Granite has been used in America since long before it was settled by the colonists. The Indians used granite in their daily life in their tools. Early on the colonists imported their granite for grinding stones in mills as that was a need but no one knew if there was such a durable stone available in the new world. In 1780 a granite quarry in Barre, VT opened and began supplying the colonies with granite to meet their needs including monuments, headstones, grist mill stones, stair treads and for other uses. Later on, other quarries were opened and began supplying stones from more than just Vermont, The Granite State.
You won’t find many colonial homes with granite countertops but you many find some historical homes with granite floors and granite stair treads. Only the wealthiest colonists could afford to have the granite installed and polished. The most common use of granite in colonial times was for grave markers. Thomas Jefferson specified that his marker “be of coarse material to deter vandals,” most historians believe he was specifying that he did not want marble because it would be too expensive and possibly stolen for its value. His grave marker was made of granite and almost immediately vandalized, although not because of the value but rather because of the history.
Another early use of granite was to build walls to mark the boundaries of farms or properties. Because granite is hard, heavy and so abundant in the northeast, it was an easier and a more permanent way to mark property lines than wood fencing. Hard to imagine that moving all that rock was easier than putting up a wood fence but without Home Depot to supply that already cut wood, it certainly was.
Many historical building, monuments and markers are made of granite. If you were to travel to Gettysburg, you’d see many states sent monuments to commemorate their lost soldiers are. In Washington, DC, the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial is made from granite. One of the largest residences in the US made of granite is the Venable Stonehenge Mansion in Atlanta as the family who made the home owned a granite quarry. Of course, one of the largest monuments in the world is Mount Rushmore which is carved out of granite.
As you can see, granite has been used in the US for centuries in many different applications. If you’re considering it for your home or business, contact Modlich Stoneworks and we’ll help you select your new granite countertops or bathroom vanities and if for some reasons you have a more historical application, let us know and we’ll work on that too!