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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Stafford in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Quarrying the Stone

 
 
Quarrying the Stone Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 27, 2010
1. Quarrying the Stone Marker
Inscription. Quarrying stone during the late 18th and early 19th centuries was very labor intensive. Stone quarried here was cut and shipped with the use of simple machines and animal power. Various workers were needed to extract the stone. A master-mason, usually a European who was a master in all aspects of stone work, would oversee the entire quarrying operation. Skilled workers included stone cutters and stone carvers who extracted and rough-cut the stone into desired sizes. Blacksmiths were constantly needed to make and sharpen the cutting tools, wedges, chisels, trimming hammers, sledge hammers, picks, mattocks and axes. Tool marks are still visible in the quarry faces today.

Many common laborers, or unskilled laborers, worked at the site. Slaves were hired out by their owners who collected the slaves' wages. Workers received housing and food, which included "...one pound good pork or one pound and a half of beef and one pound flour per day..." along with a half pint of whiskey (Commissioners Letter, April 10, 1792).

How the Stone was Quarried: First, all vegetation was removed from the top of the stone. Once the stone was exposed, a vertical stone face was picked away, creating a working area. Two vertical channels or side trenches were made 20-feet apart. These trenches
Quarrying the Stone Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 27, 2010
2. Quarrying the Stone Marker
were twenty inches wide - barely large enough for a man to squeeze through. A rear trench was made, creating a rectangular section. Grooves were chiseled along the stone face where wedges were inserted to remove a block from the larger stone mass. Once a block of stone was cut, it was hoisted out with a simple derrick and pulley system, placed on a skid, and hauled by oxen to the wharf.
 
Erected 2010 by Tourism and Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities, Stafford County, Virginia.
 
Location. 38° 27.006′ N, 77° 22.815′ W. Marker is in Stafford, Virginia, in Stafford County. Marker can be reached from Coal Landing Road. Click for map. Marker is along a scenic trail, with parking available off Coal Landing Road. Marker is in this post office area: Stafford VA 22554, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Transporting the Stone (within shouting distance of this marker); Island Ownership (within shouting distance of this marker); Site Selection / Architectural Features (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Native American Presence (about 500 feet away); Government Island
Quarrying the Stone Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 27, 2010
3. Quarrying the Stone Marker
(approx. half a mile away); Mary Kittamaquund (approx. 1.2 miles away); Peyton’s Ordinary (approx. 1.3 miles away); Oak Grove Baptist Church (approx. 1.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Stafford.
 
More about this marker. This marker is part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.
 
Regarding Quarrying the Stone. The marker features a large drawing of a quarrying operations at Aquia. There is another drawing, by Denis Diderot, in the center of the marker that shows a roughing-out tool, a wedge, a chisel, and a cradle hoist, which are samples of quarrying tools.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Remains of quarrying operation image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 27, 2010
4. Remains of quarrying operation
Quarrying groove and side trench image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 27, 2010
5. Quarrying groove and side trench
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 442 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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