The old quarry now called the Eagle’s Nest is largely forgotten or perhaps just unnoticed, hidden by trees and overshadowed by more spectacular Lookout Mountain attractions. Just up the road, the parking lot at Ruby Falls, Chattanooga’s famous cave, is filled with vehicles, but visitors to the quarry are rare.

It’s not often you hear about Milton Ochs, either. Milton Ochs may have done more than any other person to preserve thousands of acres on the north end of Lookout Mountain, but like the quarry, he was constantly in the shadow of others—specifically his famously successful brother, Adolph. If you google “Milton Ochs Chattanooga” you’ll get hundreds of hits for Adolph, crowding out the very few for Milton. Check Wikipedia and you’ll find entries for Adolph and another brother, George, but no page for Milton.

Adolph Ochs, who at age 20 had borrowed $250 to purchase The Chattanooga Times and went on to become the publisher of The New York Times , has long been given credit for turning much of the north end of Lookout Mountain into a park for the public’s use.

In 1887, Adolph was among those who purchased and reopened 16 acres at Point Park from Harriett Whiteside (a woman with a fascinating tale of her own) after she had fenced off the property. By the 1920s, Adolph lived in New York but during visits to Chattanooga began promoting the idea of the “Hanging Gardens of Lookout.” While the western slopes were to be preserved as forest, landscaped terraces would stretch along the eastern face from what’s now Rock City to the Cravens House. There was talk of pumping water up from the Tennessee River to create cascades down the bluffs above. It would rival, Adolph Ochs said, the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon and become a modern wonder of the world.

The Chattanooga Lookout Mountain Park Association was formed in 1925 to begin purchasing land, which would, in 1934, be turned over to the federal government to become a unit of Chickamauga National Military Park.

“Memory Place,” the quarry reborn as a monument, was to be a gateway into the Hanging Gardens. The 1931 annual report for the Association says:

“While development has not been confined to any one particular location within the park, the old rock quarry site has demanded the largest expenditure and commanded the most attention…men were hoisted by windlass and with heavy iron bars tested and pried away the stone wherever it was menacing. The crevices thus created were reinforced with steel and concrete and shelves extending from the bluff’s face built. In these crevices wagon loads of prepared soil were hoisted by buckets, the spaces filled and later planted with vines and other plants.”

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