Split Tree History, Information    Update:  04/18/07     Dance News

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HouseViewB&W.jpg (19148 bytes)About the farm history and facilities:

Although the original Coulter farm came into Sid Hetzler's family in the1840s, the family originally purchased what he now owns in  the 1870s.   Under artistic development since 1993, Split Tree Farm comprises 200 acres in NW Georgia and has a panoramic view of Lookout and Pigeon mountains.  It has a 60x36-foot new floating hardwood maple floor in a glass-enclosed, heated and air conditioned dance pavilion with full outside decks and hot tub overlooking rolling ridges and valleys north to Chattanooga and the mountains beyond.  The movement space is attached to a large house with fireplace, two kitchens, five bedrooms, three full private baths inside with continuous hot water, and an outside hot shower.   Sheltered camping is available in a nearby large barn and open pastures offer abundant tent sites.                              

1994: Atlanta dancers gather 'round and on the tree
From left:  Steve Rose, Susan Keller, Morning Washburn, Heitzso

Split Tree was created as a workshop center for the participatory arts, especially movement and musical arts, and as a potential arts community. (See Alan Dynin's draft vision statement that followed the 7/27/97 Next Steps meeting).  A large pasture amphitheater was opened in the fall of 1996 for outdoor concerts.  The property is named for an unusual cherry tree (above) that lightning struck in August 1992.   Most of the framing for the pavilion and outdoor stage came from large trees knocked down at Split Tree and at Bryan and Cartter Patten family's nearby Ashland Farm by the heavy winds and snows of a historic blizzard in March 1993.

A regional and international board of advisors and directors is being formed to further develop the participatory, experiential, and outdoor arts programs offered to date.   Inquiries, comments, event and workshop ideas are welcomed and may be directed to:  sid [@] splittree.org.
Sid Hetzler     

"The Origin of Split Tree Farm"--a plaque presented by Atlanta tango dancers September1997                                


Thanksgiving Weekend '96-- With tools ranging from hands, backs, hammers, air compressors, cookbooks, brooms or whatever, about 30 volunteers laid a floating maple dance floor that one experienced dancer said could be the finest in Georgia, maybe even the East Coast if scenery counts.  

We thank these incredible people who gave their energy to share in making what could even become one of the finest and most scenic social and modern dance floors in the world.  We'll name names later.  The sanding and sealing (water-based) was completed Friday, Dec. 6.   

The new floating maple hardwood floor was installed under Daniel Lee's and Don Walker's on-site direction under the general guidance of  John Prater of  Prater Athletic Floor Construction Company in Chattanooga, who sold us the maple wood and loaned us other equipment.  Prater built the fine dance floor at Barking Legs Theater and his company has built many sprung dance and gym floors in the Southeast, including the new Vanderbilt gym floor.

On Nov. 23 and 24, Don Walker and his merry band of six had laid the rubber padded plywood (140 sheets) in preparation for the hard maple floor laying on Thanksgiving weekend.   He was kidding about making a new T-shirt, "Floors Are Us."

If you couldn't come and would like to help, please consider mailing a contribution (tax-deductible) made out to Southern Pitch Foundation, Inc./%Split Tree Dance Floor/597 West Cove Road/Kensington, GA 30307.   For more information, call  Sid Hetzler at 706/539-2485.  We have had a $5,000 donation from a California supporter, $1,000 from a local supporter, $600 from an Alabama supporter  and to date $7,000 from many regional and national dancers.  We need about $10,000 more to complete our dance studio, which many dancers now say is one of the finest and most beautiful in the country.

Information: 706-539-2485.
Email: Sid Hetzler splittree [@] splittree.org