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Full text of "The history of the marble quarries in Baltimore County, Maryland."

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file:///X|/Special%20Collections/purgatory/Phi%20Mu/Purdum ) %20William/blue%20print.txt[5/ll/2011 10:37:11AM] 



THE HISTORY OF THE MARBLE QUARRIES IN BALTIMORE COUNTY, MARYLAND 

by 

WILLIAM D. FURDtIM 



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Summary 



The quality of txie Cockeysville Marble, named from the small 
town of Cockeysville in Baltimore County, mas first mentioned in a letter 
written in the early part of the eighteenth century. The first use of the 
stone was in the monument to George Washington in Baltimore, 

Analyses of the Coekeysville Marble - favorable for use as a 
building stone and for a number of minor uses. 

During the latter part of the nineteenth century most of the 
marble quarried was burned for lime. 

The most famous of all the quarries in this region is the now 
idle Beaver Dam liuarry near Cockeysville. This quarry supplied the stone 
for the $50,000,000 Fisher Building in Detroit. 

The peak of the marble industry in Baltimore County was reached 
In the 1920* s. 

Some of the more famous structures built of Cockeysville - 
Baltimore Savings Bank, Columns in the National Capitol Building , State 
House at Annapolis, Saint Patrick* s Cathederal in New Tork, the Albright 
Art Gallery in Buffalo, and the State, War, and Navy Buildings in Washington, 

Most of the stone quarried at the present time is used in concrete 
road construction, in the manufacture of rubber and linoleum, and for a 
number of minor uses. 

Reasons for the decline of the marble quarry industry - the 
scarcity of labor and the high cost of getting out the blocks for structure 
purposes. 



The History of The Marble Quarries in Baltimore County, Maryland 

The Cockeysville Marble derives its name from the town of 
Cockeysville in Baltimore County, that has long been the center of 
the marble quarrying industry in Maryland. This marble, which has 
been known for over one hundred years for its hardness, clearness, 
and polish, is obtained from a series of valleys centering around the 
small town of Cockey sville , On the enclosed map may be seen the extent 
of the Cockeysville Marble. 

The potential wealth of thie stone was first mentioned in 
letters written in the early part of the eight eenth century. The high 
quality of the Cockeysville Marble was recognized fifty years later, soon 
after the Revolutionary War, but the actual development received its first 
major impetus in the erection of the Washington Monument in Baltimore 
between 1815 and 1829, The material for this monument, which was the first 
erected by a municipality to George Washington, came from what was then 
known as the Taylor Scott quarries. The statue at the summit of the 
monument was quarried as a single piece weighing thirty six tons. This 
block was subsequently cut into three smaller blocks to form the statue. 

The character of the stone quarried varies widely in composition, 
texture and quality. The marble is a completely crystaline white marble 
of variable grain. It varies from a fine grained marble to a coarse rock 
known as alum stone. Certain beds are gray, pink or pinkish brown in 
color. The beds vary greatly in thickness, but the average depth of the 
strata may be said to be 400 feet. The pure white marble is the best and 
the one most highly desired for building purposes. The overburden of the 
stone is relatively small. In moBt regions the overburden varies from 
8 to 12 feet of clay. Even though marble weathers rapidly many exposed 
out crops may be seen throughout the whole extent of the Cockeysville 
Marble. 



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Chemical Composition - Three analyses of the Cockeysville Marble 
are given below: 



Constituents 


Senile 


I 


Sample II 


Sample III 


SiOg 


0.44 lnsol. 


5.57 


3,88 


1,22 




0.40 


1,24 


Fe 2 03 


0.00 




0,00 


0.00 


FeO 


trace 




0.00 


0,32 


MgO 


20.87 




20,30 


20,41 


CaO 


30.73 




29.08 


30.06 


C0 2 


45.85 




44,26 


43,93 


MnQ 


1.22 




0,00 


00,02 


FeS 2 


0,00 




0.00 


00.06 



100,33 99.61 99,92 

The content of accessory minerals in which iron occurs should be 
quite low in a marble to be used in exterior structural work. If this is 
not so, the stone becomes streaked when exposed to weather. As can be seen 
from the above analyses, these materials are negligable in the Cockeysville 
Marble, 

In 1847, when Dr. David Day Owen made his report to the Geological 
Survey, there were thirteen quarries in this district. From this period to 
the latter part of the nineteenth century most of the stone quarried in this 
region was used as a source of agricultural lime. The annual out-put during 
this period being around 200,000 bushels. After nineteen hundred the 
burning of the stone for lime declined rapidly until 1929 when Lindsay's 
Kiln at Teias was the only one in operation. 

The years from 1920 to 1930 were the boom years for the marble 
industry in Baltimore County. Marble valued at about $150,000 was quarried 
annualy from 1920 to 1928, Maryland ranked in tenth place among the 
nineteen marble producing states from the standpoint of the value of the 
marble quarried in 1926, 

It was during this period that the beauty of colored marble was 
recognized and utilized in building construction. This proved a boon to a 



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number of quarries in this region because in quite a few places the pure 
white marble was overlain with colored marble which up to this point had 
been worthless for building purposes. 

The peak of the Cockeysville Marble Industry was reached in 
1929. In this year the marble of the Beaver Dam Quarry was chosen for 
the fifty million dollar Fisher Building in Detroit. The contract called 
for $1, 000 f 000 worth of marble to be delivered in six months. This was 
the largest contract of it 3 kind ever made. This marble { Mar Villa 
Marble, which is pinkish brown in color) was chosen over marble from 
almost all the other eighteen marble producing states. To fill this 
contract, the stone was gotten out in rectangular blocks, five feet by 
nine feet by sixteen feet. Two methods were used in obtaining the blocks - 
by broaching and by channeling. In broaching, a series of drill holes are 
sunk a short distance and the block is then wedged and broken out. This 
is about three times faster than channeling, but it is more wasteful of 
rock and pieces with uneven fractures are often obtained. In channeling, 
a machine operating on a short track drives a chisel which cuts a smooth 
even surface. About thirty percent of the rock is lost in the quarrying 
operations. After the blocks are cut out they are lifted by a derick to 
the sawing plant. Gang saws of soft steel operated with shot and sand as 
abrasives cut the blocks into slabs of various sizes. Twelve to eighteen 
hours are required to saw through a block of the above dimensions. The 
blades are generally replaced after three sawings. It sometimes takes as 
long as two weeks to cut and polish a sizeable block of marble. Even 
with the most modern machinery it is hard to get out more than 1,000 cubic 

feet of marble per day. 



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The following machinery was employed in Beaver Dam Quarry to 
fill this order. This is representative of any marble quarry this size t 
{The Beaver Dam Quarry is 200 feet long, 100 feet wide, and 40 feet deep): 
Two rapid sawing machines; four air compressors (each 2,400 cubie feet 
per minute); five channeling machines; one travelling crane; three - thirty 
ton boom derides; one - fifty ton boom derick; seven broaching machines; 
twenty jack hammers. The quarry is also equipped with a blacksmith shop 
with automatic tool machines. Transportation is provided by a siding 
from the Pennsylvania Railroad. 

In Beaver Dam Quarry (quarry number 5 on enclosed map), as in 
other quarries in this region, there is quite a large inflow of water 
(100,000 to 150,000 gallons per day). To control this it is necessary to 
do considerable pumping. Beaver Dam Quarry is now idle and full of water. 
The owners have capitalized it to some ertent by making it into a swimming 
club. 

At the present time there are only two marble quarries in this 
region supplying stone for building purposes. Both quarries are located 
at Texas, Maryland. The first is owned by Harry T, Campbell of Towson, 
Maryland (quarry number 6 on enclosed map). This quarry is comparatively 
small (100 feet in diameter), and is worked more or less spasmadically as 
orders come in. The Rosewood School at Owings Mills, Maryland is built 
of this stone, Mr. Campbell also operates a large quarry for crushed 
stone in dolomite, three hundred yards south east of the smaller quarry. 
This pit is six hundred feet long, four hundred feet wide, and one hundred 
and twenty five feet deep. The rock is a white, fine grained, dense, 
dolomitic marble. The quarry produces about six hundred tons of crushed 



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stone per day, most of which is employed in concrete road construction. 

The second marble quarry, in which the stone is used for building 
construction, is the Gun Powder Quarry (quarry number 8 on enclosed map). 
The opening is a large circular pit 500 feet in diameter and 100 feet deep 
with vertical walls. The rock is a horizontally bedded dolomite and is 
employed in rough building construction. 

All the other quarries shown on the map (quarries number 9, 10, 
11, and 14 on enclosed map) are operated for the burning of lime, calcite 
sand, and crushed stone used in road work. There are abandoned quarries 
in the Dulaney Valley, and to the north along the Gun Powder Falls, in the 
Worthington and Stringtown Valleys, near Butler and Belfast in the Green 
Spring and Mlnebank Valleys, in fact throughout the whole extent of the 
Coekeysville Marble, They date back to the time when labor was cheap 
enough to make it profitable to quarry marble for local use as building 
stone and lime for burning. 

Although Maryland marble has stood up for years against the 
intense competition of the great marble quarries of the w rid, it is at 
a very low ebb at the present tine for the use as building stone. The 
chief difficulties faced by the Cockeysville Marble Quarries are the 
expensive quarrying (marble can't be blasted), the uncertainty of demand, 
and flaws in the vein. Of these, the first two are very important and the 
last named relatively unimportant. It was the searcityof labor and not 
the quality of the stone that has greatly reduced that which was formally 
a flourishing and profitable industry in Baltimore County, 

In Baltimore County many old houses, barns, and foundations 
built of this stone, many of which are over one hundred years old, act 



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as monuments to the durability and lasting beauty of Cockeysville Marble. 
In Baltimore, the first large use of Maryland Marble was in the rows upon 
rows of white marble steps, door sills and window sills, which have given 
the city a particular air of its own. Once these white marble steps were a 
nark of aristocracy, and even to-day after many years of use they are a 
source of pride to their owners. :ost of these steps are kept scrupulously 
clean, and every morning throughout the city one can see women scrubbing 
their steps to bring out the natural lustre and beauty of the stone. Most 
of the marble used for this purpose came from the now idle Beaver Dam Quarry, 

Cockeysville Marble has been used for a number of large buildings 
throughout the state, including the Baltimore Savings Bank (one of the 
largest institutions of its kind), the Peabody Conservatory, the Enoch Pratt 
Free Library, the new buildings of Loyola College, the Court House and the 
new Post Office in Towson. The State House in Annapolis is also appropriately 
built of Beaver Dam Marble, 

The use of this marble however, has not been confined to Maryland. 
The lower portion of the Washington Monument, the massive columns of the 
national Capitol Building, the Patent Office, the old General Post Office, 
and the State, War, and Navy buildings; all in Washington, were built of 
Cockeysville Marble. 

In other states, Cockeysville Marble is rep-esented by the Saint 
Patrick's Cathederal and the Met Club in New York; the Albright Art Gallery 
in Buffalo; and the Fisher Building in Detroit. 

This stone is used for many other purposes besides building 
construction. In the last ten years they have become very important and 
practically all of the marble being quarried to-day goes to these uses. 



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The use of crushed stone for road work and in concrete aggregate is the 
most important single item. This is attested by the fact that one quarry, 
Barry T, Campbell's quarry at Texas, produces 600 tons of crushed stone 
per day. The stone has been employed in a number of minor ways including 
pebble dash for stucco, poultry grit, filler for paint, the manufacture 
of rubber and linoleum, marble dust, dusting powder, whiting putty, etc. 
A great deal of the lime used in agriculture in this region comes from 
these dolomite quarries. Formerly quite a large amount of the out put 
of the quarries was used in the making of tomb stones, but in recent years 
this market for Cockeysville Marble has practically disappeared. 

Geologist say that the supply of dolomitic marble in Baltimore 
County is practically inexhaustable if it is quarried in the future on 
the same small scale as it has been quarried in the past. The stone has 
passed through a number of cycles of use, beginning with building purposes, 
thence to a source of lime, back to building construction, and up to the 
present for a variety of minor uses. It is veiy doubtful if the Cockeysville 
Marble will ever again have a wide spread use as a building stone as it 
has in the past. As before stated, it is not the quality of the stone 
but the prohibitive labor costs that make it unprofitable to quarry 
Cockeysville Marble for structural purposes. 



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r 





A view looking west across the old Beaver 
Dam Quarry. Notice the marble formation 
in the background. This quarry is now idle 
and used as a swimming club. 





Two views of the stone cutting plant at Beaver Dam, Here the marble 
blocks are cut and polished. This building is sixty years old. 



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The new Beaver Dam Quarry just east of 
the old quarry. The boom of the derrick 
used in lifting the blocks from the 
quarry may he seen at the extreme right 
of the picture. This quarry is now idle. 




r 



L 







A sample wall of Beaver Dam 
Marble, 



The houses for the workmen 
at Beaver Dam Quarry looking 
across the old quarry. 



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Aaother view of the old Beaver Dam Quarry 





Two abandoned quarries in dolomite near Texas, Maryland, 
probably burned for use as lime. 



This stone was 



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A view of the crusher at Campbell's dolomite quarry at Texas. This quarry 
produces six hundred tons of crushed stone per day to be used in road work. 





Looking east across the quarry. 
The boom of a derrick may be seen 
in the foreground. 



Looking south across Campbell's 
quarry. Notice the depth of 
the quarry. 



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Bibliography 
I. Maryland Geological Surrey, Volume of Baltimore County, 
II. Cockeysvllle marble analyst, T.E. Whitfield, U.S. Geol. 
Surrey, U.S, Geological Surrey Bull, 60, p. 159, 1890, 

III, Cockeysrille marble. Analyst E„A. Schneider, TX.S. Geol. 
Survey Bull. 150, p. 301, 189S. 

IV. Cockeysvllle (Mar Villa) Marble analyst, 1.1. Hunt, Central 
blatt fur Win. Geol. und Pal., No. 23, p. 666 - 668, Dec, 1, 1915. 
V. The files of the Baltimore Sun. 
VI. Personal interviews and observations.