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SIA 2010 Fall Tour
Vermont • September 16-19, 2010

Aerial photograph of Rock of Ages granite quarry.

FRIDAY, September 17, 2010

Friday Tour F1: "All Granite, All Day" (early departure, all day tour)  

Friday Tour F1 is now full.

Friday's F1 tour will explore the breadth and variety of nearby Barre's still-active historic granite industry.  Barre's 4-mile-long world-class deposit of fine-grained granite has been quarried commercially for dimension and carving stone since the 1820s. Population and production swelled with a late-nineteenth century influx of immigrant labor, particularly Italians, who spawned a radical anarchist labor movement.  The industry grew during the twentieth century with introduction of labor-saving technology and consolidation of quarry ownership. The Barre granite district, which has supplied stone for one-third of the funerary monuments in the U.S., has a rich history as an industrial arts center.  Friday's tour will provide a cross-section of the industry from quarry pit to cemetery.  The tour begins at Rock of Ages Corporation, the granite industry leader in Barre and the U.S., with a visit to the 500 ft deep E.L. Smith quarry, the world's largest dimension stone quarry, as well as behind-the-scenes tours of the cutting shed and old air compressor house.

The F1 tour will visit a major local cutting shed to see modern equipment for large-scale sawing, cutting, and polishing of dimension stone.  Lunch will be at the Jones Bros. Co. cutting shed, now under development by the Vermont Granite Museum, where we will have a guided tour of the shed and archaeological remains. The tour will include a visit to a small one-man figurative sculpture studio, and a specialty stone cutting and carving tool manufacturing operation.  The day will end with a visit to Hope Cemetery with sculptor Giuliano Cecchinelli.  The entire tour will be within Barre, and will be conducted by bus and on foot.  Attendees must supply appropriate closed footwear and their own hard hats; SIA will supply eye and ear protection, which is required at many of the workplaces.  

Friday Tour F2 – Characteristically Vermont, IA of Waterbury/Hardwick (morning departure, all day tour)

 The area from Waterbury to Hardwick is one of the more picturesque and popular tourist trails in Vermont, due to the many traditional food and craft tours offered along that route.  The SIA will get a little off the well-worn tourist track to investigate two industries – dairying and small-scale manufacturing – that are uniquely characteristic of Central Vermont. Our tour will begin with a stop at Ben & Jerry’s main ice cream plant in Waterbury, nestled in a rolling pasture overlooking the Worcester Range.  We will see ice cream being made, and learn more about this successful Vermont company founded by two childhood friends.  Before we leave we will visit the tasting room for free samples of the flavor of the day. At Concept Two Rowing in Morrisville, we will see the start-to-finish production process for carbon fiber racing oars and review other manufacturing and logistic processes.  Concept Two was founded by two Olympic rower brothers in 1976, and continues to produce state-of-the-art rowing machines, racing oars and other rowing products. We will have a very special luncheon in Hardwick at Claire’s Restaurant, whose gourmet kitchen specializes in local Vermont foods, which will be at the peak of perfection in mid-September.  After lunch we will visit Hardwick-area industries including a 19th-century granite shed, a tofu production facility at Vermont Soy, and Vermont Natural Coatings, which makes durable wood finishes from dairy byproducts to serve the “green” building industry.


Weather in mid-September can be variable, with hot humid days still possible, and cool nights. Rain is possible. 

All of the usual SIA Road Rules will apply. Take special note of the hard hat requirement for the Friday Granite Tour (F1) and the shoe requirements for the Saturday Copper Mine Tour (S1). Please note the SIA Policy on Refunds. Tours and content are always subject to change, including cancellation.

Society for Industrial Archeology
Tel.: 906-487-1889

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