Rejected leopardite couldn’t change its spots

On this day in 1888: The long-delayed Washington Monument opens to the public. Among the 193 carved memorial stones lining its inner walls is a block of leopardite — a rare, black-spotted granite — representing North Carolina.

The stone is the second submitted from the Charlotte quarry; the first was rejected by the monument committee.

The rejected stone will be brought back to Charlotte and used as an “upping block” to help passengers into their carriages. It remains on the downtown Square until street improvements in the 1940s require its removal to the grounds of the Mint Museum.