“Granite Center of the World” is the claim of Barre Vermont. Large deposits of Granite were discovered in Barre after the War of 1812. After launch of the railroad a need for granite created a boon for the granite industry.
In 1885 Rock of Ages Corporation was founded in Graniteville Vermont. They operate the world’s largest ‘deep hole’ granite quarry with Devonian Barre Granite mined from its depths. It is thought to be among the oldest type rock on earth. It originated from the earth’s inner core rising slowly to the surface. It has worldwide demand due to its fine grain, smooth texture and superior weather resistance. Artists prefer it for outdoor sculpture, and it is also advantageous for building uses.
Early technique for mining granite utilized handsaws and explosives for removing the valued substance. Modern procedures use diamond tipped wire saws and water jets.
Quarry visitation is by guided tours only for safety with a 40-minute tour. The quarry tour/ site is found enjoyable and amazing. The tour shows drilling, and blasting for granite removal from the hillside of the 50-acre hole.
The factory allows self guided observations of their artisans.A hand on sandblasting activity allows visitors to make a souvenir. Visitors may also select a free granite sample memento from the grout bin.
Open Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM.
Closed on weekends and holidays
Guided Quarry Tour hours
Normally every hour from 9:15 AM to 3:35 PM, free of charge.
Barre is a city of population 9,052, at the intersection with US 302, route 14 and route 62. It has been the largest granite-producing district in the country since 1900. John Goldsbury and Samuel Rodgers were its first settlers in 1788. Barre attracted skilled Italian and Scottish stonecutters early in the 19th century.
Montpelier is the state capital with a population of 7,855, at 600’ elevation. It is the smallest state capital by population in the country. It was settled in 1787 in the geographic center of the state. Middlebury is a town of 8,496 population. Its name was based on its location between Salisbury and New Haven.
St. Johnsbury is a town about 48 miles south of the Canadian Border and 10 miles northwest of the Connecticut River with the population of 7,603. Burlington is the largest city in Vermont with a population of 42,417. It is 45 miles south of the Canadian border and 45 miles south of Montreal. It is an important center of industry, education and retail in the state. It was first settled in 1775.
Barre is a 6:15 hour drive of 360 miles to Rochester NY. First drive east on I-90 to Albany then route 7 east to Bennington VT. Continue route 7 north to Rutland then route 100-north east to route 107 to US 89. Finish driving US 89 north to Barre.
Come and see the quarry site that was featured in the 2009 Star Trek® movie.