Grassroots Art Center

Even in ruins, Wickham Stone Park maintains its unique character

by Phil Pasquini

BFA and MFA in Sculpture, from the San Francisco Art Institute


Buck Smith Road, Oxen

Driving to Palmyra near the Kentucky border in northwest Tennessee, I couldn’t help but think of the ancient city of Palmyra located in today’s Syria and once ruled by Queen Zenobia. After taking Egypt from the Romans and having lost a later war, “The Warrior Queen” was captured by Emperor Aurelian who transported her to Rome where she was paraded through the city bound by golden chains. Nobody knows what eventually became of Queen Zenobia after her arrival, so the mystery of her fate survives to this day.
Arriving at Wickham Stone Park located on rural Buck Smith Road just outside the small town of Palmyra, you are greeted by the remnants of a once powerful and personal place that has managed to survive much like its ancient namesake, in spite of the effects of weather, neglect and vandalism.