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Wanted: Historians, media pros for Providence quarry project

September 21st, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Mitch Figgat

PROVIDENCE — The city’s Historical Preservation Commission is looking for historians and media specialists to help produce an educational packet they are preparing for elementary school classes about the Johnson Quarry.

The commission plans on presenting the idea for an educational packet, which will include a coloring book and an educational movie centered on the quarry, to the City Council. The need for historians with accurate knowledge about the quarry’s history and a video crew to write and film the educational movie was the main topic of discussion as commission members tossed between each other the names of anyone able to help in the project.

“We need to start nailing down the details so we can meet the requirements, such as the educational requirement,” said commission member Jay Hicken.

According to a published oral history by commission member Hoyt Kelley, the Johnson Quarry is a limestone quarry in Providence Canyon. From this quarry all the limestone that built sugar refineries in the valley was mined. The refineries processed sugar from beets and belonged to David Eccles and Charles Nibley around the turn of the 20th century. The limestone was also used for cement and plaster. The quarry gave the town of Providence great economic power as it was the only quarry in the area.

The movie about the quarry needs to be able meet the requirements that the council sets forth to receive the grants the commission will need to start and finish the project. “I would really like to see it done quite professionally,” said Hicken.

Some commission members believed that not only would the Johnson Quarry help with archive footage, but also cover any costs after the grant money ran out if that should be a problem.

In other business, the commission discussed the methods in which they would approach potential new members of the commission before they brought the candidates forward to the mayor to be interviewed.

The commission agreed that all potential candidate names be given to Commission Chairman Karl Seethaler. and he would decide who would be suggested for an interview with the mayor. This discussion came up due to the resignation of Commission Member Jackie Robinette. She will step down from her position after the annual Sauerkraut Dinner for personal reasons.


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