Thursday, June 30, 2016 – On Wednesday we ventured out to see Rock of Ages Granite Quarry, Hope Cemetery, Robbins Nest Covered Bridge and to eat at Ladder 1 Grill all in or around Barre, Vermont.
I am working hard not to have my blog posts be so picture heavy (I’ve gotten carried away in the past!) and not covering so much in each one. I’ll be writing about Rock of Ages Granite Quarry today. I hope these changes please ya’ll! I’m also going to stop saying when I add photos from the internet. Just assume that I have to do it from time to time when mine don’t come out too hot!
The photo to the right is the Visitors Center where we paid $3.50 each for the tour. They have amazing granite things there for sale.
For the caravan tour, we followed in our own truck, a guide truck up a bumpy road to the quarry site, which can be viewed from behind a gate. What was once an operation requiring the hard manual labor of a few hundred men is today manned by just a few people, with the help of some impressive machinery.
The caravan ride up passes piles and piles of granite blocks – since 1885, quarry workers have simply dumped pieces of granite with fractures or cracks in these piles. These piles are all over the town. The company now grinds up the piles of rocks into usable small pieces for adding to concrete, asphalt, and other things. A very knowledgeable man was our guide, Johan and we really enjoyed learning about ways of mining granite from the past and current ways.
The quarry itself is the world’s largest deep-hole dimension granite quarry, and though 600 feet of its depths are under a well of milky-green water, the quarry is astoundingly huge. The color of the water is a result of the grinding needed to separate chunks of the granite from the bigger mass. The milkier green/blue water is the newest water. The emerald clearer water over to the left is from previous years mining.
Our tour group and wonderful guide
After the tour of the quarry, we took a self-guided tour of the granite plant, which was fascinating. Huge blocks of granite are moved around, cut, polished, and engraved for gravestones. Most of America’s granite headstones come from right here. We saw many gravestones being worked on while we were there. If possible, ask for a Rock of Ages stone for your loved one!
Rock of Ages has quarrys in several states These are some of the different colors that come out of the various quarrys.
Some of the amazing work they do and some they were working on while there.
We saw a video in the Visitors Center about the whole process from quarry mining the granite to the finished product marking someone’s grave, city monuments, national monuments, etc.
One of the statues they created now stands in the townsquare in Barre, Vermont.