See, while Garnet was designing golf courses, Frieda was walking around the property admiring the labyrinth of caves and crevices.
One day she took took a string and wandered through the maze of rocky cliffs and caves making a path. Then she began planting trees and flowers and plants – lots of different trees and flowers and plants. (Make that as many as 400 different kinds.) The Carter’s friends enjoyed walking through their gardens and word of the Rock City Gardens spread.
(Frieda also named the streests in her husband’s Fairyland development – names which are still used in the residential area near Rock City today. Peter Pan Lane, Cinderella Trail, Pied Piper Street, etc.)
After Garnet sold the miniature golf franchise, he and Frieda decided to put the money into the gardens and open them to tourists. Visitors could walk along the trail that Frieda had plotted with her string.
Yet this was the Depression, a time when many tourists stops were closing down. How could they succeed? That’s when Garnet hired his painter to write SEE ROCK CITY on 900 barns.
(Interesting side note: Across from the entrance of Rock City is a building made of rock. Originally the building housed Fairyland Gas and then Cornerstone Gas. But truly a sign of the times – it is now a Starbucks.)
Today, Rock City is a walk through Frieda’s Garden – down rocky paths lined with wild flowers and trees, up stone steps, through rocky crevices and caverns – into a rock cave or two, over a suspension bridge. You can imagine Mrs. Carter enjoying her beautiful yard.
And not a rock turtle statue in sight.