Granite from previous HHS health club will rock on in Laurel Park
Of their software for a grant of $27,609 from the Works Progress Administration, Hendersonville Mayor A.V. Edwards and Metropolis Clerk R.R. Arledge described the undertaking they needed the Melancholy-era company would fund.
On the Hendersonville Excessive Faculty campus could be a brand new gymnasium with a basement dressing room and bleachers plus “landscaping of the encompassing grounds for beautification of place and recreation.”
The brand new construction to serve the varsity and group would have exterior partitions manufactured from native stone and a wooden flooring below a steel-truss supported composition roof. The applying, dated Sept. 10, 1935, was a hit. The WPA funded the undertaking, financing what town projected would whole 771 “man months” of labor for stone masons, plumbers, electricians, steam fitters, painters, roofers and nurserymen. (Whole labor value was estimated at $20,172.)
The primary public occasion on the granite health club, in June 1937, was not a basketball sport however a music efficiency by a Massive Band led by Bob Crosby, Bing’s brother, in accordance with analysis by Patrick Gallagher, a 1965 graduate of HHS.
The previous grey edifice served Bearcat sports activities groups with distinction for 83 years. Once they deliberate the brand new $60 million renovation/new development undertaking at HHS, faculty officers, engineers and designers decided that the historic constructing was not salvageable below right now’s constructing requirements. However Henderson County commissioners additionally made a cope with the demolition contractor to save lots of the stone, which dozens of dump truck masses hauled away to Jackson Park, the place it sits in piles. Nobody is aware of how the county might make use of the stone however the first use of it’s recognized. Sooner or later, a couple of hunks of the granite will likely be going house — to the previous W.A. Smith quarry in Laurel Park.
Earlier than he developed the resort city on the mountain with leisure lakes, gondola rides and a dance pavilion, Smith based the quarry that will provide native rock to space development tasks.
“The Hendersonville Stone Firm is a brand new enterprise for this metropolis,” the French Broad Hustler newspaper reported in November 1907.
To totally capitalize on the pure useful resource, Smith wanted a option to scale back large slabs of granite — technically gneiss metamorphic rock — into gravel-size rocks.
“In anticipation of a lot railroad constructing right here within the close to future, Mr. W. A. Smith has put in a large stone crusher in his nice quarry at Laurel Park, with screens for separating the stone, and with a strong electrical motor to function the machines,” the Hustler reported in January 1909. “The stone crusher is in place, the screens, bins and chutes to load the stone immediately into the wagons are constructed, and the Electrical Firm is now putting in the motor.”
In addition to crushed rock, the quarry was producing “the best grade of constructing and monumental stone,” the newspaper reported. “Those that have seen the gorgeous specimens of rock from this quarry exhibited in Mr. Smith’s workplace declare there isn’t a finer stone wherever. It’s inclined to a phenomenal polish.”
Situated at its founding on Dr. Man E. Dixon’s property, the quarry coated acres of land that over time grew to become tons for homes. The sheer cliffs left after the stone was eliminated are nonetheless seen among the many properties constructed on the rock face. Paul Hansen, the resident historian of the Laurel Park City Council, confirmed a reporter across the websites. Hansen and Laurel Park Mayor Carey O’Cain, an HHS graduate, hatched the thought of getting items of the previous relic and exhibiting them to honor W.A. Smith and one in all his many entrepreneurial ventures.
“We obtained fairly a little bit of it,” Hansen stated. City Public Works Director Andrew Griffin “went right down to Jackson Park and obtained a pair dump truck masses.”
Hansen is working with Chris Burns of Summit Advertising on a monument design and Hunter Marks, of Watermark Panorama Structure, on the grounds across the show. City officers haven’t determined for positive the place the monument will likely be however Hansen thinks a flat turnaround on the finish of Previous Laurel Drive “seems to be the perfect spot.”
The quarry operated in all probability till World Struggle II, Hansen says. The Smith household bought the property in 1950 and additional time properties changed the sound of blasting, granite heaving from the earth and a rock crusher making railroad fill.
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The Lightning thanks Laurel Park City Commissioner Paul Hansen and native historical past author Patrick Gallagher for contributing analysis for this report.