What is believed to be the largest block of marble every quarried on the North American continent was removed from the Vermont Marble Company’s quarry in Danby and is now being “roughed out” in Proctor for shipment to Salem, Ore.
The block is only one of eight of similar size now being quarried in Danby. The eight mammoth pieces of white stone, which when ready for shipment will weigh more than 600 tons, will be set up in front of the new Capitol building in Salem.
On the marble will be carved two sculptural groups symbolizing the early days of the state of Oregon. One group will symbolize the famous explorers, Lewis and Clark, and the other a pioneer family with a covered wagon.
The marble block now being “roughed out” is 20 feet long, eight and a half feet wide and nearly six feet high.
Special Derricks Used.
By using special derricks, 25 workers raised the block from the quarry in Danby, which is a mile up the mountain side.
The derricks lifted the block to a flatcar of the inclined cable railway which carried it down the steep mountain side. A large specially constructed freight car was used to convey it to the finishing shops in Proctor.
After work has been completed on the blocks in Proctor, they will be shipped to New York where the carving will be completed by Leo Friedlander, a sculptor. From New York the blocks will cross the continent to Salem.
The Imperial quarry has provided marble for many famous buildings, including the amphitheater in the Arlington National Cemetery and the new Supreme Court building in Washington.
The largest blocks heretofore quarried in the United States were used in the construction of the court building. The weight of these blocks totaled approximately 64 tons each.
Several weeks will be required in “roughing” the blocks before they will be ready for shipment.