsie, a junior at the University of Georgia, were married by the Army chaplain at Camp Stewart and, two months later he was gone for what turned out to be three years. His unit, under Patton, fought its way from Ascension Island, North Africa, Corsica, Italy, up into the Apennines. Along the way he was awarded various medals, among them the Bronze Star for bravery. After the war he remained in the Guard serving thirty years and retiring as Colonel. As a civilian he was actively involved in the granite business, owning and managing Atlas Granite Co. for seventeen years. He was president of the Granite Association Board of Trustees and was for forty years, an inspector of monuments for the Elberton Granite Association. Mr. Gaines did everything he set his mind to with excellence. He was very civic minded, serving on the county Board of Education, twenty years as Sunday School Superintendent at the Baptist church, president of Rotary, board of Salvation Army and more. George is survived by son, George Albert Gaines III and wife, Paul Ann; daughter and husband, Elsa Ann Gaines and Joe Meyer; sister, Mildred Gaines Broadwater; granddaughters and spouses: Elizabeth Varner and Grant Varner, and Martha Ellen DeJong and Jack DeJong; and four great grandchildren: Andrew and Mary Page DeJong, and Charlie and Ann Margaret Varner. George was well-loved by all who knew him and will be missed greatly. The Elberton Granite Association along with all the Elberton granite industry found him to be not only a great addition to the EGA team, but also a friend. HONORABLE LIVES WELL LIVED.
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