We visited the Rock of Ages quarry and nearby Hope Cemetery to see the amazing granite monuments and tombstones.
|Naturally, their entrance sign is made from a block of granite.|
|We watched from a fenced platform which provided a bird’s-eye view of the quarry. The workers (quarries) in the depths below cut Barre granite into mammoth blocks then lift them to the surface by derricks (cranes) capable of lifting up to 250 tons!|
|The supporting cables extend in all directions to spread out the loads when raising the blocks.|
|The holes are drilled 2 1/2 inches apart vertically, then the same goes for horizontal underneath. Then it's blasted to separate the block from the rest of the granite wall.|
|This photo shows the drilling machine in operation as it drills the vertical holes. This also helps to show how large the blocks are compared to the worker.|
|I wonder what OSHA would think of checking your cell phone while working 600 feet above the ground?|
|Another great perspective photo to show how huge the granite blocks are.|
|Inside half of the factory where all the carving/cutting/shipping is done.|
|How many hearts can you see in this monument?|
|Some cut tombstones ready for engraving.|
|The other half of the factory. Notice the wood crates being made to ship the finished products.|
|Granite tabletops are a part of the business. They last and do not discolor like marble (so said the tour guide).|
|First the design needs to be applied to the stone. Nowadays the engraving is mostly done by machine.|
|They had some plastic pins and a plastic ball to try. I set up the pins and threw a gutter ball right off so I got a little closer. Same result.|
|Even closer.....finally, a strike!|
Next stop was the Hope Cemetery in Barre which had many many fabulous granite tombstones.
|A small section of the cemetery is shown here. All granite. No marble.|
Look at this one particular famous tombstone. Famous because of the intricate detail as shown in these photos.
|This was all carved by hand.|
Next....examples of some of the more unique tombstones and monuments we found in the cemetery. Everywhere we turned was another wonderful engraving masterpiece. Most of the engraving in the past was done by Italian craftsman who came from Italy and the Boston area to work in the granite and carving industry. A great number of tombstones were Italian names. They ended up engraving their own tombstones as well.
So many of the monuments had great feeling that you could not help but get overwhelmed and choked up looking at them.
A wonderful stop in our journey across the states. Please stop and visit this place if you're ever in the area.
Kim and Steve