Mariners' Museum Park Book: The Making of an Urban Oasis

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In the late 1920s, in Newport News, Virginia, scholar and philanthropist Archer Huntington, and his wife, sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, looked out over a swath of rural marshland fed by a tidal creek and imagined building a park that would serve as the setting for a maritime museum and as a backdrop for Anna's sculpture collection. The park was envisioned as a sanctuary for wildlife and migrating birds, and as a botanical preserve featuring Virginia's diverse flora of trees, shrubs, ferns, and wildflowers. This history and guide, written by biologist and naturalist Harold Cones, traces the remarkable effort to realize the Huntingtons' dream by creating the 550-acre Mariners' Museum Park. Here, illustrated with wonderful archival photographs, is the story of the Park's development in the early 1930's, with Lake Maury the centerpiece of lush woodlands accentuated with thousands of flowering plants.

Also featured are landmarks such as Lion's Bridge, Causey's Mill and the 5-mile Noland Trail through the Park's mixed forest and meadows, with overlooks offering spectacular vistas across Lake Maury. Readers familiar with the Park and its environs will find this book an intriguing retrospective of a time when horse-drawn carts could still be seen at construction sites, deer roamed the Deer Park, and antique watercraft bobbed at moorings by the Park Boathouse. For all, including those discovering the Park for the first time, this book is an eminently readable account of the people, planning, and vision that produced one of the largest private urban parks in the United States.

Paperback, 120 pages. Author: Harold N. Cones. All book sales are final.

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