The start of something big

Memorial stepping stone

Last April we received an email from Julia “Julie” Mason, Medical Social Service and Bereavement Coordinator for Putnam County HomeCare & Hospice. Julie asked if The Quarry Farm would be open and ready for a visit from attendees of the annual Good Grief Fun Camp. The date was set for July 24, and we set about planning activities with the main event to be the creation of memorial stepping stones.

At the time of the calendar pencilling-in, we figured come rain we would be able to set up some tables on the porches of Red Fox Cabin and round up enough tents and awnings to keep the campers and their artwork dry.

It did rain for a bit, but we had no need of tents, tarps, or other such leak-worthy devices. Instead we had a roof over our heads, the warm red roof of the beautiful new Seitz Family Pavilion, so christened in honor of the clever, generous relatives that devised and constructed it on the site of the former compass garden (see

Just before the gable ends were finished

In fact, the construction crew finished the west gable end just half an hour before the Good Grief Fun Camp bus pulled up in front of the gardens. In honor of their being the very first visitors to use the new shelter house, the 28 kids plus their adult counselors were presented with gold medal sticker badges emlazoned with #1.

Inspecting a false map turtle

The campers learned about aquatic ecology and the life that populates and cycles through Cranberry Run as it passes through the nature preserve. They toured Red Fox Cabin and heard of its 1853 construction in West Virginia and its transport to Ohio in the 1990s. Since the cabin is too small to comfortably fit a tour group of 28+, some stepped out to meet Buddy.

Camp counselors and Quarry Farmers put their backs and arms into mixing concrete so that the visitors could make their stepping stones. Leaves, berries and bright baubles and stones were used to illuminate the words that they inscribed. Lemonade and cookies were shared, the aquatic creatures were released and the big yellow bus was on its way.

So many choices

Architect Keith Seitz and his wife and partner Lois left for North Carolina this morning. His crew of brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces are off to their corners of the country as well. The sun is going under now and the chickens and geese must be put to bed so I will close this with my most heartfelt ‘thanks.’ You have opened the door, several doors, to new Quarry Farm possibilities. Rita and Martha, you take great photos. See you soon.

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