Sculptor to present history of granite quarries June 29

Jun 19, 2017
Sculptor Steve Lindsay talks about granite quarries in St. George June 29.

St. George — Sculptor Steve Lindsay will present a program on the history of St. George's granite quarries, and will demonstrate how to cut grantie, at a meeting of the St. George Historical Society June 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the St. George Grange Hall, Wiley's Corner Road. There will be a potluck before the program, starting at 6:30. All are welcome to either program, or both. There is no charge, but donations are appreciated.

When Lindsay purchased his home near the huge grout pile near the former Wildcat quarry in the 1970s, he became fascinated by the evidence of the once-thriving granite business, granite foundations, huge abandoned quarries and waste granite strewn about his own property.

Wanting to use granite in some of his sculptures, he acquired a collection of tools used in the business. By talking with men who had worked in the quarries or had cut granite themselves, he learned the necessary skills, and became interested in the history of the granite business in St. George.

The settlers here did not cut stone. When the prison was built in Thomaston in the 1820s, some of the stone was cut at The Brothers, islands off the end of the St. George peninsula. Not long afterward, the state bought a parcel of land to quarry rough granite to be taken to the prison, where it was hoped the prisoners would cut it into usable blocks. Cutting granite is a particular skill, so the scheme didn’t work out, but State’s Point retained its name.

From the 1830s until the last quarry closed at Clark Island in the 1960s, the granite industry furnished employment to hundreds of local men, particularly after the shipping industry declined. It also brought in hundreds of immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, England, Finland and Scandinavia.

For more information call James Skoglund 372-8893. Callers must speak to the machine or he won’t answer.

(Courtesy of: St. George Historical Society)
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