Sylacauga, Alabama

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Sylacauga is a city in Talladega County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 12,616.

Nicknames for Sylacauga include: "The Marble City," "Buzzard's Roost" and "Sly Town".

Sylacauga is the site of the first documented case of an object from outer space hitting a person. On November 30, 1954, a 4 kg piece of what became known as the Hodges Meteorite crashed through the roof of an Oak Grove house, bounced off a radio, and badly bruised Mrs. Ann Hodges, who was taking an afternoon nap. Sylacauga is currently on the 2010 list of "100 Best Communities for Young People" by America's Promise Alliance.

Contents

Geography

Sylacauga is located at 33°10′42″N 86°15′4″W / 33.17833°N 86.25111°W / 33.17833; -86.25111 (33.178360, -86.251068)[1].

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.6 square miles (48.3 km²), of which, 18.5 square miles (48.0 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (0.59%) is water.

Sylacauga has a large deposit of the world's whitest marble which has been quarried for over 100 years.[2] Below are listed some of the historical facts about this local deposit starting from the late 1920s:

In spite of the approaching depression, the late 1920s and early 30’s were times of growth for Sylacauga’s marble industry. Technology changed the course of the industry when electricity replaced steam.

Countless small marble operations had sprung up throughout the years. Facing tough competition, many went out of business or were absorbed by the larger companies, Alabama and Moretti-Harrah. One such significant merger was in 1929 when the Madras Marble Company (formerly Sylacauga Marble Corporation) merged with Moretti-Harrah.

In 1935 the Moretti-Harrah Company was sold to B.F. Coggins of Atlanta and T.A. McGahey of Columbus, Mississippi; and later in 1944, Coggins sold the Sylacauga operation and Columbia Marble Company of North Carolina to McGahey. Alabama Marble Company remained under the same management until 1963 when it merged with The Georgia Marble Company.

The reputation of Sylacauga marble producers began to be evidenced by numerous building projects throughout the nation. Alabama Marble Company supplied marble for the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. Marble supplied for the Washington monument was so like its Italian counterpart, “Carrara,” that it was placed aside until a confirmation of its origin could be made. Moretti-Harrah, in a 3 ½ year project shared by Gray-Knox Marble Company of Knoxville, supplied much of the marble for the U.S. Supreme Court Building, including thirty-six massive interior columns measuring 22’ long x 3’4” in diameter.

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