Updated: Oct 3, 2022
Here at DeFeo Materials, we source the best Massachusetts quarries for the highest quality stone and bring it all together to offer you a wide range of stone types, shapes, and colors. When you see beautiful decorative river rock in a landscape you may not be thinking of how this stone was discovered, blasted, and transported. These quarries are where that all begins.
Table of Contents
DeFeo Materials is not associated with any of the following quarries
1. Snake Meadow Hill
The first quarrying on Snake-Meadow Hill was done by Benjamin Palmer. He began by working the hill's massive granite boulders, then the stone hill itself. Samuel Fletcher began quarrying the area in 1848. In 1853 William Reed began quarrying on the crest of the hill. Graniteville Materials, founded in June 2010, currently operates on the south-eastern side of Snake Meadow Hill, supplying crushed aggregate products and recycled concrete throughout Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.
2. West Roxbury Crushed Stone Quarry
A large open-pit crushed stone quarry, over 300 feet (91 meters) deep, primarily in coarse-grained Dedham granite. Located in the middle of a densely populated city (Boston), the quarry was opened in 1889 by Thomas F. Welch. The business was incorporated as West Roxbury Trap Rock Company in 1903.
3. Acushnet Quarry
Owned by the P.J. Keating company, this quarry is a large crushed stone quarry in granite originally operated by the Blue Stone Quarry Co. Opened prior to 1921. Famous for its Alpine cleft type mineralization.
4. Aggregate Industries Quarry (Swampscott)
Over a century old and located on the Swampscott-Salem town line, this location was listed in 1939 as a basalt crushed stone quarry. While under the ownership of The Lynn Sand & Stone Company, larger blocks of stone from this location were used to create a breakwater in Winthrop MA in the 1930s. As of 2015 this quarry is still active, and has a concrete plant on site.
5. Quincy Quarries
Quincy Quarries Reservation is where America's large scale granite quarrying industry was born. The area is also famous for being the source of stone used for the Bunker Hill Monument. The quarry, now inactive and filled, is a popular area for rock climbing and picnicking. This is the only non- active quarry on this list, however its place as the birthplace of Mass. stone works earns its spot.
There you have it, our shortlist of Rhode Island quarries that we will add to for years to come. If you want a one stop shop instead of bouncing from quarry to quarry and dealing with their limited hours and product, contact us here at DeFeo Materials and speak with one of our friendly landscape design experts.
Massachusetts Quarries and What They Produce
What Are Quarries and What Do They Do?
A quarry is essentially a type of mine that is used to extract stones and such that will be repurposed into building materials. Quarries belong to a group of mines called open pit mines.The reasoning for this name resides in the fact that these mines are open to Earth’s surface. Quarries in Massachusetts are no different than your average quarry. They exist to dig up any stone-related material that would commonly be used in construction. Massachusetts, however, does have more of certain types of quarries than other states.
What Are the Most Common Materials Found in Massachusetts Quarries?
The types of materials that Massachusetts quarries specialize in are river rocks, limestone and granite, which isn’t dissimilar to other quarries in other states, but they have a fairly large number of quarries of these three types just generally speaking. While Granite is a specific naturally occurring rock, river rocks is a bit more nebulous of a name. River rocks are round stones that appear to have been rounded and smoothed by erosion and weathering thanks to running water. Many believe that river rock is directly produced from rivers or lakes. However, round stone comes from deposits left behind, beside rivers from glaciers. These glaciers moved the river bottoms and deposited the minerals and stone nearby.
DeFeo Materials offers a wide variety of river rock types and colors. Limestone is in abundance in Massachusetts. Limestone is a source of lime (calcium oxide), which is used in steel manufacturing, mining, paper production, water treatment and purification, and plastic production. Lime also has major applications in the manufacture of glass and in agriculture. Back to the quarries, we can break down the types of quarries in Massachusetts into two categories. Things like sand and gravel would be one category, while things like rocks and stone would be on their own.
What Are Sand and Gravel Quarries?
Sand and gravel quarries are just quarries that are used to extract sand and gravel from the Earth. Instead of pulling full rocks, or other natural building materials, more loose materials are pulled, like sand and gravel. Other things like sand and gravel that are pulled from these quarries in Massachusetts are common fill, crushed stone, topsoil, and washed sand. These all vary in value and aesthetic, but each of them has a place in the Massachusetts construction and landscaping industry as a go-to material. Some of them are quite easy to find and acquire. Things like common fill, sand, and topsoil are fairly common and easy to come by. As far as the application of these loose materials goes, the possibilities are fairly endless. Whether it’s a large-scale project for a company building some large building, or working over a large area of land, or it’s for a suburban house looking for a new driveway, loose materials like these are very helpful in many situations. It’s their versatility that keeps them in demand always.
What Comes from Massachusetts Stone Quarries?
Massachusetts stone quarries, like sand and gravel quarries, exist only as a site for the excavation and processing of stone building materials and resources. Massachusetts stone quarries in particular produce certain kinds of stones over others. Massachusetts quarries produce stone materials such as riprap, river rock, utility rock, and basic stones as well. Obviously, these larger stones have a number of applications both similar to, and wildly different from the looser materials that were mentioned above. They can be used to fill in driveways, decorate gardens, or even decorate waterfront pieces of land in a more large-scale sort of way. The stone materials, like the loose materials,also vary in price depending on their rarity and availability in the state. Thankfully, the quarries of Massachusetts contain a large variety of stones and loose materials, but it still has its limits and sometimes a resource you may want for your project may not be available.
The History of Quarries in MA
The stone industry in New England began in colonial times with the use of boulders and cobbles. The splitting of dimension stone from boulders was a crude operation. The stone for King's Chapel, built in 1749-1754 and considered an architectural masterpiece at the time, was obtained by dropping heavy iron balls upon heated boulders and hammering the split stone into shape.
Quarrying from the ledge began in Quincy in 1825 to supply stone for the Bunker Hill Monument, and with the introduction of quarry implements and the "plug and feathers" or "wedge and half-rounds" method of splitting stone, the industry developed rapidly. The use of granite for architectural work also grew rapidly during the second quarter of the nineteenth century, and many buildings in the larger cities on the Atlantic coast were erected of granite from the coast of New England. The Quincy granite, owing, no doubt, to its reputation gained as the stone used in Bunker Hill Monument, to its favorable position near tidewater, and to the more advanced methods of quarrying it, was probably the leading building granite during this period, although other granites along the coast of Maine and Massachusetts were finding an equally extensive range of markets.
In 1885, however, both the output of granite and its popularity for ornamental and decorative use showed a gain, whereas prices, owing to increasing competition, declined. from then until 1890 the industry was prosperous. This half decade was the first of two conspicuously prosperous periods for the building-stone industry since annual statistical information has been available.
This period of prosperity was followed by a decline in the demand for buildings and by the panic of 1903, when the output of structural stone and clay products decreased greatly
Order Quarry Direct from DeFeo Materials
DeFeo Materials provides a number of services related to stone supply, hauling, and trucking in Massachusetts. We will handle every deal with precision and professionalism. When it comes to quarries, and material delivery, we provide multiple services. We can take resources and building materials and haul them straight to wherever you may need them. Whether that be a plant, directly to a jobsite that is being worked on by a larger company, or to someone who just ordered a large supply of resources. Is your landscape supply yard located on a railway? DeFeo Materials is now offering direct rail service for your supply yard! We currently serve customers across the north and southeast and are looking to expand even further. If you are interested in expanding your product line contact our experts today. Contact DeFeo Materials, and we’ll get the job done right.