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Photo by @travelsofkathleen

Featured Article

Graystone Quarry & FirstBank Amphitheater: Diamonds in the Rough

The abandoned site used to build part of Interstate 65 in the early 1960s, once full of litter and loiterers, is now home to Thompson’s Station’s Graystone Quarry and FirstBank Amphitheater – an event venue that dreams are made of and a music venue that’s unlike any other in the United States. Acres of sprawling beauty now surround the limestone quarry.

Owners Rick and Nancy McEachern discovered the quarry as it sat full of abandoned car parts, tires, wires and, by night, some seedy visitors. They heard of crimes like car thieving rings and drug activity and even rumored tales of moonshiners and of train robbers staging horses there from long ago. Not a trace of that can be seen there today. After six months of clean-up, an estimated 900 tons of trash were pulled from the land, including 245 tires!

Being good neighbors is important to the McEacherns, and the clean-up has been greatly appreciated. “This is a largely generational neighborhood, and we want them all to be proud and happy that we’re here and to be good neighbors to them,” said Nancy. Having built these magnificent venues from the rocks up, they have kept the community as one of their greatest interests by using as many resources as possible from the quarry land and surrounding artisans and businesses. The property’s own eco-friendly water treatment plant was built on site which allows them to purify their own water. Cement culverts left in the quarry from the construction of the interstate were crushed to pave the roads throughout the property. Wood used to build different structures throughout the venues is all locally grown and milled by a family mill located in Williamson County. All stone found around the landscape and in the buildings came from the quarry itself. And to top it all off, the amphitheater is plastic-free. Anything tossed by visitors is either recyclable aluminum or compostable.

The wholesomeness is matched only by the beauty and the quality. Graystone Quarry is an event space unlike any other. If historic homes and rustic barn weddings aren’t your style, maybe a wedding photo by a dazzling quarry pond with a romantic 20-foot waterfall will better suit you. Start your day in a luxurious bridal suite, tie the knot in the charming Hillside Pavilion, and celebrate your special day with loved ones in the Gathering Hall which features a striking two-story fireplace and double staircase – all tucked into the romantic landscape of the quarry.

Maybe this isn’t your year for a wedding, but it’s definitely the year for a concert at the world-class FirstBank Amphitheater. This season, FirstBank will host artists such as Steely Dan, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Willie Nelson & Family, just to name a few, having already welcomed Miranda Lambert and Halsey. Walking through the quarry, the amphitheater is almost unnoticeable until the sound and scenery suddenly open up before you. A concert in a quarry amphitheater is a stunning experience. Colored lighting wraps the rock walls of the amphitheater creating the ultimate concert mood lighting. Each of the 7,500 seats available offer a great view
of the stage and great sound. Cliffside suites include in-seat service and the use of a private bar, and concessions offer a wide range of elevated southern fare. Last but not least, the venue plans to widen the roads leading from Lewisburg Pike (TN-431) to the entrance of the amphitheater, reducing traffic and allowing for faster travel to and from the venue. New lanes should be complete midway through this year’s concert season.

Don’t let the Franklin postal address confuse you – the location is actually Thompson’s Station land, but Graystone Quarry and FirstBank Amphitheater are proud to be a part of both communities.

  • Photo by @travelsofkathleen

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