Once popular Oldham Co. quarry has dried up with alcohol ban


by Bryan Baker


Posted on July 3, 2012 at 11:31 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 3 at 11:41 PM

LAGRANGE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The former Joe Clark Quarry, which housed lots of dolomite limestone, opened to people about three years ago when Clark's son, also Joe, branded it as Falling Rocks Park once water filled it.

Quickly the place to swim in LaGrange became a place to party while drinking alcohol, and some of those drinking were minors. So in the name of safety and scenery Joe Clark banned alcohol even though he's losing money by doing it.

"I made a commitment to it, I don't want anybody out here drinking and acting foolish anymore," he said.

Clark laid off about 18 people, including 12 security personnel once he enacted the ban. He became serious about it, he says, about a month ago. He once appreciated people coming to the park to enjoy the water, but says first minors got out of hand and then adults trashed the park.

"The alcohol ban I don't think has done anything other than just cut out some of the riff raff that was here just to do that," Donald Johnson, a visitor from Cincinnati, said. "One-Thousand people just everywhere, hanging off the cliffs and things like that."

Some visitors off camera told WHAS11 News some still sneak alcohol in.

It costs $10 to get in, but because of the decision, fewer people means less profit.

"I didn't come out here to get rich anyway," Clark said. "I'd like to make enough money to finish doing what I want to do to this place to make it be a considered a park, and a few thousand dollars doesn't move much stone."

Oldham County paid for the large signs, out of character from other funky signs around the park, that cites a state law saying alcohol is prohibited in places not licensed to sell it.

"I've yet to see [alcohol]," Johnson said. "It's cleaner. There's no debris left around."