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The Vermont Stone and Building Industry in 1882

Excerpts from

Mineral Resources of the United States, 1882

J. S. Powell, Director, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey,
Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1883.

Excerpts from the chapters on 1) "Structural Materials," and 2) "The Useful Minerals of the United States:

"The division of the Tenth Census charged with the collection of statistics of building stone obtained returns from 1,525 quarries in the United States, having an invested capital of $25,414,497, and producing during the year ending May 31, 1880, 115,380,133 cubic feet of stone, valued at $18,365,055. In value of total product, the leading States rank as follows: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, Maine, and Connecticut; each of these States producing upwards of $1,000,000 worth of stone. Vermont, Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, New York, and Missouri, in the order named, produce the most marble and limestone; Ohio, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, the greater part of the sandstone; Massachusetts and Maine quarry the most granite and other siliceous crystalline rocks; while Pennsylvania leads in product of slate."


Steatitic and other magnesian rocks are used to a considerable extent as refractory linings for furnace hearths, grates, stoves, register borders, foot warmers, and for making stationary laundry tubs, sinks, griddles, etc. The substance known to the trade as soapstone is distinct from the mineral talc, which in the ground state is used for entirely different purposes. The leading quarrying States are Vermont and New Hampshire. In the former State quarries are reported in the neighborhood of Chester, Saxton's river, Grafton, Cambridgeport, and Francestown and Nashua. Similar deposits occur in Massachusetts and many other States. The total produce in 1882 is estimated by Mr. James H. Serene at 6,000 tons. The spot value per ton at the quarry ranges from $8 to $20; and the average appears to be about $15 per ton.

Marble Dust.

About 25,000 tons of marble, most of which is domestic, are ground annually. The dust is worth $7 per ton, and is used in the generation of carbonic acid gas in soda fountains, etc. This marble is chiefly from Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and New York, a large part being the scrap marble produced in dressing ornamental work.



Reported by John C. Smock.

Ores, minerals, and mineral substances of industrial importance, which are at present mined.

Granite: Barre, Coble hill, and Millstone hill quarries, fine-grained, used in State houses; Black mountain, Dummerston, Windham county; Ascutney mountain, Chester, Cavendish, Pomfret, and Berlin. Extensively quarried at Brunswick, Essex county, known as "Nulhegan granite"; Ryegate, Caledonia county, "Blue mountain granite"; Victory, Essex county; Browngington and Derby, Orleans county; and Woodbury, Washington county.


  1. Vermont marble; extensive quarries on western side of Green mountains, in Addison, Bennington, and Rutland counties. Most noted quarries in towns of Middlebury, Sudbury, Brandon, Pittsford (several quarries), Rutland (a dozen or more quarries), (a) Clarendon, Wallingford, Tinmouth, Danby, Dorset, and Arlington-a belt 65 miles long, Vermont Italian marble from Dorset. Most extensive quarries in Rutland, Shelburne, Addition county; at Swanton, Franklin county, dove-colored marbles.

  2. Winooski marble, worked to a limited extent in northwest part of State-Addison, Chittenden, and Franklin counties; also, localities at Mallett's bay, Colchester, near Burlington, and to Swanton.

  3. Plymouth marble, Plymouth, Windsor county, a variegated marble.

  4. Isle la Motte marble, Isle la Motte, Lake Champlain; and in Champlain valley, a black marble.

Serpentine - Verd Antique marble: Cavendish, Windsor county, for ornamental work; Roxbury, Washington county, quarries formerly worked; many other and large mountain masses in and near the talcose schist belt from Massachusetts to Canada-others in the gneiss; Newfane, Windham county; Plymouth, Windsor county; Troy and Westfield, Orleans county.

Slate: Three ranges of roofing slate:

  1. Eastern, clay slate near Connecticut river, from Massachusetts line to Essex county; found in Guilford, Windham county; Thetford, Orange county; Waterford, Caledonia county; and other localities and small quarries.

  2. Middle range of clay slate extends from Memphremagog lake to Barnard slate quarries in Northfield, Montpelier, and elsewhere of uniform shade and black.

  3. Western Vermont slate quarried largely in Castleton; also in Fairhaven, Poultney, Wells, and Pawlet, Rutland county; generally of a dark purple color, with occasional blotches of green; very compact and fissile. Large quarries near West Castleton, Hydeville, Scotch hill, and Fairhaven.

Talc - Steatite, soapstone: Abundant mostly on east side of Green mountains, near talcose slate, and found in a belt whole length of State. Marlborough, Windham county, known as "chalkstone;" Newfane, Chester, Grafton, and Athens, large quarries; also in Bridgewater, Plymouth, Cavendish, Weathersfield, Bethel, and Rochester, Windsor county; thence north in Washington, Lomoille, Franklin, and Orleans counties.

Whetstone, oilstone, scythestone: "Magog oilstone" (novaculite), near Canada line; Lake memphremagog, Fitch's Island quarry, honestones; Northfield, Washington county, Talcose schist, scythestones; Ludlow, Rutland county, and Stockbridge, Windsor county, scythestones.

The Vermont Stone and Building Industry in 1882

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