What is this in Tom Varn Park?

by Julie Maglio

This structure stands in the middle of Tom Varn Park which was once the Brooksville Quarry. According to historian Frasier Mountain, a railroad track once ran to this spot to bring coal from Alabama for the steam boiler that powered a pump used to recycle water from the slush pond. The ponds in Tom Varn Park adjacent to the structure were once the deepest points of the slush pond (15’-20’ deep). In the slush pond, the water would travel a U-shaped route allowing the gradual settlement of sediment from the water so that the water was cleanest at the point where the pump took the water out of the pond. The steam engine would turn a fly wheel to power the pump.