ELBERTON, Ga.
– In a remote area populated by ramshackle houses, rusted trailer homes and decrepit barns, a mysterious monument rises from the red Georgia clay, cordoned off from the surrounding cow pasture by a barbed-wire fence. As seen from State Route 77, the Georgia Guidestones might be dismissed as a roadside oddity, attracting the occasional lost traveler. There would be no other reason for a tourist to visit Elbert County, Ga., or its main city of Elberton, where entrance signs read: “Welcome to the Granite Capital of the World.” This tiny town 90 miles northeast of Atlanta might not have much, but it does have granite, and this singular fact figures prominently in the story of how it ended up with a monument that manages to both attract and repel, depending on one’s worldview. At the Georgia Guidestones on a recent Saturday, despite the cold drizzle and cloudy skies, a steady stream of pilgrims found their way to what is known as “America’s Stonehenge.” Some come to the 19-foot-tall behemoth out of curiosity, having seen one or more of the documentaries about the hidden origins of the Guidestones, such as the 2011 episode of Brad Meltzer’s “Decoded” on The History Channel. More