The Butler Did It…

Gen. Ben. Butler, Jonas French and the Cape Ann Granite Company that is.

Quick work by Mark Erwin id’d my mystery  photo as the Philadelphia City Hall. A little more digging turned up precisely what part Cape Ann granite played in this building.

The following image is from:

“Philadelphia’s City Hall,”

By Allen M. Hornblum, George J. Holmes, page 110



How the Finn Quarry Workers Slept and Worked


How the Finn Quarry Workers Slept & Worked


Head to toe, head to toe.
Eight in a row.
Eight rows to the floor;
With windows left open
there’s room for eight more.


A sheet on the window
To allow the cold air in,
Keeps the body blood flow
And ready for the 6 am din.


The pay day window faces
The ocean grim,
Trudge across the road
To the company store
And turn most of your cash back in.


Split a few stones
In your back yard lot.
Turn in a thousand
Of choice Belgian cut.
Another twenty dollars
To spend on the family you’ve got.

by Leslie D. Bartlett, March 13, 2014


How to (ad)DRESS Dimension Granite

There were two choices when shipping dimension granite by stone sloop (or rail).

If the stone was unfinished, the pieces were in surface contact with one another, and any dressing would take place at the project wharf or destination. The dressing crews often moved from job to job. I’ve come across newspaper accounts of Rockport Granite stone being used in Chicago, but being dressed by a crew from the Quincy Granite Company.
If the stone was dressed here on Cape Ann, then the pieces would be wooden boxed to protect the edges and dressings.
The image below is Cut Stone bound for the “Manhattan Bridge No.3” New York. The stone is poised at the cutting shed of Bay View.


Greatness Resides in the Granites of Cape Ann

The Sea Green Granite of Bay View was a highly prized addition to monuments and memorials, especially as the Rockport Granite Company entered the 20th Century.

A Song to Nature: 

Location:  Entrance to Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA, on the grounds of the Frick Fine Arts Building, University of Pittsburgh

Dedication:  1918

Sculptor:  Victor David Brenner

Architect:  H. Van Buren Magonigle

Materials:  bronze and granite

Height:  figures 15 ft, basin 15 ft

Base is Sea Green Granite from Rockport Granite Company

The fountain base for asongofnature

The Hoe is the Terror of the Earth -Émile Verhaeren

“See how the hardest things proclaim their hardness from afar.

Alas–the absent hammer is about to strike!

Rainer Maria Rilke

…14 men paused from work. We see them watching the camera, watching us. The vocabulary of the pit does not cross the threshold of the horizon line. In the focus to their work, we are ignored. We are not seen above the granite dust, the compressor pumps, the air drills. We do not exist except at this moment behind the camera.


Quarry Men Had Sharp Eyesight

In the midst of the chaos of loose stone, rubble and rock, the quarry worker needed to keep his eye out, and ear ready for the warning sound of an imminent blast.

Knowing where to stand was often the difference between safety and a bad industrial accident. Which makes photographs of quarries very interesting – most of the time the men are all paused from working. They see the camera and they see us. In this photo of Bay View, Cape Ann, everyone is paused. I’ll return to the image again tomorrow to give a full accounting  of  how many men are “Standing Down.”