Just beyond the tree line is the Lipscombe-Garrett Family cemetery adopted by Norwood Morrison, FRIENDS adopter and member of the Peaks of Otter Chapter.

Preserving Parkway Stories Hiding in Plain Sight

With retirement approaching, FRIENDS member and volunteer, Norwood Morrison was planning how to spend his time. Would he look for ways to continue doing activities that were an extension of his career or would he try something new? What he did know was that he wanted to be outside.

Norwood has known the Parkway all his life, often taking the scenic route to travel. He always had a fondness for the overlooks and how they spoke to the core purpose of the Parkway to “stop and enjoy the view” instead of merely getting from point A to point B.

Mr. Garrett’s headstone in the family cemetery

After joining FRIENDS in 2015, he took a page from the Appalachian Trail handbook which suggested taking a portion of the trail and being responsible for that section. He combined that suggestion with his love of the Parkway overlooks and claimed his section as an overlook adopter for the 14 overlooks from MP 51.4 to MP 69.1.

He plans his new “work trip” knowing it will take 2-3 hours to complete but the scenic route always makes it worth the time, especially now that his overlooks have been restored and look the best they ever have during his lifetime. His section of the Parkway was part of the annual vista restoration program funded by FRIENDS. The overlooks were brought back to their original glory in November 2018.

Just off the span of Parkway that Norwood keeps beautiful is the  Lipscombe-Garrett Family cemetery which he adopted. He finds FRIENDS’ Adopt-a-Cemetery program to be a fascinating way to preserve the Parkway history that is hiding in plain sight. Among other tasks, he removes fallen leaves from the plot so the headstones are visible. He has worked with the Amherst County Historical Society to learn what he can about the family too. Near the cemetery plot is the foundation of an old building which is believed to a one-room schoolhouse. Norwood hopes to find someone who attended school there to learn even more.