Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Tawas City in Iosco County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Alabaster

 
 
Alabaster Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 24, 2018
1. Alabaster Marker
Inscription. This area is named after a variety of gypsum, discovered offshore by Douglass Houghton in 1837. Prospectors soon began searching for other gypsum deposits, and this quarry was opened in 1862 by B. F. Smith. Used at first as fertilizer and as an ingredient in plaster, gypsum is now used principally in the manufacture of wallboard. A fire in 1891 destroyed the operation but it was rebuilt in time to supply material for the main buildings at the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893. These buildings, with marble-like walls, earned the exposition the title, "White City," and greatly expanded gypsum sales. Incorporated into the U.S. Gypsum Company in 1902, this quarry has helped to make Michigan a leading producer of gypsum for over a century.
 
Erected 1976 by Michigan History Division, Department of State. (Marker Number 247.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
 
Location. 44° 11.533′ N, 83° 33.368′ W. Marker is near Tawas City, Michigan, in Iosco County. Marker is at the intersection of Benson Road and Turtle Road, on the right when traveling north on Benson Road. Touch for map. Marker is located in a pull-out, overlooking the beach.
Alabaster Marker (<i>wide view; Lake Huron in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 24, 2018
2. Alabaster Marker (wide view; Lake Huron in background)
Marker is at or near this postal address: 951 Turtle Road, Tawas City MI 48763, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Konotin-Iosco (approx. 5.6 miles away); Tawas Lighthouse (approx. 6.8 miles away); Oil House (approx. 6.8 miles away); Double Dwelling (approx. 6.8 miles away); Tawas Point Light Station (approx. 6.8 miles away); A New Light on the Horizon (approx. 6.8 miles away); Preserving the Light (approx. 6.8 miles away); The Changing Shape of Tawas Point (approx. 6.8 miles away).
 
Regarding Alabaster. National Register of Historic Places (1977)
 
Also see . . .
1. Alabaster and the Ghostly Loading Dock on Lake Huron. In 1898, the company name was changed to the Alabaster Company. In 1902, the mine was incorporated into the U.S. Gypsum Corporation. The most visible and impressive structure in the district, the elevated marine tramway, was constructed in 1928 and tramway stretched 1.3 miles out into the Saginaw Bay. Like a horizontal ski-lift, the cable system carries 72 "buckets" of gypsum to a waiting ship or to the storage bin. Each bucket holds more than two tons. The tramway included 6,450 feet of one and three-quarter
US Gypsym Company Quarry Gate (<i>near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 24, 2018
3. US Gypsym Company Quarry Gate (near marker)
inch steel cable and 14,000 feet of three-quarter inch cable. At a length of 6,350 feet it was the longest over-water bucket tramway in the world. The tramway was demolished in the 1990s, but the loading building still remains offshore on Lake Huron South of Tawas. (Submitted on July 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Alabaster Historic District. The Alabaster Historic District is a 400-acre mining complex in Iosco County, Michigan, centered on an enormous open pit gypsum mine, with associated processing buildings, shops, and offices. The district also contains the company town, with houses and outbuildings. Most of the worker housing was constructed as 1-1/2-story frame houses with gable roofs. The district also contains a rail line and the remains of an elevated marine tramway running 1-1/2 miles into Saginaw Bay. (Submitted on July 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 30, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 87 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on July 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3. submitted on July 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement We are suspending Amazon.com advertising until they remove an ad for a certain book from circulation. A word in the book’s title has given rise to number of complaints. The word is inappropriate in school classroom settings.