Graystone Quarry’s spectacular transformation has to be seen to be believed.
You know the old cliché: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. For Rick and Nancy McEachern, a 76-acre property once filled with hundreds of tons of “trash,” became their prize. But only after a transformational vision and lots of elbow grease.
Graystone Quarry in Thompson’s Station was once an abandoned rock quarry that was used to build I-65 from Nashville to Columbia. When the McEacherns purchased the property, the site had been used as a dump for 50 years. Now it’s one of the area’s most unique event venues.
“It was abandoned with 900 tons of junk – wire and cement – in it from the highway project,” Nancy McEachern said. Construction crews used limestone from the quarry to build the highway stretch, and the McEacherns were determined to make the best of everything they left behind a half a century ago.
Over a period of more than two years, the couple recycled and repurposed wire, boulders, and other debris on site to create roads on the property, and eventually to build multiple event spaces. Nancy said, “We used it all, and very little ended up in a landfill.”
The venue now boasts a 10,000 square foot Gathering Hall, adjacent to a waterfall, as well as the Hillside Pavilion—complete with three walls of slide-away glass doors for taking in the beautiful view. The spaces can each accommodate 300 people, and can be set up for weddings, corporate events, or private parties.
The McEacherns wanted the venue to be “refined rustic,” so they brought in as many natural, locally sourced materials as possible. They used stone from the quarry, and any wood that wasn’t already on the property was grown and milled in nearby Leiper’s Fork.
The venue officially opened with its first wedding in October, and it quickly became a popular choice for brides not just from Nashville but from Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey and as far away as California. Word spread quickly and by January 1, every Saturday in 2017 had been booked. “Now we’re booking Fridays and Sundays,” says Nancy.
Before beginning this venture, the McEacherns worked for multiple startups and tech companies during the 20 years they lived in California. Nancy’s strength and experience is in event planning, and her vision for her own venue began when their son moved to Nashville in 2009 to attend Belmont University.
The couple fell in love with Middle Tennessee, and knew they wanted to move here, eventually. They began looking for property that they could develop into an event space, and found the abandoned quarry while scanning Google Earth.
“Rick was looking every single night on listings,” Nancy said. “When we found the [quarry], we sent our realtor and son over. They liked it and we tried to get it but so were some others.”
After the long process of acquiring the property, Rick and Nancy built their private residence on it. Similar to the event spaces, their 7,000 square foot home also makes use of as many natural elements from the property as possible.
The McEacherns have no intention of slowing down, and the next planned project on the property is an amphitheater that will accommodate more than 5,000 seats. Nancy will continue to manage the wedding and events arm of the business, and Rick will be heavily involved in the amphitheater once it’s running.
As their event calendar continues to fill, the couple’s dedication is making Graystone Quarry into an incredibly unique, world-class destination—right here in Middle Tennessee.
More information is available online at GraystoneQuarry.com.