Fairyland History p.2


Ms. Carter designed and scaled sixteen houses. These were mostly constructed of mountains stone, pine logs, and stuck oh. Each had its own name rolled in black iron and a tag to their mailbox or the corner of the house. Many of these homes are still proudly displaying the original signs.

A hotel was built to make the area more appealing to the new residence. The hotel, Fairyland Inn, was considered one of the finest architectural developments in the entire South. It was of old English design incorporating stucco and weathered mountains stone, and seems a natural outgrowth of the broad edge of rock on which it stands. Situated on the east brow and commanding a view in the several states, it had forty guest rooms and one of the largest ballrooms in the South. Ten picturesque cottages which comprise Mother Goose Village, were constructed in a section near the Inn. Each cottage is named for Mother Goose rhyme character. The hotel is now Fairyland Club.

In 1924 Garnet Carter and his wife Frieda acquire the wild ten acres which comprise Rock City. This name was taken from the massive boulders which seem to have been carved by a giant hand into the weird shapes that strikingly resemble man and man made things. Lofty rocks lean against each other to form arches over shadowy carders softly carpeted with pine needles and moss.

Mrs. Carter, a remarkable woman in her own right, became intrigued with the wild beauty of the site long before her husband did. She began doing little things at Rock City. An artist and musician with a love for the outdoors, Frieda Carder was an ecological pioneer long before it was fashionable for anyone even use the term. She laid out the first primitive pine needle play us through the massive stone formations. She took a ball of twine and marked off the path to lovers leap, not realizing then that she was blazing a trail in more ways than one. She collected flowers and shrubs indigenous to the mountain area and planted them in strategic locations along that original path.

Around 1930, Mr. Carter became interested in her efforts and began to see the possibilities at Rock City. His interest is probably heightened by the fact that his wife began to show evidence of the debilitating disease, which was to make her an invalid in later years. Many friends of the couple believe Carter's great love for his wife motivated him to carry on and enlarge her 'little project' at Rock City. For years, the Carters labored with a small group of helpers improving the early pathways with steppingstones and adding and extending trails. In the 1932 they opened for business. It is now more than 3000 feet of trails through lovely rock gardens and attracts many thousands of visitors annually.

This brief history of the start of our community is taken from the book, "Lookout Mountain A Place and its People" by Norman and Frances Bradley, copyrighted 1986 with permission of their daughter, Caroline Cavett.

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