What attraction in Halifax County is the most unique? I would say Robert Cage Sculpture Farm, which has an amazing collection of whimsical art created by cast-off industrial materials.
I often drive friends and guests to this amazing garden, with a goat bridge over the main driveway and dozens of large sculpted pieces.
Cage, who died in 2014 at age 91, led a remarkable life. He had been a Marine in World War II and had jobs in widely varying locations, ranging from a veterans’ hospital in Miami, oil wells in Texas and a tennis club in Beverly Hills. Returning to his native Halifax County, he won the world championship in tobacco auctioneering in 1984.
Visiting Rhodesia, as part of his tobacco work, Cage obtained a degree in fine arts at the Salisbury School of Art and studied art for a summer in Paris. Then he started turning out these art works, which are scattered throughout the county and were displayed after his death at the Portsmouth Art Center.
Where did he get these industrial materials? “He took me to a junkyard on our first date,” says his widow, Sandy Rusak Cage. Others he got from highway projects and contributions from the community. Today the farm is maintained by his 3 children, 2 of whom live on the property, and one of Cage’s friends, a long time employee.
Much of his art can be seen on this website, www.robertfcage.com. To get to the sculpture farm from downtown South Boston, drive east on U.S. 360, past Ernie’s Restaurant, make a U turn at the next intersection Highway 854, and turn right onto Cage Trail. –Mike Doan