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Granite Quarry Crew at Work, Mount Desert Island, ca. 1890

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Description

This photo of nineteen men and three oxen was taken while at work in the granite quarries at Hall Quarry, ca. 1885. The quarry was named for Cyrus Hall, who came to Mount Desert Island (MDI) in the early 1870s for timber, but soon discovered that there was a large market for the pink easy to carve granite he found on MDI.

By 1871 Hall had opened Hall Quarry, cutting cellar stone and paving blocks for Boston. He soon opened more quarries around the island, as the location, boundless supply of stone, and deep water access were ideal for business. Stones were loaded directly onto boats that would transport them all over the county. The most notable projects that used stone from Mount Desert Island were the Congressional Library, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Philadelphia Mint.

The quarry business reached its peak in the 1890s. Hall closed his operations in 1901, after a major contract failed to come through.

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