Back in 1995, an antique dealer in Watkinsville had the opportunity to purchase a vast amount of Civil War marbles, and he seized the moment. He told me last week, “I bought all they had,” which I figured had to number in the thousands. He said, “At the time, my wife told me she could have purchased a car for what I spent on marbles.”
They are real and not fakes like glass marbles. They were discovered during the construction for the Atlanta 1996 Olympics. When they were found, I remember reading about them in the Atlanta Constitution. This past weekend I purchased four of them and the following is what is printed on the certificate that came with them.
“These pre-1837 marbles were excavated in 1995 by Mr. J. Kirkland of Harriman, TN at the site of the Atlanta Olympic Stadium. The basement was all that was left of the original factory, which burned when Sherman’s troops took Atlanta. They are solid marble with a ceramic coat. They were handmade from marble chunks and were dropped down a brick column resembling a shot tower. The action of rolling and bouncing against the sides of the tower shaped them into roughly symmetrical spheres. No two are alike. In fact, variation is part of their charm.
“We were offered them by Mr. Kirkland in 1997, and over the years, we have mailed many of they around the world to customers. . . . Finding them was truly one of the ‘spin-offs’ of the Atlanta 1996 Olympics—it was something that no one could have anticipated.” —Charles Stewart Attic Treasures 19 North Main Street Watkinsville, Georgia.
And yes, the dogs were with me!