(Also see section entitled, How the Web site is Organized)
Note regarding Recent Additions to Our Web Site: I will list recently added articles and entries of general interest as I complete them on our Facebook page: Stone Quarries and Beyond.
I am Peggy Barriskill Perazzo; and, until recently, my main role has mainly been to research and compile the information for the Stone Quarries and Beyond web site. My first project for the web site was the California Gold Rush photo tour, which my husband Pat placed on our web site in 1998. Pat, who worked as web master for our web site, died of leukemia in early May of 2014. I plan to continue to add material to the web site.
If you would like to contact me, you can either reach me by email at <email@example.com> or by telephone at (925) 240-4126.
I live in the Delta area in the eastern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area in California in the United States, so you may, at times, see a perspective skewed by my living here in California. I have not traveled much, although my husband traveled in Europe and Canada.
As I wrote above, I have done all of the research, compiled the information, and wrote the material; and Pat was responsible for designing and maintaining our web site. He was was involved in computing since the early 1980s, and he had had an interest in web design and programming. He also liked to ride his bicycle, hiked with a local group, and programmed his small robots. (If you would like to read his obituary, you will find it under George P. Perazzo on the Contra Costa Times.)
We decided to put the web site online in 1998 even though it will never be completely “finished.” I have only completed 21 of the U.S. states so far. I hope you will find a large selection of subjects of interest. I also hope you enjoy the web site and find it of value and interest.
I began by researching the cemetery stone carvers and monument companies and the old cemetery stones created during the 1800s and early 1900s in the San Francisco Bay Area in California since 1997 and our family histories research for many more years. When I began my research, I was surprised to find it very difficult to easily obtain information on the quarries, quarriers, stone carvers, dealers of stone, and the results of their work online. While my stone carver research will continue, I decided to create this web site so I can present information including quarry locations and descriptions of quarries when possible, photographs, online links, personal histories, and quarry-related books for those also interested in stone quarries of the past and related subjects.
One of my main interests has been dimension stone quarries, although other types of quarries have caught my attention and intrigued me so some of other types of quarries are addressed as well. Because I found huge numbers of gravel, sand, and decomposed granite quarries and my time is limited, I decided not to include these three commodities on our web site. You are welcome to contact me if you have a question about specific quarries that produced gravel, sand, and decomposed granite; and I will check the books in my collection for the information. (Initially, quarries may have started as dimension stone quarries and opeate as aggregate quarries today.) I have compiled information and photographs on many different kinds of stone quarries, such as limestone, marble, sandstone, granite, slate, tuff, and soapstone for our web site.
While researching the stone carvers was originally the main purpose of my research, other aspects have caught my interest; and the web site has branched out in many directions since we began in 1998. One of the most interesting subjects has been structures where stone was used, such as buildings, bridges, cemetery monuments, etc. To me, these quarries are both intriguing and beautiful, although I understand to others they may be considered an eyesore and a blight on the landscape. I have found that some of these old quarries have been transformed into golf courses, gardens, theme parks, places for artists to work, housing subdivisions, underground storage, etc.
A few years ago, we were allowed to photograph the Standard Portland Cement Co./Basalt Rock Co. ruins near American Canyon in Napa County, California. I will continue to include information and photographs relating to industrial archeology such as this subject.
Within the last few years we’ve added new sections on the progress of stone from the quarry to the creation of cemetery stones and monuments (“From Quarry to Cemetery Stone”) and a presentation on the history of California quarries (“History of Quarrying in California from the California Indians up to Present Time”). You will find links to the photo tours that we’ve created in the “Articles” and the “Photographic Tours of Stone Quarries, Etc.”
Because of my interest, my husband, Pat, and I have sought out historical stone quarries and related subjects here in California. The results of our travels are included in this web site, and there are several entries from trips we made in 2013 that I still need to format. If you, too, travel to and photograph these old stone quarries, I invite you to write up your visit and send it on to me. I would be glad to add them to this page with your name as the contributor. Also, if you have photographs, some of these can be included also.
Along with the quarries you will also find other related subjects touched upon to varying degrees. I hope to present this web site to you as a resource or as an introduction to the subject or research (a kind of clearing house), but I do not wish to present myself as an expert – more a compiler who will provide resources so that you can use the information to explore and enjoy these subjects. I still have a lot to learn. I hope this web site will be a good resource for your own research in these subjects. You’re welcome to let me know about your stone-related works, which I’d be glad to add to our web site.
Broken Links: Unfortunately, due to my husband's lengthy illness and recent death, there are many broken links throughout the web site. I will start to work through the web site correcting the links as I have time. If you find a broken link and want to find the missing information, you can search for the subject of the entry in Google Search, which is the search engine I used to discover the links. I’m sorry if you find many broken links before I have the time to fix them.
February 5, 2009: David Williams, who hosts the web site “Stories in Stone: The interfingering between people and rock,” kindly wrote a review of our web site on his “Stories in Stone” blog. If you would like to read it, you’ll find it at: “Best Building Stone Site on the Web.” (Scroll down to the entry. We’ll try hard to shoot for this goal.)
This site is set up basically as general links, information, and photographs of stone quarries, stone workers and dealers, and the finished products listed by state/country and locale. In addition to listings of quarries and quarry information for each state/country, separate subjects within the state/country sections are also included, such as geology, research resources, and each state’s stone industry, if there is (or was) one. (For example, if you want to see the listings of Vermont quarries, you would first go to the Vermont state section of the page.)
Note: All finished products (monuments, buildings, bridges, sculptures, cemetery monuments, etc.) are listed in the state in which the stone was quarried. You can use the on-site search engine to help you locate what you are searching for. You can also check the topic, “Names and Origins of Stone,” found on the main menu under the “Quarries” section on the main page to help ascertain the origin of certain stones or you can go directly to the location of the quarry in the state or country sections.
For each state and country, I am compiling lists of individual historical stone quarries (many of which are now abandoned) under the state/country listings. In each state there will be two sections that relate to quarries in addition to the other sections. The first section will be the stone industry for each state, and the second will be the “Quarries & Quarry links, Photographs and Articles” section. If you are looking for quarries in a particular area, check the state/country where I have listed all the quarries that I have been able to find. Sometimes the location descriptions are quite specific, while other times they are vague. Locations described in the early 1900s may well have been built upon by now. Also, most of these quarries today are located on private property, you should obtain permission before entering the property. Many of these abandoned quarries are very dangerous today. If you wish more detailed information on these quarries, feel free to contact me as I have only abstracted, in some cases, very brief information from the descriptions and may have more information in my possession and may have more information in my possession.
One other item I would like to address is the fact that I have included several present-day companies. Most of these are listed because they have historical information on their sites about the quarries in the past and many have some beautiful, or informative photographs of equipment and the quarries as they are today. The presence of a company on these links is not meant as any kind of recommendation or endorsement for these companies or their products as I have no relationship with any of these companies.
There is one area I am including on this page for which I am seeking information and input from others. I am including a section in which people can contribute their own ancestors’ stories of their days in any of these related businesses. In addition to my stone carver research, I am a family historian. I value our ancestors’ stories and would like to provide a place so the stories of these people who worked in the stone industry or created the many buildings and art created from stone can live on and be read and appreciated by others. If you have any stories you feel would be of interest to others about your own people who were involved in the historical stone industries that you would like to contribute, please contact me and full credit will be attributed to you. If you already have your story written up on your own web page, please send me with the link.
I hope you enjoy your visit to our page.Peggy B. Perazzo, Reseacher & Compiler, October 2014