Stone Mill Archives - Plant Talk

Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Stone Mill

Morning Eye Candy: Summer’s End

Posted inPhotography onSeptember 22 2015, by Matt Newman

It’s the last day of summer. Bittersweet—the Forest’s canopy is never so verdant as it is now—but we’re looking forward to autumn’s novel hues.

Stone Mill

The Stone Mill – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

The Lorillard Jar

Posted inHistory onAugust 19 2015, by Stephen Sinon

Stephen Sinon is Head of Information Services and Archives in the New York Botanical Garden’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Old Stone Mill Lorillard Snuff Mill
The Stone Mill

It’s not every day that someone walks into your life to present you with a piece of history from your past, but that is exactly what happened here recently at The LuEsther T. Mertz Library. We had a visitor who rode the Garden tram and heard mention of the Lorillard family on the tram’s narrated tour. She recalled owning a jar with the name “Lorillard” written on it and wondered if there was any connection.

As it turned out, the jar in question happened to be filled with tobacco snuff which was milled at the Garden’s historic Stone Mill and apparently never opened. The gift of this jar was accompanied by several commemorative catalogs from the Lorillard Tobacco Company and a newspaper article dated December 31, 1893, discussing the award winners at the World’s Fair held in Chicago that year. Known as the World’s Columbian Exposition, the fair was held to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus on the shores of the Americas.

The numerous Neoclassical stucco facades found at the fair, the first to feature electrical illumination, earned it the name “The White City” and had a profound influence on the urban beautification movement in America. The Mertz Library Building and The New York Botanical Garden itself grew out of this movement.

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Morning Eye Candy: A Spin on the Carousel

Posted inAround the Garden onJune 11 2014, by Matt Newman

I happened to be catching up with Ivo by the Stone Mill when one of our groundskeepers rolled by on his way to the next job site. “Have you seen the mountain laurel yet?” he asked. “I’ve never actually seen it in bloom until now. Worth the wait, though.”

We’re all on the look-out for good camera fodder here.

Kalmia latifolia 'Carousel'

Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia ‘Carousel’) by the Stone Mill – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Historic Images of Stone Mill on Display

Posted inExhibitions onNovember 12 2010, by Plant Talk

Jane Dorfman was Reference Librarian/Exhibitions Coordinator in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library.

In recognition of the newly renovated and rededicated Lillian and Amy Goldman Stone Mill, the LuEsther T. Mertz Library has installed a display in the Rare Book and Folio Room window that details the evolution of the building.

The display includes historic images of the dam and the two mills built by the Lorillards, the family who purchased the site in 1792 on the property that would become The New York Botanical Garden. The family built a major tobacco manufacturing company, one that rivaled those in Virginia. The top image pictured is circa 1936 and the other is from 1967.

Originally built in 1840, the current structure was the third mill on the site. The mill used the Bronx River to power the waterwheels that produced tobacco and snuff. The mill was abandoned in 1870 when the company moved to New Jersey and was later purchased by the City of New York for parkland. It wasn’t until 1937 that the mill was officially transferred to the Garden.

The display will run through January and is available for viewing during Library hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 12–6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 12–5 p.m.

Click here to view a video of the opening of the Stone Mill in September.