The Vermont Stone Industry, 1908
From Mineral Resources of the United States,
Calendar Year 1908, Part II
Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey,
Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1909.
Excerpts are from the following chapters: 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 Vermont are: Soapstone, serpentine (verdantique marble), marble, granite, gneiss, slate.
"In 1908 the total value of the Vermont stone output was greater than that for any other State. In previous years Pennsylvania has held first rank."
"Vermont, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio. Prior to 1908 Pennsylvania has ranked first, followed by Vermont, New York, and Ohio. For 1908, however, Pennsylvania and Vermont changed places, both decreasing in the total value of output, but Pennsylvania much more than Vermont. This was an account of the decreased production of crushed stone and of limestone for furnace flux in Pennsylvania. Vermont furnishes very little material of this class, and the production of this State, chiefly building and monumental stone, did not suffer so great a change. In 1907 Pennsylvania produced 12.84 per cent of the entire output and Vermont 10.29 per cent; in 1908 Vermont produced 10.88 per cent and Pennsylvania 9.70 per cent. New York and Ohio kept the same relative position, New York leading; but it is noticeable that while New York decreased in percentage of output Ohio remained exactly the same, although the total value for this State decreased somewhat."
"From (the) table (that shows the rank of States and Territories in 1907 and 1908, according to value of production, and the percentage of the total produced by each State or Territory) it will be seen that the four ranking States in the production of stone are Vermont, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio. Prior to 1908 Pennsylvania has ranked first, followed by Vermont, New York, and Ohio. For 1908, however, Pennsylvania and Vermont changed places, both decreasing in the total value of output, but Pennsylvania much more than Vermont. This was an account of the decreased production of crushed stone and of limestone for furnace flux in Pennsylvania. Vermont furnishes very little material of this class, and the production of this State, chiefly building and monumental stone, did not suffer so great a change. In 1907 Pennsylvania produced 12.84 per cent of the entire output and Vermont 10.29 per cent; in 1908 Vermont produced 10.88 per cent and Pennsylvania 9.70 per cent. New York and Ohio kept the same relative position, New York leading; but it is noticeable that while New York decreased in percentage of output Ohio remained exactly the same, although the total value for this State decreased somewhat."
"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 decrease in Maryland was due largely to a slide in one of the chief quarries, resulting in a decrease of output for that quarry and for the state."
Slate - Mill Stock:
"The value of mill stock, including slate sold for all purposes other than roofing, decreased from $1,201,451 in 1907 to $1,130,650 in 1908, a decline of $70,801. The quarries of Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Maine furnish nearly all of the mill stock. Vermont decreased in quantity of output, and Pennsylvania and Maine decreased both in quantity and in value. The situation in Vermont was probably due to loss of trade caused by a strike in the quarries, which began in May, 1907, and lasted until May, 1908."
".Vermont comes next to Pennsylvania in rank of slate production, and in 1908 produced 27.08 per cent of the value of the output of the United States as compared with 61.79 per cent produced in Pennsylvania. The principal slate belt of Vermont is in Rutland County and adjoins the slate region of Washington County, N. Y. Slate is, however, also quarried near Northfield, Washington County, but not largely.
"In May, 1907, a strike started among the quarrymen in Rutland County and lasted until May, 1908, and the production for both 1907 and 1908 was somewhat curtailed on this account. In 1907 the total value of the output was $1,477,259; in 1908 it was $1,710,491, a gain of $233,232. The increase was chiefly in the roofing-slate output which was reported as 385,314 squares, valued at $1,301,576 in 1907, and as 402,258 squares, valued at $1,513,580 in 1908, an increase of 16,944 squares and of $212,004. The average price per square in 1907 was $3.38; in 1908 it was $3.76. The increase in price per square was due to the making of a large number of squares of slate of extra thickness and with much additional cutting.
"The output of mill stock increased in value in 1908 but decreased in quantity of output. In 1907 there were reported 963,911 square feet, valued at $175,683, and in 1908, 941,930 square feet, valued at $196,911, a decrease in quantity of 21,981 square feet and an increase in value of $21,228.
"The operators in Vermont report more varied trade conditions than in any other State. Those affected by the strike report business as very badly crippled, both by the strike and by financial conditions; other quarrymen report good demand and increased production despite financial difficulties."
"J. F. Williams's tests of the compression of columns of slate 10 inches long by an inch in section with the cleavage vertical, show that the purplish of the unfading green series of Vermont stands 20,000 pounds; the unfading green, 16,020 pounds, and the red of New York and Vermont, 17,730 pounds."
"The relative commercial value of several slates is an index of their physical characteristics. Mathews, in 1898, gave these prices for slates 14 by 7 inches, three-sixteenths thick, per square: Peach Bottom, $4.85; Northampton County, Pa., $3.50; Lehigh County, Pa., $3.40-$3.95; Maine (No. 1), $6.40; Arvonia, Va., $3.60; unfading green, Vermont, $4.50; red, New York, $11.
"The following prices per square for slates, No. 1 quality, 16 by 8 inches, f.o.b., were obtained by Doctor Day from producers for January, 1905: Peach Bottom, $6.35; Monson, Me., $7.20; red, New York, $11; Bangor, Pa., $5.75; Albion, Pa., $5; Pen Argyle, Pa., $4.75; Chapman, Pa., hard vein, $5.25; Slatington, Pa., $4.50 to $5; unfading green, Vermont, $4.50 to $5.25; sea green, Vermont, $3.50; Virginia, $5 to $5.50."
"As will be seen by consulting the foregoing tables, the slates in the United States include a very wide range of varieties dependent upon color, texture, fissility, composition, etc. While nearly all of them possess one or two excellent features, few possess many such features, and none possess them all. Several are so conspicuous for their well nigh perfect adaptation to certain uses that the demand for these slates is likely to increase with the growth of the country. Such are: The blackboard slates of the "soft vein" region in Pennsylvania, which owe their fitness not only to their dark shade, but also to their fine cleavage and the thickness of the beds, which makes it possible to split off large slabs of half inch thickness; the red roofing slates of New York and Arkansas, which owe their bright durable color to hematite; the "unfading green" slate of Vermont, which owes the durability of its color to its very small content of the triple carbonate of lime, iron, and magnesia; the very dark gray unfading roofing slates of the Peach Bottom district in Maryland and Pennsylvania, of Arvonia in Virginia, and of Brownville and Monson in Maine, which owe the durability of their shade to sparseness of carbonate and in cases to the presence of graphite, and their general qualities to a very high degree of metamorphism; the very dark gray mill-stock slates of Northfield in Vermont and of Monson in Maine, and the greenish and purplish mill-stock slates of Vermont; and lastly the "sea green" roofing slates of Vermont, and the very dark gray roofing slates of Northampton and Lehigh counties in Pennsylvania, which, owing to their abundant carbonate, fade more or less, sooner or later, but are less expensive. These Pennsylvania and Vermont slates will also be in demand on account of their cheapness, which is largely due to their great fissility."
"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.
"In 1907 there were six States with an output valued at over $1,000,000. In 1908 Maryland dropped below $1,000,000, and Maine exchanged places with Massachusetts, although the production was almost identical for the two States. Washington showed a remarkable increase in output, occasioned by the large quantities of stone used for breakwater, jetty, and harbor repair work. A large quantity of this stone is basalt. Although remaining in fifth place, Wisconsin reported a large increase in paving-block output. New Hampshire increased in value of monumental, building, and paving stone. Georgia increased in the output of curbstone and flagstone. Maine increased in building stone and paving blocks, but decreased in monumental stone. Vermont decreased in value of dressed building stone. Massachusetts decreased in value of building and paving stone and increased somewhat in value of monumental stone. The decreased output of Maryland was due to a considerable loss in value of crushed stone for concrete. The decrease in value for North Carolina was due to decrease in dressed stone. Of the other States, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, and Texas increased in value of output, and Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Virginia decreased. Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington include some basalt and volcanic rock, and trappean rocks in their production; other States, notably Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, include some gneiss, trap rock, syenite, mica schist, diabase, etc."
"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."
Granite - Monumental Stone:
"Granite sold for monumental purposes by quarrymen, including rough and dressed stone, was valued at the total, $2,226,619 was the value of the rough stock and $2,324,442 the value of the dressed stone sold by the producers. In 1907 the rough stock sold was valued at $2,239,327, and the dressed stone at $2,099,492, a decrease for 1908 of $12,708 for rough stock and an increase of $224,950 for the finished stone. Vermont was the largest producer of both rough and dressed stone. Massachusetts ranked next in production of rough stock, followed by Rhode Island and New Hampshire. In 1908 Minnesota showed an increased output of dressed monumental stone and ranked after Vermont and was followed by Wisconsin and Rhode Island."
Granite Production in Vermont:
"In 1907 a detailed statement of the granite output of Vermont in 1906 and 1907 was prepared for inclusion in the forthcoming report on the granites of Vermont by T. Nelson Dale (Bull. U. S. Geol. Survey No. 404). The figures for 1907 are presented again, together with a like statement for 1908."
"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."
"Vermont produces most of the building marble, the value of whose output in 1908 was $1,558,954, or 50.67 per cent of the total output of building marble. This was chiefly dressed stone. The percentage for Vermont in 1907 was 42.12 and the value was $1,204,212."
Marble - Monumental Stone:
"Monumental marble was valued at $2,397,780 in 1908 and at $2,640,130 in 1907, a decrease of $424,350 for 1908. In 1908 the value of rough stock was $554,354 and of dressed monumental stone $1,843,426; the corresponding figures for 1907 were $596,130 for rough monumental stock and $2,044,000 for dressed monumental stone, a decrease in 1908 of $41,776 in value of rough stock and of $200,574 for dressed stone. Vermont, with a value of $1,848,444, produced 77.09 per cent of the total monumental marble; Georgia produced 10.82 per cent; and New York, with 4.57 per cent, ranked third. The Vermont stone was chiefly dressed stone, the Georgia material was rough stone, and the New York value was practically evenly divided between rough stone and dressed stone."
Marble - Interior work:
"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."
"Vermont in 1907 produced 58.65 per cent of the marble output of the United States. In 1908, with a small increase in the total output for the State, Vermont produced 60.51 per cent of the total for the United States. The Vermont production increased $83,236 in value, from $4,596,724 in 1907 to $4,679,960 in 1908. The quantity reported for 1907 was about 1,450,000 cubic feet; in 1908 the quantity reported was about 1,250,000 cubic feet, a decrease in production of about 250,000 cubic feet, though with an increase in value. The Vermont marble is used for building, monumental, and interior decorative work, ornaments, mosaic work, electrical work, etc., and is practically all sold as dressed stone."
Excerpts from the chapter bibliography for Vermont:
Dale, T. N. The slate belt of eastern New York and western Vermont. In Nineteenth Ann. Rept., pt. 3, pp. 153-200. 1899. $2.25.
Dale, T. N. The granites of Vermont. Bulletin No. 404. (In press.)
Hillebrand, W. F. Chemical notes on the composition of the roofing slates of eastern New York and western Vermont. In Nineteenth Ann. Rept., pt. 3, pp. 301-305. 1899. $2.25.
Ries, H. The limestone quarries of eastern New York, western Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. In Seventeenth Ann. Rept., pt. 3 (continued), pp. 795-811. 1896.
Abrasives produced in Vermont: Scythestones.
"The production of oilstones and schythestones in the United States during 1908 amounted to $217,284, as compared with $264,188 in 1907, a decrease of $46,904, or nearly 18 per cent. The production of oilstones and whetstones is from Arkansas, Indiana, and Ohio, and the first State mentioned produces the largest part of the output. Schythestones are manufactured from material found in New Hampshire, Vermont, Ohio, and Michigan."