Presented by Bettye Lessley:
Prior to 1940 many of the men who were employed by the local marble quarries were making marble markers for the graves of America’s soldiers. These markers were to be a certain size, and they had to meet specifications. They had to be perfect.
However, sometimes a stone would be chipped and could not be used as a tombstone. Although these stones, plus the footstones were made of the finest Alabama marble, they were put aside, and the pile of rejected markers grew larger.
Mr. L. L. Smith, a Sylacauga banker, bought the discarded tombstones and had a very beautiful but expensive looking filling station built, probably the only one like it in the world.
When the men were carving the marble markers, they had no idea that their work would be displayed in a filling station. They were making tombstones for soldiers.
For many years tourists driving through Sylacauga on what is now known as the “Old Sylacauga Highway” could not have missed this advertisement for Sylacauga marble. They might have stopped for gasoline, oil, a new tire, a snack or a cold drink.
Several years ago, the top of this marble castle was taken down, and the lower half was used for a time. If you drive by today, you will see no indication that it was ever there. The Marble Castle is gone.