In the early twentieth century, a group of people in Richmond commenced a discussion about erecting a monument to a popular actor, Joseph Jefferson, recently deceased. John Newton Harper, whose wife owned the Rock Rimmon Freestone Quarry on Aquia Creek, heard of the plan and wrote to the individual in charge of the project:
"I see by the papers of your city that you are at the head of the friends of our late Joseph Jefferson, of theatrical notoriety, to erect a suitable monument in the city of Richmond, Va., to his memory. I am willing to give you the right to send your workmen down to my stone quarry, on the Aquia Creek, a half mile above the railroad bridge, and get and dress all the stone you may need for the foundation, etc., for said monument. This I give you free of all cost; you can freight it to your city by railroad, free of freight, I presume…P. S.--In my youth I have been on the stage with our mutual friend, Joseph Jefferson, and knew him well. He was a good man and a gentleman" (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 16, 1905).