We have long anticipated a time when Quarry Gardens visitors would have something to look at in the Visitor Center besides bare walls—and now, it’s happening.
Greeting visitors in the main entrance hallway is a large map of The Quarry Gardens with a key to the 42 plant galleries.
Facing it across the hall will be this panel—in production—mapping the history of soapstone mining in the Schuyler area.
A mural on the big wall outside the classroom looks down into an operating quarry in about 1925. At eye level, a group of four panels describes soapstone, it’s uses, and the industry that made Schuyler the world’s dimensional soapstone capital.
Facing it, scenic models of Rockfish Junction, the soapstone plant, a quarry, and the village of Esmont are taking shape along the tracks—and the Nelson & Albemarle Railroad should be running soon (if not quite on schedule).
Coming up: In the long hallway leading outside to the main trail, rock samples and other natural objects will anchor an exhibit on Plant Community Modeling, the principle on which the Quarry Gardens’ design is based. Here’s a sketch of that exhibit (with designer Devin’s Floyd’s daughter Norah providing scale).
A few steps away we’ll have panels showing the role of geology in four of our distinctive plant communities.
And finally, we’ll have a digital flat screen to share changing seasonal and topical images with visitors. The first show will feature photographs of birds spotted at The Quarry Gardens and researched by Ezra and Theo Staengl and their friends in the Blue Ridge Young Birders Club. (Apparently, you have t click on it to view it.)
. . . all of which should be reason enough for you to plan a visit—and save some time to spend in the Visitor Center. To sign up, go to QuarryGardensatSchuyler.org/visit. Pick a weekend morning or afternoon guided walk on the calendar—starting April 13—and RSVP with the number who are coming. We’ll look forward to showing you around.