Logo Picture Left SideLogo Picture Right SideLogo Text at Center
Home > Search > Site Map > California > The California Stone Industry, 1908

The California Stone Industry, 1908

Excerpts from

Mineral Resources of the United States, Calendar Year 1908

Part II - Nonmetallic Products

Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey
Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1909.


Excerpts from the book are from the chapters on: 1) Slate, by A. T. Coons; 2) Stone, by A. T. Coons; 3) part of chapter on Abrasive Materials, by W. C. Phalen.

Building Stone Distribution: "Distribution of the various kinds of building stone and the localities where the different varieties of stone are now being quarried or may be quarried in the future for California are Serpentine (verdantique marble), onyx marble, marble, limestone, granite, volcanic rocks and tuffs, sandstone, slate."

Slate: "In 1908, as in 1907, nine States reported a commercial output of slate. These States in rank of output were Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maine, Virginia, New York, Maryland, California, New Jersey, and Arkansas. In 1907 the rank of output was Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maine, Virginia, Maryland, New York, California, Arkansas, and New Jersey. New York displaced Maryland and New Jersey displaced Arkansas in 1908."

"All of the States except Maryland reported an increased production for roofing slate, both in quantity and value, in 1908."

"The slate output in California is confined to Slatington, Eldorado County, although there is a deposit near Merced, Mariposa County. The output was practically the same in 1908 as in 1907, and was used entirely for roofing slate."

Production" Granite includes true granites and other igneous rocks, as gneiss, mica schist, andesite, syenite, trachyte, quartz porphyry, lava, tufa, diabase, trap rock, basalt, diorite, gabbro, and a small quantity of serpentine. Rocks of these kinds are as a rule quarried commercially in quantities too small to permit their being tabulated separately, but the trap-rock output for California, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania represents an important industry, and it is therefore considered advisable to show the value of this stone separately. The trap rock from California includes a considerable quantity of basalt."

"From (one of the tables in this book) it will be seen that New York, producing 12.70 per cent; Ohio, 10.45 per cent; Pennsylvania, 10.44 per cent; Illinois, 9.70 per cent; California, 7.03 per cent; Missouri, 6.02 per cent; and New Jersey, 5.59 per cent of the total crushed-stone output of the United States, were the principal crushed-stone producing States in 1908. Each of these had an output valued at more than $1,000,000."

"In 1907 the rank and percentage was as follows: New York, 13.13 per cent; Illinois, 11.68 per cent; Pennsylvania, 11.58 per cent; Ohio, 8.92 per cent; California. 5.46 per cent; Missouri, 5.37 per cent; and New Jersey, 4.65 per cent."

"In 1908 these States, except California, Missouri, and New Jersey, showed a decreased percentage of the total output, Illinois changing from second place to fourth."

Granite: "The figures given in this report as representing the value of the granite production in the United States include also the values of small quantities of gneiss, mica schist, lava, tuff, trachyte, andesite, syenite, quartz porphyry, trap, basalt, and allied igneous rocks. The quantities of these allied rocks quarried are too small to tabulate separately. Trap rock in the States of California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, however, represents an industry sufficient by itself to make it advisable to tabulate this stone separately, and its value is not included in the grand total of granite."

"The value of the granite output in the United States was in 1908 $18,420,080; in 1907 the value was $18,064,708, an increase for 1908 of $355,372. As noted previously, granite is the only variety of stone showing an increased value of output in 1908. In 1907, as compared with 1906, when the output was valued at $18,562,806, there was a decrease of $498,098. This decrease being practically the same as the increase for 1908, the granite industry would appear to be in about the same condition as before the business troubles of 1907 and 1908."

"Granite for monumental stone, curbstone, flagging, rubble, and crushed stone for road making increased slightly in value; but granite for paving blocks and for riprap showed considerable increase. Building stone decreased somewhat in value, and crushed stone for concrete and for railroad ballast showed a marked decrease."

"In 1907 the rank in output of States producing granite to the value of $500,000 or more was Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, California, Wisconsin, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Washington, and Minnesota; in 1908, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, California, Wisconsin, Georgia, Washington, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Maryland, Minnesota, Connecticut and Rhode Island decreased in value of production."

"The dressed stone sold for building by the quarrymen was valued at $4,372,152 in 1908 and at $4,752,593 in 1907, a decrease of $380,441. In 1907 the decrease was $1,906,511 compared with 1906. In 1907 for this output the report was as follows: Vermont, $1,009,353; Maine, $1,007,572; Massachusetts, $907,119; California, $485,778. There was therefore, in 1908, an increase of $48,417 for Maine and of $234,055 for California, and a loss of $333,286 for Vermont and of $186,323 for Massachusetts."

Curbstone: "Granite curbing in 1908 was valued at $942,722, and in 1907 at $819,621, a gain of $123,101 for 1908. Georgia, California, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Maine were the largest curbstone-producing states in 1908."

Riprap: "Granite sold for riprap increased in value from $620,033 in 1907 to $1,232,684 in 1908, a gain of $612,651. Washington, California, Connecticut, South Carolina, and Texas showed the largest output of this stone, which was used in riprap and in construction of breakwaters and jetty work in various rivers and harbors."

Crushed stone: "The total granite crushed-stone output was valued at $2,445,268 in 1908, as against $3,110,762 in 1907, a decrease in 1908 of $665,494.The total average price per ton was 76 cents in 1907 and 79 cents in 1908. The average price per ton for road making was 84 cents in 1908 and 84 cents in 1907; for railroad ballast it was 55 cents in 1908 and 49 cents in 1907; for concrete 87 cents in 1908 and 97 cents in 1907. Maryland, California, Virginia, and North Carolina had the largest values for crushed granite in 1908, Maryland reporting the greatest value for road making and concrete, and New Jersey the greatest value for railroad ballast."

Trap Rock: "Besides the trap rock given in the following tables there is a small quantity contained in the figures on granite under those States in which trap rock does not form enough of an industry to warrant the separate publication of the figures. The California output of trap rock includes a considerable quantity of basalt."

"The total output of trap rock in 1908 was valued at $4,282,406; in 1907 it was 44,594,103, a loss of $311,697 in 1908. The chief decrease was in crushed stone, which forms the basis of the trap-rock industry and which decreased in value from 6,073,472 short tons, valued at $4,280,554, in 1907, to 6,058,194 short tons, valued at $4,002,220, in 1908, a decrease of $15,278 short tons in quantity and of $278,334 in value, a noticeable decrease in value rather than in quantity. The average price per ton in 1907 was 70 cents and 66 cents in 1908. There was a slight increase in the paving-block output, and a decrease in the trap used for building."

"New Jersey had the largest output of trap rock in 1908, followed by California, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in the order named. In 1907 California, on account of large demand for crushed stone to repair roads damaged by the earthquake of 1906, took first rank, followed by New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts."

"In the different crushed-stone products there was a decrease in the stone for road making and concrete, and a slight increase in stone for railroad ballast. New Jersey showed the largest production of stone for road making in 1908, Pennsylvania for railroad ballast, and California for concrete."

Sandstone: "The decrease of $1,277,587 in the output of sandstone for 1908, when the value of the output was $7,594,091 as contrasted with a value of $8,871,678 in 1907, was a much larger decrease than for previous years, although the value of the sandstone production has been on the decrease since 1903, when it was $11,262,259. The total value for 1908 is the smallest since 1900, when the value was $6,471,384."

"New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, with total values, respectively, of $1,774,843, $1,368,784, and $1,244,752 in 1908, were the leading sandstone-producing States. In 1907 the rank and output of these States were, Pennsylvania, $2,064,913; New York, $1,978,117; and Ohio, $1,591,148. Each of these States showed a decrease for 1908 but New York exceeded Pennsylvania in value of output and ranked first. The next States in rank in 1908 were Washington, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin, with values of production ranging from $464,587 to $219,130; in 1907 the corresponding States were California, Minnesota, Colorado, Washington, and Massachusetts, with values ranging from $437,738 to $243,323. The greater number of sandstone-producing States showed a decreased value of output; but Washington and Arizona had a marked increase in value of output."

Marble: "In 1908 the commercial output of marble was from Vermont, Georgia, Tennessee, New York, Massachusetts, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Maryland, California, Colorado, Alaska, North Carolina, Kentucky, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, and Idaho, with a quantity for Missouri included with limestone. In 1908 Colorado and North Carolina reentered as productive States, and Oklahoma and Washington dropped out. Vermont, Tennessee, and Georgia increased in value of output; the other States decreased."

"In 1908 the commercial output of marble was from Vermont, Georgia, Tennessee, New York, Massachusetts, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Maryland, California, Colorado, Alaska, North Carolina, Kentucky, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, and Idaho, with a quantity for Missouri included with limestone. In 1908 Colorado and North Carolina reentered as productive States, and Oklahoma and Washington dropped out. Vermont, Tennessee, and Georgia increased in value of output; the other States decreased."

Interior work (marble): "Vermont, Tennessee, and California produced most of the marble used for interior decoration, the total value for 1908 being $1,943,750, as against $1,900,952 for 1907, a gain in 1908 of $42,798. The Vermont output represents 60.93 per cent, the Tennessee output 28.37 per cent, and the California output 2.61 per cent of the total marble produced for interior work."

"The decrease in value of California marble in 1908 was $122,877. The value of the output was $60,408 in 1908 and $183,285 in 1907. The producing localities in 1908 were Vallecito, Calaveras County, and Columbia, Tuolumne County. Development and assessment work was reported on quarry property in Inyo, Inyo County; Topaz, Mono County; and near Victorville and Redlands, San Bernardino County."

Onyx Marble: "It is of interest to note in connection with onyx marbles and cave onyxes that the best of the onyx is found in regions either formerly subjected to volcanic action or closely connected with hot springs or deposits associated with hot springs, like those in California, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Lower California."

"The onyx marble of the United States, except perhaps that of California and Arizona, is not considered as good as the Mexican article in color or in fineness of texture and is more expensive for the reason that labor is cheaper in Mexico and that in Mexico the quarries have been opened long enough to have transportation facilities. In most cases in the United States the onyx is found in territory which is but little developed and in which both labor and transportation are high, and the deposits are owned by firms and individuals who have not the means necessary to develop them. The principal deposits in the United States are in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Connecticut, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington; cave onyxes, however, are found in nearly all of the large limestone-producing States."

"California and Arizona were the first States to report any production of onyx, but at the present time no material, except for samples is being taken out in these States."

"In California the most important deposit is found at Musick, San Luis Obispo County, where the stone is a creamy white, with bands or clouds of red, chocolate brown, smoky black, etc. It is also reported as occurring at Suisun, Solano County; Sulphur Creek, Colusa County; in San Bernardino, Siskiyou, Los Angeles, Kern, Placer, Tehama, San Diego, Sonoma, Tulare, Lake, and Mono counties, although these deposits are but little known and not at all developed."

Limestone (Furnace flux): ".The average price per ton was 53 cents in 1908 and 1907, and 47 cents in 1906. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Alabama, West Virginia, and Colorado were the principal states producing this class of stone. All the States show a decreased output, except California and Illinois."

Excerpt from bibliography:

Diller, J. S. Limestone of the Redding district, California. In Bulletin No. 213, p. 365. 1903. 25c.

Eckel, E. C. Slate deposits of California and Utah. In Bulletin No. 225, pp. 417-422. 1904. 35c.

Abrasives: "Infusorial earth is produced in California."

[Top of Page]