‘All Done,’ Defiance in the Rockport Quarry: a tale told in chisel.

As you walk in along below the Keystone Bridge in Rockport, take a look to your left; there inscribed on the wall is a veritable tale told in chisel. A lineage of initials & dates.  A permanent colophon. Emotions of whimsy, striking anger, and the wish to be remembered.
More hidden on the right wall, and down along the ledge which held the ladder by which all workmen climbed down into the quarry, are more carved initials which date back as early as 1881. The ‘Signing of the Quarry Walls,’ is almost unique to the Flat Ledge Quarry. (Almost because there is one other example to be found in Rockport.) These wall surfaces were revealed as the Keystone Bridge neared completion in 1872, located below the bridge, there was no further quarrying to take place.

The carvings therefore, took place in areas obscured by buildings and sheds,  and away from the peering eyes of the Rockport Granite Company Treasurer who would lean over the Keystone Bridge. observing the pace of workers.

They stand as individual expression, from an era where men had to work together to make their daily bread.

NOTE: the ‘All Done,’ chiseling to the left includes an elaborate ! exclamation point.



The Stones of the Quarries

Stones of the Quarries“Stones of the Quarries,” is a documentary short produced by Robert Apse this past summer. I was fortunate enough to be included. Enjoy!

The Stones of the Quarries is a short documentary connecting historians, nature preservers, and quarry workers to the world of granite quarrying in northern Massachusetts. An industry that once encapsulated Cape Ann in the 1800s until the great depression, leaves behind traces of its history not only in the quarries themselves but in the roads, bridges, monuments and buildings that helped rebuild America after the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars; stretching from Massachusetts to as far south as New Orleans, Louisiana. Maybe even in your own town.

Official Selection Newburyport Documentary Film Festival 2014

The film features:
Leslie D. Bartlett: Quarry Photographer and Granite Historian
John Ratti: Park Interpreter, Halibut Point State Park
Ramona Latham: Educator/Interpreter, Trustees of Reservations
Barbara Erickson: President and CEO, Trustees of Reservations
George Johnson: Cape Ann quarry worker

Music by Gareth Hobbs