1890s 1900s 1910s Battle of the Wilderness community Fredericksburg History Latest Local Industry National Park Service Quarries. Rappahannock River

Granite of Fredericksburg Battlefield | Central Rappahannock Regional Library

Granite of Fredericksburg Battlefield | Central Rappahannock Regional Library

Noel Harrison, National Park Service / Public DomainBel Noel Harrison, NPS

Long-term residence, Noel Harrison, Director of the Nationwide Park Service Fredericksburg Office.

The just about forgotten past consists of the story of the "Battlefield granite" quarries of Fredericksburg as soon as "among the most valuable granite properties in the United States".

The time period "Battlefield Granite" is a business identify for a granitoid stone taken from what known as the Fredericksburg Complicated, a gaggle of geological rock models as we speak. Technically, the Fredericksburg complicated is a set of metamorphized stones, including gneisses, schists and granites (Pavlides, 1980). Blue-and-white biotite granites with multiple joint collection (fractures) have been extensively mined within the constructing and monumental stone (Watson, 1907). The colour of the granite comes from the minute-long flakes of the black biotite, scattered within the background of gray-grained feldspar. Granite uncovered dams and items are usually lower than 200 meters thick. In some places, they cross by pegmatite fires (feldspar) up to two inches (Steidtmann, 1945).

The stone on the southern shore of the Rappahannock River was excavated on six west of Fredericksburg. These quarries sometimes worked in the late 1800s and early 20th century.

The characteristics of the "Battlefield Granite" in all probability got here first recognized for the institution of a channel and navigation system (Callahan, 1969) along the Rappahannock River west of Fredericksburg. (Figure 1).

The primary actual mining firm came in 1871 when George Hazewell rented the property along the Rappahannock River 2.5 miles northwest of the town by digging granite on an architectural stone. Roads to the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, situated at Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac

in October 1893, New York entrepreneur Joseph York announced that it might lease the quarry for 25 years. York was convinced that a regional survey within the space had revealed "one of the most valuable granite properties in the United States" (Free Lance, 1893). Shortly after the lease was signed, York established co-operation with the Delaware business man Joseph Swift as Battlefield Granite Firm (Fredericksburg b). The companions soon started to hold out probably the most in depth operations on the quarry website. The rising demand for Virginia granite made the stacking of lorry vans economically practical for muddy roads. The companions employed about 40 staff who took granite, transported it to the stone development within the metropolis of Fredericksburg, and produced tough stone for numerous varieties of finished products. Their activities offered granite for buildings in St. Petersburg and Williamsburg and cemeteries in Washington, D. and Fredericksburg.

Sadly, the operation started to experience numerous problems. In 1894, York and Swift misplaced their bids to acquire an essential road crossing settlement from Fredericksburg Metropolis Council. Although the partners reported an increase in enterprise at the finish of the 1896, their belongings collapsed as the hearth destroyed a large part of the stone workstation (Every day Star, 1896).

Between January 1897 and April 1899, quarries have been modified in management, and eventually in York and Swift transferred control of operations to EJ's partnership with Cartright and J.H. Davis and Battlefield Granite Firm went out of existence.

Cartright's and Davis's most essential change alleviated transport problems. In Might 1901, they obtained the appropriate to swim stones from quarries to a stone workplace using the previous Fredericksburg Canal System. Alternatively, companions dedicated to repair all injury brought on by channel locks and banks and to pay lease based mostly on the quantity of stone shipped. Not only wouldn’t it be an alternative choice to a granite ton of shifting roads alongside dangerous roads, this association can be the last common use of the canal community for transport functions.

The Cartright and Davis years have been certainly the day of the flourishing of Fredericksburg's granite business. Superior processes have been used to extract, transport and process granite. By 1906, there were six quarries on the similar river bank that had attracted George Hazewell's consideration in 1871 (Watson, 1907).

A typical journey to the battlefield granite started with one quarry. The Cartright and Davis staff used both hand and steam drill machines for hole holes in granite (Determine 2). The coarse granite pieces have been later disintegrated from the quarry floor by putting circular wedges or dynamite holes. A steam elevator was used to load heavy rock blocks in quarries. The unfastened stone was transported to the Rappahannock River and poured into the canal wound. The documented presence of 'handcuffs' in the excavation area in 1914 exhibits that the miniature monitor may be used to maneuver granite to a ready towel (Fredericksburg c). between the quarries and the town the place the boat was lowered to the Fredericksburg Canal System using a lock made of granite blocks. As soon as the lock was eliminated, the channel moved right into a duct on the dock situated at the edge of the stoneyard. Strips have been used to disassemble the granite, which was then applied to a ending layer such as the barn. The miniature "railway" gave staff the opportunity to push heavy granite blocks across the stoneyard and into the flap utilizing flanged wheels (Raymond Decater, 1985; personal communication). In addition to defending staff and their tools, the roof had an office, a secure and a smith shop (Fredericksburg d).

V. Johnson's Cartright Home Washington Avenue

Granite might now be shapes. If the stone was to turn into curbstones, cobblestones or different "rough" supplies, it was shaped with spikes, specialty tools and saws. If extra sensitive shapes, akin to tombstones and monuments, have been desired, granite cutters went to work with grinding machines, sprucing machines, hand workouts and typefaces. Granite waste and other 'debris' may be ground in a crusher for local use.

Like all craftsmen, granite cutters had their very own special vocabulary. The granite piece coming from the stone quarry was stated to be a "pattern" that was a roughly sized and shaped stone for undertaking development. The "good pattern" required a minimum amount of additional workforce to realize the specified measurement shape. The "bad pattern" required a big workforce. In processing or "finishing" an easy "pattern", the cutter begins by getting ready 4 clean edges or "nature" around the perimeter of the stone's floor. This defined the level at which the coarse space remained between the “sketches” and then decreased. The cutter "would stop" every of the six surfaces of this "pattern" on this method utilizing a square to make sure that the floor he labored was perpendicular to the surfaces he had already carried out (McKee, 1973).

A lot of the corporate's work was to offer road improvements to the town of Fredericksburg. At the office, Cartright and Davis staff categorized the street plows and, if essential, placed the terracotta sewer pipes. Granite balls or cobbles and edges have been then mounted on the smoothed surface. Lastly, the bricks have been laid and concrete buildings poured into the road "ready".

The extra revenue came from the "cemetery" craftsmen. Design work in this class ranges from the straightforward Northumberland tombstone to the County Family Mausoleum, constructed at Cartright and Davis Cemetery close to the town of Orange (Determine 3). One of the artists in Pennsylvania was so impressed with the "Battlefield granite" properties that he bought an entire empty tombstone tram and had delivered it to his hometown.

M. Bingham's Basic Hays Memorial

Cartright and Davis offered veteran teams with battlefield monuments that resembled numerous civil conflict actions. One of probably the most formidable tasks was the development of a monument commemorating Basic Alexander Hays, which was killed through the battle of the wilderness. The survivors of the conflict he served needed to mark his place of dying leading to dying by taking a large cannon barrel. Cartright and Davis respectively provided a six-ton ​​granite base on which a five-ton cannon was hooked up (Determine four). This was one of the most important single stones marketed by rocks (Every day Star, 1905).

In 1904, the battlefield granite was used to build an E.J house. Cartright. Situated in Fredericksburg's prestigious Washington Avenue building, this building was completed in 1905 (Determine 5). Probably the most superior use of manor and Davis granite was the manor's grey stone partitions and the "haunted house" design.

In 1905 the corporate of Cartright and Davis fell. The quarries have been closed in 1907. The operation continued in 1908, but the business was not what it was. On October four, 1912, Cartright translated all its pursuits into the corporate Davis and the partnership was dissolved (Fredericksburg e). In August 1914, two men joined again "Cartright and Davis, Incorporated." Four months later, this appointment was rejected for "Battlefield Granite Corporation" (Fredericksburg f).

Like the Battlefield Granite Company in 1895, Battlefield Granite Corporation of 1914 had so much of optimism, however not sufficient enterprise. On June 30, 1919, the belongings of Battlefield Granite Company have been bought. Other businessmen used the quarry till 1945 and stoneyard till 1923. This time "Battlefield Granite" was meant to be used for a crushed constructing. Through the years 1958-1959, one of the quarries produced as much as 150 tons of granite per hour (Gooch, 1960).


Callahan, Donald B., 1969, Rappahannock Channel: Fredericksburg, Virginia, Robert A. Hodge, p.

Day by day Star, 1896, December 5, Fredericksburg, Virginia.

__________, 1905, April 1, Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Fredericksburg a, Deed Guide AE, p. 387.

__________ b, ebook AF, p. 90.

__________ c. 1903, E-book of Land, p. 9.

__________ d, E-book 48, p. 357.

__________ e. City Council info, V. 16, pp. 221, 251, 352, 369, 380.

] __________ f. City council info, V. 17, p. 51, 251, 443.

Free Lance, October 1893, October 13, 31, Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Gooch, Edwin O., Parrott, WT, and Wood, RS, 1960, at Virginia Highway Development : Virginia Division of Mineral Assets. Mineral Assets Report 1, 65 p.

McKee, H.J., 1973 Introduction to Early American Masonry: Stone, Brick, Mortar and Plaster : Washington, D.C. Columbia Univ. 21

Pavlides, Louis, 1980, Revised Nomenclature and Stratigraphic Relationships of the Fredico-complex and the Virginia-Piedmont Quantico Type: USA Geol. Survey Prof. Paper 1146, 29p.

Steidtmann, Edward, 1945, Business Granites and Different Virginia Crystals: Virginia Geol. Survey Bull. 64, pp. 40-43

Watson, T.L. 1907, Virginia Assets: Lynchburg, Virginia, Virginia Jamestown Exposition Commission, pp. 27-28.

This text was initially revealed in Virginia Minerals, revealed by Virginia Division of Mineral Assets. It is printed online with the permission of the writer. Its print reference is as follows:

Harrison, Noel. "Granite of Fredericksburg Battlefield." Virginia Minerals, Vol. 32, No. 3, 1986, pp. 27-30.