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Known for its generous supply of granite, Lithonia is a city in Georgia's DeKalb County, located just 20 minutes from Atlanta. It's a very small city that sits near well-known Stone Mountain, a natural granite dome that's served as the site of many historic events. In addition to Stone Mountain, many people also visit Lithonia to spend time at the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area.
The History of Lithonia
Native American tribes called Lithonia home for several thousand years until American farmers arrived in the early 1800s. The city also attracted freed slaves, Trappist monks and people from a number of cultures and home countries. In 1845, the Atlanta Railroad arrived in the town, providing a transport method for the flourishing granite industry in Lithonia.
Lithonia's Stone Mountain served as a pivotal location during the Civil War. Many of its residents fought in Georgia battles, and the women and children who were left behind fell into financial hardship. A Union cavalry destroyed part of the Georgia railroad near Lithonia in 1864. The few men who didn't leave town to fight were forced to defend their town against assaults from the Union forces.
LIthonia was incorporated in 1856 and was named after the Greek words for rock or stone ("litho") and place ("onia").
The Lithonia Historic District
Lithonia's designated historic district includes both commercial and residential developments, with buildings dating as far back as the mid-1800s. It's notable for the large variety of architectural styles throughout the district, with influences that include Queen Anne, Folk Victorian, Craftsman and Colonial Empire. There are several historic properties of note in the area, including the 1916 Masonic Lodge, the 1895 seminary and the 1910 Union Missionary Church.
The commercial developments in the district have revitalized many of its historic buildings, many of which are constructed from granite sourced directly from Lithonia. Small shops and offices are dotted throughout the area. You can also explore the residential areas of the district, where you can see granite and gneiss that was locally quarried.
The DeKalb County School District oversees the public schools of Lithonia, though most students attend schools just outside city limits. There are two small colleges in the city: Strayer University and Luther Rice College & Seminary.
Resources for Moving to Lithonia
Here are a few handy resources to help you plan your move to Lithonia:
- Utilities: Georgia Power Co. is the city's primary electricity provider. Water and sewer services are facilitated by the county.
- Garbage and Recycling: DeKalb County manages waste disposal for Lithonia, providing curbside collection for most residential areas in the city.
- Transportation: MARTA provides public transportation throughout Lithonia and the greater Atlanta area.
Lithonia has a very affordable housing market, with a range of budget-friendly options that fall well below state and national averages. You'll be able to find some apartments and condominiums if you're interested in renting, most of which are also fairly priced.