“About 5 miles southeast from Opelika, Lee county occurs a narrow strip of highly crystalline dolomite (see thin section Plate VI A). This dolomite is for the most part a beautiful pearly white stone. The belt in which the dolomite occurs is about a third of a mile wide and is known to extend for several miles in a northeast and southwest direction (see map of the area, Figure 30). This stone has been quarried extensively in the past for lime. The chief quarry is located near Chewacla in the NE of the SE. of S. 4, T. 18, R. 27-E. Quarries in this dolomite have been opened at several places in the past, including Echols’ Mills and Springvilla.
“Chemical Analysis shows the stone to be nearly pure dolomite.
“A light colored talc occurs in some of the layers in small streaks and spots and where present in considerable amount would interfere with the use of the stone for ornamental purposes. It is probable that there are portions of the deposits free from the talc impurity, and if prospecting proves this to be the case we would have here a first-class building stone.
“The Chewacla dolomitic marble is almost identical in appearance with the Cockeysville dolomitic marble of Maryland, so much used in and about Baltimore.”
"The announcement is made in the Fort Payne, Ala. Journal that Messrs. Folsom and Saunders have purchased the Fort Payne stone works and will at once put the plant into operation. Messrs. Folsom and Saunders are the proprietors of the Fort Payne Basket Co., a concern which employs about 200 hands, and which is the only industry which has been carried on in that noted city."
“...Many of the original structures are still standing and used in the park. Located off the white hiking trail is the rock quarry where many long hours were spent by the CCC removing the large stones for construction of a variety of facilities and structures. An old star drill, wedged in a rock, still remains after 60 years. This old tool can be located at the CCC rock quarry on the white hiking trail.”
“In the St. Stephens or Vicksburg limestone of the Tertiary formation, at Gainestown, St. Stephens and other localities, there are numerous occurrences of hard fossiliferous limestone which takes a good polish, and from its pleasing colors, red, yellow, gray, etc., should be good for decorative purposes. None of this marble has yet (circa 1916) been utilized, nor have any of the occurrences been investigated as t their commercial possibilities.”
“Near Greensport, Shelby County
“According to M. Tuomey,* ‘A very elegant marble occurs above Ashville. It is gray with bright yellow and greenish veins. It occurs in thin beds in a ridge cut in two by Canoe Creek, not far from where the road to Greensport diverges from the Ashville road.’”
(* Page 93 footnote: Second Biennial Report on the Geology of Alabama, 1858, p. 121.)
“Three Caves is not a cave at all, but a former limestone mine. The mine began operating on a small basis in the spring of 1945. The site of Three Caves was owned by Madison County and leased to Madison Limestone Company for five cents per ton of limestone hauled away.
“After the war ended, the demand for limestone for construction increased for a fast-growing Huntsville. At its height, the quarry spawned tons of limestone that paved the majority of Huntsville's original main streets and parking lots. The Three Caves Quarry closed in 1952 due to skyrocketing operation costs and the growth of Huntsville. Open pit mining was more efficient, and a mining operation in the middle of town was unsafe for obvious reasons....”
Jackson County, Alabama – Sandstone Quarry – Photos of sandstone quarrying on Skyline Farms, Jackson County, Alabama (mid-1930s)
“Stone quarry, Skyline Farms, Alabama” (Ben Shahn, Photographer, 1937)
“Resettled farmers working in sandstone quarry. Jackson County, Alabama. Skyline Farms,” Sept. 1935. (Arthur Rothstein, Photographer, Sept. 1935)
|“Resettled farmers working in sandstone quarry. Jackson County, Alabama. Skyline Farms,” Sept. 1935. (Arthur Rothstein, Photographer, Sept. 1935), Library of Congress|
(Repository of the above photographs: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, DC 20540 )
“The Skyline Farms project, established by the federal government in Jackson County in 1934, was one of the more unique socioeconomic experiments in Alabama history.
“Originally called the Cumberland Farms Project, the community was established by the Federal Emergency Relief Agency (renamed the Resettlement Administration in 1935). The name was changed quickly to Skyline Farms…”
“During the mid-1930s, the federal government purchased approximately 13,000 acres of land in Jackson County in northeastern Alabama….
“Today, all that remains at the site is the school building, which is now used as a local elementary school, and a few other buildings….”
“Mineral exploration in Alabama continued to focus on industrial resources with several large expansions and new operations in recent years...Opelika Materials LLC recently began crushed stone operations at the historic Chewacla marble quarry in Lee County (Stevenson, 1997)....”
“Minor Marble Deposits - Variegated Marbles.
“Besides the variegated marble from near Calera, which is described elsewhere in this bulletin* and which is of Cambrian age, there are a number of localities, especially in Jefferson and St. Clair counties, where rocks of Pelham age yield variegated marbles. In nearly every case these deposits are near the base of the Pelham formation and usually are near a fault or represent a brecciated deposit.
(* See entry: Calera (south of east of), Shelby County, Alabama - Variegated Marbles Near Calera above.)
“Near McCalla Station, Jefferson County
“One of the best known of these deposits* occurs about a mile west of McCalla station in the SE. ¼ of NW. ¼ of S. 35, T. 19, R. 5-W. Another locality is just east of Bessemer in NW. ¼ of S. 11, T. 19, R. 4-W. In both these localities the marble is highly ferruginous and locally tinged greenish.”
(* Page 92, footnote 1: McCalley, The Valley Regions of Alabama, Pt. II, p. 337.)
The above book states that the proprietors of the Talladega Marble Quarries were George Herd and George Miller. The time period mentioned is during the late 1830s through the mid-1840s. George Herd signed his cemetery stones “G. Herd, Herd, or Herd Bro’s. (Two of his brothers worked in the quarry business with George Herd.)