This exhibit is part of the month-long Maine Coast Stone Symposium hosted by Boothbay Railway Village during the month of August.
Maine stone is part of our cultural heritage. As America expanded across the continent in the late 1800s and early 1900s, one third of the granite used in American cities and towns came from Maine. Granite from Maine was used in The White House, Washington Monument, Smithsonian, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, George Washington Bridge, and Library of Congress. The memorial stones in Arlington National Cemetery for President John F. Kennedy, his wife Jacqueline, and two of their children are made of slate from Monson, Maine. At one point in the 19th century Maine had the largest lime quarries in the world. Granite, slate, and limestone quarrying were vibrant industries in Maine’s past and continue to play a part in Maine’s economy today.
Built with Stone: The Story of Granite, Slate, and Limestone in Maine looks at the geology of granite, slate and limestone, and traces the history of commercial quarrying in Maine, including its transportation by ox, sail, and rail. The exhibit is illustrated with photographs of buildings from across the country linked to maps of the old quarries from which each building came, with historic photographs of the quarries and quarry workers, 19th century quarrying tools and equipment, and samples of granite, slate and limestone. Reminiscences of 19th century quarrymen illustrate the personal side of quarrying history. Stereoscopes, enormously popular in the 19th century, will be available with stero cards depicting historic scenes of quarrying for visitor viewing.
Maine Coast Stone Symposium is made possible with the generous support of our partners: