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WINTER GRANITEER 2022/2023 Looking back at the 120-year history of the granite manufacturing industry in Elberton, it is not hard to see that there has been a lot of change. Both good and bad, much of that change has helped to shape the industry and make it what it is today. Peter Bertoni came to Elberton in 1900 after hearing about the fine grade of granite that was being quarried from the local beds. Up until that time, most of the granite that was quarried was used for building stone. Monument manufacturing had not yet begun, but Peter set out to change that. He started what we consider to be the first granite finishing business, and from that, he set the stage for what the Elberton Granite industry would become. Peter was a master stone carver from Italy, and he brought the art of stone carving to Elberton where he began teaching the trade of stone carving and finishing. Peter Bertoni saw an opportunity and he took it. Because of this, the granite finishing business took off in Elberton and manufacturing memorials became big business. Remember however, when Peter first started in Elberton, there were no overhead cranes, no electric motors, no pneumatic tools, everything was done by manual labor. Peter changed all that and he helped usher in a new era of granite manufacturing. An example of this is an article from the Elberton Star Newspaper in 1911 that talked about Peter installing the first electric motor used in the granite industry, a 35 hp motor. From the very beginning, change was occurring constantly, as new methods of working with the granite were discovered. New tools and equipment were being developed that made production more efficient. From gang saws to diamond wire saws and from electric polishing mills to CNC machines, change in our industry has brought us to where we are today. Looking back at our past can sometimes help us see our future. The Elberton granite industry is even now changing, with new companies being formed and new players getting into the game. Quarrying and manufacturing operations are being consolidated under new ownerships, which are changing the way business will be done going forward. People often resist change because they like things the way they are. Unfortunately, change is inevitable, it happens every day. In the business world, companies are always looking to modernize and become more efficient and that is some of what we are seeing happen today. We are grateful for the vision of Peter Bertoni and how he helped us get to where we are now. We should also be as equally grateful for the visionaries of our industry today. They are the ones who are investing in the granite industry, keeping it alive and leading us into the future. Travco Builds Large Gantry Saw For Installation at Matthews Granite Associate Member, TRAVCO METAL WORKS built this new 4-foot gantry saw for Member Firm, MATTHEWS GRANITE. The saw will be installed at the Bowman Highway manufacturing plant. A 25-Horsepower motor was installed on this saw giving it high efficiency and the power. The saw was designed to saw markers stacked three high for maximum production. The length of cut can be programmed prior to cut. A wireless remote for all functions including programming was designed for this gantry saw. Travco Metal Works is known for their superior workmanship and timely delivery. This gantry saw will provide Matthews Granite a great deal of benefits to their production. King’s Monument Company Installs New Profile Saw KING’S MONUMENT COMPANY recently installed a brand-new profile saw in their manufacturing plant. The profile saw has a 50-HP motor and a handheld remote control allowing the user ease of use and the ability to move around freely while still in control of the machine’s operation. This saw can cut and smooth a standard stone in roughly a 15-minute time frame using preloaded stone shapes such as serptop, oval and straight tops. Stones as long as 8-ft and as tall as 5-ft tall can be processed using this machine. There are two portions to the profile saw. The first portion runs the diamond tipped saw to cut the shape of the monument. Once the stone is cut, it can be programmed for the second head to smooth the surface before being sent to the polisher. This allows a more pristine polish to be accomplished in less amount of time. King’s Monument Company is not only known for the fine granite they use to create their monuments and memorials but also the ability to stay on top of technology to continue to create those monuments with ease. Streamlining production is of utmost importance in today’s world. This edition of The Graniteer’s Member Spotlight focuses on Sustaining Member, SPARTAN TOOL COMPANY. Spartan Tool was established thirty-six years ago, in 1986, by John Mitchell. John opened the business to manufacture carbide tipped rock drill bits for the local granite industry. John had worked in the granite industry for many years with experience in industrial, machinist, and quarrying management. He recognized there was a need that created potential for him to succeed in his business endeavor. He began his business in a small building on East Tate Street in Elberton, Georgia. They have maintained membership with the Elberton Granite Association since 1989. Today, the company produces a multitude of tools and services and has even expanded to service more than just the local manufacturers. After achieving great success locally, the company expanded to the production of dimension stone tools and began distributing products to other areas of the country such as drill bits, hammers, pneumatic bits, stone splitters, grinding wheels, and so much more. They also create custom tools at the customer’s request. Their goal and priority are customer satisfaction and quality products. Today, the company is run by Ray Mitchell with Bill Yeargin as Plant Manager. Ray began working with his father, John Mitchell, in 1989. He started out making shims and wedges, eventually learning all the other processes of the company. He is now focusing on new technologies and streamlining production in the company. Bill Yeargin has been with the company for 28 years. He began his career with the company focusing on stone carving tools. The company is still located on West Tate Street where their facility is run in buildings that occupy both sides of the road. Additions and new buildings were built numerous times in the life of the company to maintain the growth needed to service the natural stone industry and to ensure proper storage space for the state-of-the-art machinery that is needed to forge their products. With a team of 15 people, Spartan Tool continues to be a leading manufacturer of construction and stone industry tools. The success of the company can be linked to the care and consideration they give to each customer and order along with maintaining state-of-the-art machinery. Spartan Tool Company, Inc. takes pride in the products we manufacture. Bill Yeargin and Hannah & Ray Mitchell Matthews Granite Expands Operations with Newly Purchased Facility Matthews Granite recently acquired a large granite production facility in Elberton. The plant is configured with a full complement of granite production equipment but was previously vacant. Matthews will utilize the facility to increase overall production capacity and reduce lead times for all customers. The new facility enables Matthews Granite to meet the rapid growth in consumer demand for granite memorialization and will help the business grow its production and reduce lead times in several ways. The plant will provide additional dedicated manufacturing lines and larger inventory areas, which will increase product availability and reduce order lead times. Along with that, the sandblast department will be expanded significantly, increasing capacity and enabling faster turnaround. Another big advantage will be a larger shipping space that will enable faster shipping of completed orders. Matthews has also invested in their existing plants in Elberton, adding a new manufacturing line to produce bases for bronze memorials, greatly increasing Matthews’ current capacity for this high-demand product, as well as new equipment to grow production capacity for mausoleums and family estates of all sizes, enhancing Matthews’ industry-leading mausoleum design/construction capabilities. In addition to the location’s expanded manufacturing capacity, Matthews has purchased additional trucks, and other equipment to improve fulfillment lead times. Matthews expects the new facility to be up and running by the end of the year. “We are making a significant investment to improve lead times,” said Roger Stonecipher, President, Matthews Granite. “While lead times increased industry-wide, driven by the pandemic, global supply chain shortages, and labor challenges, Matthews is taking aggressive action to ensure we can meet the needs of our customers with the best fulfillment experience possible. This new facility and the additional capital investment in current facilities will help enable that improved experience.” 6TH ANNUAL MUSEUM FOUNDATION GOLF TOURNAMENT It is time to start preparing for The 6th Annual Museum Foundation Golf Tournament to be held APRIL 21, 2023! SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE ARE.... Hole-In-One Contest • Closest To Pin • Longest Drive • Putting Contest Awards Ceremony & Buffet Sponsor • Platinum, Gold & Silver Sponsors Hole Sponsors • Gift Bag Sponsors Make Checks Payable To Elberton Granite Association Foundation, Inc. P.O. Box 640, Elberton GA 30635 All proceeds are used to benefit the renovation and upkeep of the Elberton Granite Museum. Details of Sponsorships on back. 2023 Sponsorship Form There are several ways for your organization to be part of this unique event. To be held at Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course, Elberton, Georgia on April 21, 2023 2022 Monument Retailers Course a Success! Every year, EGA hosts a monument retailers’ course for people throughout the United States that would like to learn more about the granite industry. The class focuses on what is involved in changing Elberton granite from a part of the earth to a distinguished monument or lasting memorial. Everything from quarry sawing, lifting blocks from a quarry, transporting blocks to manufacturers, to cutting slabs from the blocks is seen almost as soon as the class begins. From there, the class in shown how the slabs are cut and formed into the shapes required and then sent to be finished with polishing and pitching before being sandblasted, laser etched or sculpted. This is a very important part of the class as it sets the groundwork for everything that is covered in later days of the class. It is important to begin the class with these examples to lay foundation for the work, labor, dedication, and talent it requires to deliver a monument to the retailer. A great appreciation and understanding is essential. For this reason, the first day is always the busiest. This year’s class was a bit smaller than usual, but it was a success and the size allowed for a more personal touch. After introductions, the week was kicked off with a trip to EGA’s viewing platform of an active quarry. The class arrived just in time to witness a recently cut block being lifted from the quarry hole via crane, which opened up a great discussion on where the block was to go from there and how we would follow the process in the later days of the class. Following the quarry, the class went to Eagle Granite Company. At Eagle Granite the class witnessed blocks like the one taken from the quarry being cut by massive gantry saws and others by diamond wire saws into slabs. The class was also able to watch as the slabs were measured and cut into specified sizes to make monuments using giant guillotine cutters. Continuing along through the plant, the class was able to watch stone cutters chipping away at monuments and polishing mills creating a smooth shiny finish before heading to GEORGIA MAUSOLEUMS. At Georgia Mausoleums the class was able to walk through the manufacturing plant and see employees creating and refining the pieces that would be used to build a mausoleum and discuss how the pieces were created to fit perfectly together. Later that day, some time was spent at Elmhurst Cemetery using already existing monuments as a classroom example of style and design. Troy Caldwell, CM and owner of Caldwell Monuments in Kokomo, Indiana utilized classroom time and special field trips to teach subjects such as business, design, pricing, and symbolism. RIVER EDGE GRANITE COMPANY allowed the class to visit their facility where the class received a demonstration on setting techniques, foundation fundamentals and overall care during setting a monument. A visit was made to two of EGA’s trucking companies, HENRY & HENRY TRUCKING and LEWIS TRANSCONTINENTAL where the class received demonstrations on proper belt placement when lifting a crated monument along with route planning and scheduling of deliveries. Quinn Floyd and his artist Kathy from A.Q. STONE DESIGN taught a class on monument design. This class focused on thinking outside the box in monument creation. The trainees were taken for a tour of BLUE SKY QUARRY to see one of Elberton’s only drive-in quarries. Blue Sky Quarry is a quarrier of dimension stone and curbing. JENSON ETCHING is always a great stop for the class to be able to see first-hand the quality and care put into the etching that comes out of their facility. Owner, Ann Jenson, never disappoints with a plate full of delicious homemade cookies for the class to enjoy as they learn the different techniques that her company focuses on. PORCELAIN’S UNLIMITED was one of the last stops for the class where options for different porcelain shapes and sizes were demonstrated along with other products available for the memorial industry. This year’s class, while smaller, was a great class packed with good times and a lot of learned knowledge. As always, we would like to recognize all of the wonderful members that consistently step up to help EGA with making sure this class is a success year after year. Without our members, it could not be. And a great big thank you for Bicknell Supply Company, Granite Sales & Supply, Miles Supply of Elberton, and Porcelains Unlimited for catering meals during the week long class. A special thank you goes to Troy Caldwell, Certified Memorialist & Owner of Caldwell Monuments in Kokomo, Indiana. Troy spent the entire week instructing and mentoring the class. He instructed business strategies, monument design, customer service and stone cutting techniques, just to mention a few topics. EGA is most grateful for his dedication to the granite industry. Fellowship Among Friends & Family at 2022 Granite Association’s Christmas Party Every December, The Elberton Granite Association joins with its members to gather together and celebrate the holiday season. With the way the world has migrated to such a fast pace, it is nice to take a night and simply enjoy the company of those in the same boat. The banquet was held at the Elberton Country Club on December 9th. The night was filled with delicious food, drinks, and happy merriment. Chris Kubas, Executive Vice-President of the EGA spoke for just a few moments about the strong points of the year, a few future decisions being made and thanking the members for their participation and their diligence in helping to make the granite industry in Elberton so successful! DOWNTOWN DISPLAY OUTDOOR DISPLAY DINASOUR MAJESTIC BLUE GRANITE MAJESTIC MEMORIALS KEYSTONE MEMORIALS MEDIUM BARRE GRANITE CENTRAL GRANITE COMPANY IMPALA BLACK GRANITE J&D FINISHING COMPANY MEDIUM GRAY GRANITE BASTON MONUMENTS VINTAGE RED GRANITE KING’S MONUMENT COMPANY COLONIAL ROSE GRANITE WELCHES GRANITE COMPANY FLASH BLACK GRANITE EAGLE GRANITE COMPANY was given the honor of creating this amazing single crypt sarcophagus for Glenwood Cemetery in Houston, Texas. 124,844 pounds of Bethel White granite was used for the estate. The back wall is comprised of two square columns on the left and right ends and six straight fluted columns on the inside. The columns offer an elegant, classic appearance while supporting the curved, ornate entablature that is adorned with a sandblasted frieze and a recessed panel holding the polished raised letters of the family name. The architrave features a check that goes across all three pieces used for its creation. The single crypt continues the sophisticated look by repeating the fluted columns on each corner holding up the cap that mimics the check found on the top of the entablature of the columnar. A sculpted lion made from marble sits atop the crypt. Deep sandblasting adorns the front face of the crypt that reads “My Beloved Giant Sleeps” along with the name of dates that belong to the loved one entombed within. Along the sides and front of the patio are built-in benches using the same Bethel White granite that also serve as a border to the patio. Along the top of the corner blocks is another replica of the check found atop the entablature of the columnar and the crypt cap, tying the entire estate together nicely. This memorial perfectly tells how every life story deserves to be honored and remembered. This monument is a wonderful tribute for the family to find peace and comfort for generation after generation. It showcases grandeur and elegance. Eagle Granite Company has been a trusted firm in the granite industry since 1962 when the company began operation. The company is family owned and operated and prides itself in quality craftsmanship and courteous service. This full-functioning company proves its abilities over and over again with every job that is delivered. This unique monument bench was created by KEYSTONE MEMORIALS for Young & Company Rock Art and Designs in Ladoga, Indiana. Keystone’s own Keystone Blue granite was used for both bench and base. The bench was cut using Keystone’s wire saw to give it the unique shape as the customer requested with a cutout cross in the center. Young & Company used Keystone’s cut granite shape to sculpt both angels that stand on each end of the bench. The base has a sawn top with a 2-inch sawn margin leaving the remainder of the base with a rock pitch. This monument can be found in Tomlinson Cemetery in Muncie, Indiana. CENTRAL GRANITE COMPANY was honored to be a part of the creation of this magnificent memorial along with Beall Memorial Art in Austin, Texas. The monument honors John Sharp, Chancellor of Texas A&M along with his wife, Charlotte and is located in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas. This beautiful monument is made from Central Grey granite and proudly stands 6-foot, 4-inches tall. The polished center tablet features two bronze medallions with permissions of the state and university. The left and right edge is cut with two checks to give dimension and depth to the monument. The polished wings mimic the check cut along the tops of each. The base has a 2-inch polished margin and is finished with rock pitching. EAGLE GRANITE COMPANY worked to create this impressive double monument for a prominent local business owner and her husband. The monument is comprised of seventeen different pieces made from Blue Ridge granite and one of Elberton Gray granite. The oversized cap is all steeled and imitates a hipped rooftop sitting directly atop the middle cap that features round raised lettering making the family name inside a recessed panel. The uniqueness of this monument continues even further when we get to the tablet portion. Four cremation holes are cored into the top of the tablet. All four sides are steeled while top and bottom are sawn. An all steeled, turned column with a cap and base sit at each corner of the tablet. The subbase is slightly larger than the tablet and columns and are steeled on all sides and top. The base features a large 4-inch steeled margin before finishing with a rock pitch. All of these pieces rest on an Elberton Gray granite foundation. This monument is located on the outer edge of Elberton Georgia’s Historic Elmhurst Cemetery. This all polished, walk-in mausoleum was crafted by GEORGIA MAUSOLEUMS out of Silver Cloud granite. Inside there are eight crypts with 16 shelves to hold additional cremains urns. Round fluted Tuscan style columns flank the bronze doorway offering a touch of sophisticated elegance. Round planters are placed at each corner to allow the family to plant greenery or flowers. A stained-glass window adorns the back wall allowing light within the mausoleum where family can sit upon a bench placed within. This mausoleum can be found in Westview Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia. CENTRAL GRANITE COMPANY created this prominent family memorial for Eaton Memorials in Tifton, Georgia. Central Grey granite was used for all six pieces that make this monument. The center piece is polished with a scotia cut all around the top leading to the apex cut. Sandblasted columns adorn each side adding a nice touch of regal perception that is carried out of the outside edge of each wing. The wings are adorned with a scroll top and are also all polished. The bases are polished on the top and are followed through on the edges with rock pitching. This remarkable family monument can be found in Pine Grove Baptist Church Cemetery in Lenox, Georgia. In the beginning of 2020, Keystone Memorials began working in unison with Sculptor, Stan Mullins on the creation of this statue of a Freedom Fighter created out of Keystone Blue granite. The statue stands 9-feet tall and weighs 15-tons without the base she stands upon. Ross Oglesby of Keystone and Sculptor, Stan Mullins made a visit to Keystone’s quarry and began selecting just the right blocks to be used for Stan to sculpt the freedom fighter. It was then taken to Mr. Mullins’ studio in Athens, Georgia where he sculpted the majority of the statue. “The block called out, there were initially two that seemed a good fit, but the one selected was indeed the perfect block. She [our block] told me what to do…it was a true collaboration with stone.” Mullins quoted. The veins in the block seemed to follow the exact pattern Mullins envisioned as the flowing of the flag draped over the shoulder of the statue. This larger-than-life memorial represents the people who fled communism called freedom fighters of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The woman depicted by the statue is from a well-known photograph from the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Although her image is known more than her name, the freedom fighter was Erika Szeles, a Jewish Hungarian who lost her father during the Second World War. Despite coming from an ardently communist family, she decisively rejected the ideology when she decided to join the uprising at the age of 15. Although in the first few days of the uprising she learned how to handle a gun (it was at this time the famous photograph was taken) the revolutionaries decided she was too young to fight, and she instead helped the revolution by joining the red cross. However, this did not save her life. She was gunned down despite clearly wearing the Red Cross uniform. It is her grace, grit and perseverance that this statue depicts. The base of this monument consists of three pieces of granite. The base is rock pitched on all sides and steel finish on top. The pedestal is steel finished on all four sides. The cap features a smooth ogee and two checks to give it a sophisticated appeal. The monument can be found in Atlanta, Georgia’s Peace Park. “Every square inch of our block holds something of note. Hungarians will find symbolism in many and varied forms, and lovers of art, history, and humanity will also be attuned… and perhaps the stone still holds treasures we three; Stone, Freedom Fighter and Artist have not yet been recognized. I hope she instills in all who view her, an honor for those who fought, recognition and respect for those still fighting, and inspirations for us all..” Mullins quoted. MATTHEWS GRANITE fabricated this unique reception desk. Matthews Granite was contacted by an architect in Florida that wanted to display a natural and rustic feel for a dermatology office space that he was designing. The architect was put into contact with an associate at Matthews Granite, and a meeting was set up. After about three hours of talking about the vision of the project, the concept was sent to the design team who put together a strategy and layout. After eleven or twelve revisions, a design was agreed upon. The final design consisted of just over sixty-four feet of granite. Because of the massive size of the granite needed for this project, the counter had to be installed prior to the building being completed. Once the building was framed, the counter’s assembly began. The first four pieces, each weighing seven thousand pounds, was delivered in June of 2021. The pieces were lowered into the framed building via crane. The remainder of the project was completed in April of 2022 which included left and right granite countertop wings that are not shown in these photos. The center portion of the countertop, shown in the photos is rock pitched with a tapered face. A 6-ft. and 6” recessed panel was cut along the center to hold the name of the business. 2023 Upcoming Schedule - FEBRUARY - StonExpo January 31 - February 2, 2023 Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada California Monument Association & Pacific Southwest Monument Builders Association Annual Joint Convention February 2 - 4 2023 Bally’s Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada Contact Jennifer Bush - MARCH - Monument Builders of North America Industry Show March 2-4, 2023 Renesant Convention Center Memphis, Tennessee School of Hard Rocks March 30-April 1, 2023 Elberton, Georgia Contact: Bobby Mattos - MAY - ICCFA Annual Convention & Expo May 16 - 19, 2023 Loews Kansas City Hotel & Convention Center Kansas City, Missouri 1-800-645-7700 - JUNE - Southern Monument Builders Association Convention June 22 - 24, 2023 The Woodlands Resort - Curio Collection by Hilton The Woodlands, Texas SCCFA Annual Convention June 25 - 27, 2023 The Park Vista Hotel Gatlinburg, Tennessee - JULY - Georgia Mining Association Annual Convention July 13 - 16, 2023 Ponte Vedra Inn and Club Resort Ponte Vedra, Florida Contact: Dallas Jackson Mid-American Monument Builders Association Convention July 14 - 16, 2023 Radisson Hotel Branson, Missouri Contact: Ruth Bell, CM 785-738-2257 - septemBER - Catholic Cemetery Conference Annual Convention & Exposition September 25 - 29, 2023 Hilton New Orleans Riverside, New Orleans, Louisiana - OCTOBER - Carolinas / Kentucky / Tennessee Monument Builders Joint Convention October 19 - 21, 2023 Sonesta Nashville Airport, Nashville, Tennessee - NOVEMBER - EGA Monument Retailers Course November The Granite Capital of the World DATES TO REMEMBER
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