“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Joliet in Will County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Quarries Are Us

I&M Canal Passage

Quarries Are Us Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, October 2, 2020
1. Quarries Are Us Marker
Inscription.  While many know of Joliet as the City of Steel, the foundation of Joliet's industrial heritage rests on solid limestone. Long before the steel industry came to epitomize Joliet's blue-collar character, the quarrying of limestone formed the early lifeblood of the town. Workers digging the I&M Canal in Juliet (as the town was known) in the 1830s uncovered large quantities of a magnesium rich limestone called dolomite. The canal provided an inexpensive means of transporting the stone, and within a few years a new industry was born. Quarries operated in Lemont, Lockport, Joliet and Chicago, creating thousands of new jobs. This heavy, durable stone was used in buildings throughout the I&M Canal Corridor, including the Joliet Penitentiary and the Chicago Water Tower.

"It is wonderful to contemplate the inexhaustible supply of stone in the hills and bluffs of the Des Pla[i]nes Valley. And the quality, too, the convenient ledges and layers in which it is found, and the easy access to it, is not the least wonderful item in regard to these vast quarries. It almost seems that the layers of stone had been purposely arranged for the convenience
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and benefit of man." George Woodruff, Will County Historian, 1878
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
Location. 41° 31.537′ N, 88° 5.283′ W. Marker is in Joliet, Illinois, in Will County. Marker is on North Bluff Street north of West Jefferson Street (U.S. 30), on the right when traveling south. Marker is located at Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 30 N Bluff Street, Joliet IL 60435, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lester Frank Ward / Fossils (here, next to this marker); Quarry Workers / Joliet Stone (here, next to this marker); From Prisons to Libraries (here, next to this marker); Joliet Buildings (here, next to this marker); Prairie Band of Potawatomi (a few steps from this marker); Joliet's Business Center (within shouting distance of this marker); Market in Joliet (within shouting distance of this marker); Oneida Street Steps (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Joliet.
Quarries Are Us Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, October 2, 2020
2. Quarries Are Us Marker
Next to its supplemental interpretive statue.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 6, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 6, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 85 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 6, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

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Jun. 9, 2023