Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Limestone Quarrying Has Been Important to Sandusky and Erie County for Generations

Hewson Peeke wrote in his book A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio, about the limestone underlying the ground in Sandusky and the Lake Erie Islands region. In Sandusky, the upper portion of stone is corniferous limestone, which is bluish in color and found in thin strata. The stone quarried at Marblehead and Kelleys Island is lower in the ground than the corniferous limestone, and lighter in hue. 

Ellie Damm wrote in her book Treasure by the Bay that many limestone mansions were built in Sandusky between 1834 and 1872. The stone for most of these buildings was quarried near the building sites. It is thought that the stone for Grace Episcopal Church and the Oran Follett House was quarried in the area of the triangular park at the corner of Wayne Street, Huron Avenue, and East Adams Street. 

At one time, Sandusky and the Lake Erie Islands region were dotted with quarries, many which were filled in and used as building sites. There were lime kilns in Marblehead and in Sandusky in the 1800s.

Some individuals ran stone quarries. In the 1880s, Ira Davis established a quarry along Sycamore Line.

Charles Schoepfle had a quarry on the west of Hancock Street, south of McKelvey Street in the 1890s. Here is a receipt for items purchased by Jay Bogert from Charles Schoepfle.

In 1893  Michael Wagner established the Wagner Quarries, now a part of Lehigh Hanson. This post card created by Ernst Niebergall shows Wagner Quarry employees in 1926, at Plant Number 2.
Below is an aerial photograph of the Wagner Quarry in Perkins Township, taken by Thomas Root in 1950; it is still operating today.

 Limestone and crushed stone quarried and processed from Erie and Ottawa Counties continue to provide needed materials for the construction of roads, highways, businesses, and homes in our area and beyond.  This area is fortunate to have so many natural resources, including the limestone bedrock as well as a natural harbor from which the stone can be transported to where it is needed.  To read more about the geology of Erie County, see A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio by Hewson L. Peeke and History of Erie County, Ohio, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, both available at Sandusky Library. 

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