Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Carved in stone

Rollins College has another fascinating feature just down the road from the Beal-Maltbie Shell Museum. Created in 1929 by then Rollins College president Hamilton Holt, the Walk of Fame features between five and six hundred individual stones with names of historical figures and places etched on them. The Walk is a horseshoe shaped path connecting to Holt Avenue in the heart of the Rollins Campus. Surrounded by flowering azaleas and in some places, covered by dwarf mondo grass, the Walk features names like Helen Keller, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Confucius, Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King, Shakespeare and my distant relative Ethan Allen. Supposedly the rocks all come from the homes and birthplaces of these famous people and places. Some have smaller rocks inset into larger stones and in some places it is evident that these smaller rocks have been pried off. Jack London's stone appears to be a cannonball.

Far and away the most interesting stepping stones I've ever seen, the rocks are interesting just from a typographical perspective. It's both a history lesson and a nice stroll through a shady part of Winter Park. I say take the kids and make a game out of seeing how many names they recognize. Will they know Henry Nehlring the local botantist? Or how about Dr. Edmund Skellings, the Poet Laureate of Florida? (I admit I didn't know that last one...)

Black and white images from the State Archives of Florida

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