Tate, Ga – For All The Marbles

Tate is 5 1/2 miles south of Jasper – Hwy 53 runs through Tate.

“Widely known as the home of Georgia marble is the little town of Tate. The main quarries of The Georgia Marble Company were located here, as well as one of its large marble works. This is one of the oldest settlements in the County, and in fact was the site of the very first election and court held in the newly organized Cherokee territory in 1832.

The settlement was then called Harnageville, after Ambrose Harnage, in whose house the early court was held. The post office at this place was officially known as Marble Works for a period of years; then it was re-named Harnageville; and when the railroad came through in the early 1880’s the town received its present name. A high school building here was build of Georgia marble, made possible by the interest and liberality of Colonel Sam Tate, one of the founding fathers.”

…from the History of Pickens County by Luke E. Tate – 1935

In the land lottery Samuel Tate bought a plot of land along the Old Federal Highway where the Harnage House sat. It had been designated land lot #147 in the lottery. One of Samuel Tate’s sons, Stephen Tate, raised 19 children on the Tate property. Towards the end of the 19th century quarrying marble was a booming business in the area, with many small, independent producers. Stephen Tate tried to organize the independent producers, but died before he completed the task. Tate’s son Samuel, who was known as Colonel Sam, completed the task his father set out to do and created the Georgia Marble Company.

tate (8)

In 1923 one of Sam’s quarries (on the old Nelson property) ran into a unique vein of pink marble. The Colonel decided to use for the home he was building. Sometimes called the “Pink Palace,” this is the mansion that is known as the Tate House.

The “Pink Palace” is on the National Register of Historic Places.

tate (7)

Plaque in front of the cemetery reads:  The Georgia Marble Company began in 1884 as one of many small marble quarrying operations in the region. In 1905 Colonel Sam Tate became the company´s president, continuing in that position until his death in 1938. Georgia Marble Company stone can be found in monuments and public buildings around the world, including the Lincoln Memorial and the twenty-four columns of the east front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. As the Village of Tate´s largest employer, Gerogia Marble Company provided housing, recreational facilities, and schools for workers and their families. Construction of a company power plant made Tate the first electrified town in the area.

tate (9)

The train depot was recently moved across the road to its present site

tate (5)

Tate Cemetery – established in 1840

tate (10)

tate (11)

tate cemetery

The elementary school is two stories and built of marble, I do not usually take pictures of schools – but this is really something to see. Hwy 53

tate school

The Gymnasium is on the National Register of Historic Places – 5600 Hwy 53 E

tate (6)

At the four-way stop of Hwy 108 & Hwy 53, there are a few businesses on the corners.