Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Rock of Ages Quarry in Barre, Vermont

This is where a large number of tombstones and memorials are made by the Rock of Ages Granite company in Barre, Vermont.  You might have seen the logo on a gravestone in a cemetery near you.  The granite mined here is also used for statues and memorials, such as the new World War II monument on the National Mall in Washington, DC.  At the visitor's center you can watch a film about the quarry, take a tour of the quarry, or visit the manufacturing plant next door where the granite is carved by artists into memorials and monuments.

This part of the granite quarry is over 600 feet deep, and the granite is a beautiful light gray color.

"In the late 1950's Rock of Ages
experimented with making lanes out of
granite for use in commercial bowling alleys.
Although a few such alleys were created
the concept never caught on.  This prototype
was used for many years by employees
and visitors alike, but then was neglected and
fell into disrepair.  We have restored the old
lane with a few exceptions.  We left the gutters
as they are to demonstrate how the reinforced
concrete has weathered, while the granite alley
is virtually untouched by the passing years.
There is no automation here. Step back in time
with your family to an era when "pin boys"
reset pins and returned balls.  Take turns as the
designated "pin person" and have a ball."

Carving gravestones and memorials is serious business, so I'm sure the artists had fun creating this granite bowling alley. Visitors sure had fun trying it out!

UPDATE: 4:20pm 27 August 2013
Barbara Poole, the author of the genealogy blog "Life from the Roots" posted in 2010 about a great resource from Rock of Ages.  They publish a small beginners genealogy book called Families Are Forever available at this link:   http://www.rockofages.com/en/memorials/family-memorials/267
You can read more about it at her blog post at this link:

Rock of Ages, Barre, Vermont visitor information http://www.rockofages.com/en/gift-shop-a-tourism 

Rock of Ages video from YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efpmGLNcBZM

Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Very interesting post. The bowling alley is particularly intriguing. I never heard of stone alleys and I still wonder that the pounding of all those dropped balls has not damaged the surface.

    So did you or your husband get any strikes?? :-)

    1. The polished granite alley was very slippery, and the balls provided were hard rubber. No, I didn't get a strike. I hadn't bowled in years and years!

  2. For many years a Rock of Ages logo was on the sign at a monument business in Sandusky. Very interesting post!

  3. My great grand uncle, James Broadfoot lived there to work with the stone. Fun post!