Visiting the Rock of Ages Corporation’s granite quarry is basically a tour of the immense. The quarry itself is the world’s largest deep-hole dimension granite quarry, and though 600 feet of its depths, approximately half is under the green water. A van drives visitors up a bumpy road to the site, which can be viewed from behind a gate.
The ride up to the quarry passes piles and piles of granite blocks; since 1885, quarry workers have simply dumped pieces of granite with fractures or cracks in these sections called “grout piles,” which comes from the Scottish word for scrap (many Scots worked in the quarry in its early days). These piles are found all over the town.
After the tour of the quarry, visitors can take a self-guided tour of the granite plant which, again, is gigantic. Huge blocks of granite are moved around, cut, polished, and engraved for gravestones. The plant is a hive of activity and incredibly busy after the slow-moving machinery of the quarry. Most of America’s granite headstones come from right here. Rock of Ages is the biggest manufacturer of memorials and mausoleum and has been quarrying the famous Barre Gray Granite since 1885.
Before leaving, visitors can help themselves to some free souvenir granite from a granite scrap bin and roll a few bowling balls down the outdoor granite lane. The Rock of Ages experimented with granite bowling lanes in the 1950s, but the concept never caught on. This lane was a prototype during those early years and has recently been restored for family fun.
Know Before You Go
The view from the platform is breathtaking with incredible views of the mountains of Vermont. Be sure to visit the manufacturing plant, a 160,000 square foot facility that creates beautiful works of art in stone. From rock pitching to polishing intricate cravings, to seeing the massive stone moved overhead, it's an incredible sight.
Average Tour time is 40-45 minutes and the cost is $6.50 per person. Please visit www.rockofages.com/tours for more information.