CLEVELAND, OH - The Marble Institute of America (MIA) / Stone World Magazine Industry Education program turns its sights to Vermont and Canada from May 13 to 14, for a two-day tour of this stone-rich region of North America.

Vermont has long been known for its deep stone heritage, and it has often been said that every stone professional should experience the uniqueness of the Vermont quarries at least once in their lifetime. This event also includes a look at the rich heritage of the granite industry in Stanstead, Quebec - the granite capital of Canada.

The following quarries are on the tour list:

• E.L. Smith Quarry (owned by Rock of Ages) - The site covers a surface area of 50 acres and is about 600 feet in depth. It is believed to be the world’s largest dimension “deep-hole” granite quarry. It accounts for approximately 75% of the total production of Barre granite quarried each year.

• Stanstead Gray Quarry (owned by Rock of Ages) - The quarry, which has been in operation since 1880, is located west of Stanstead, in the Estrie region. The stone (light to medium gray, medium- and coarse-grained granodiorite) is mainly used to produce monuments.

• Danby Quarry (owned by Vermont Quarries) - This is the biggest underground marble quarry in the world, over a mile long with a footprint of 25 acres and reaching six levels deep. Five varieties of marble are produced at the Danby Quarry.

• Sutherland Falls Quarry (part of the Vermont Marble Museum tour) - Only a quarter-mile stroll from the museum parking lot, the viewing area allows visitors to see the original Proctor quarry.

• Vermont Verde Antique Rochester Quarry (owned by Vermont Verde Antique LLC) - Vermont Verde Antique has been quarried in the Green Mountains of Vermont since the early 1900s. Serpentinite, unlike calcium carbonate-based marbles, is capable of maintaining a polished finish in exterior exposures. This proven weather resistance has kept this material in high demand for the past century, and its classic look makes it one of the most widely recognized architectural facade materials.

• Bethel White Quarry (owned by Rock of Ages) - The Bethel White granite quarry is a prime producer of a pure even-grain material. This quarry produces 225,000 cubic feet of blocks per year. Bethel White was supplied for the Mormon Bountiful Temple and the Grand America Hotel in Utah, which was built to serve as a conference center for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

In addition to visiting a number of quarries, two museums are on the tour list:

• GranitExpo & Museum of Stanstead - This unique complex combines a permanent showroom featuring some of Stanstead’s most respected manufacturers and artists, as well as a museum honoring Stanstead’s past manufacturing community. The concept reunites the past, the present and the future of the granite industry in Stanstead. This will also be the site for the May 13 dinner. Learn more online at: www.stansteadgranite.com. Several Stanstead-based stone companies will also be included on the tour.

• Vermont Marble Museum - This facility features over 100 exhibits, including Mineralogy-Geology-Immigrant and Industrial History-On-Site Sculptor-Sculpture Gallery and more. Learn more online at: www.vermont-marble.com.

The hotel/event is at the Comfort Inn at Maplewood in Montpelier, VT (Phone: 802-229-222), and guests can ask for the “Marble Institute of America” group rate on rooms.

Registration costs are $299 for MIA members and $349 for non-MIA members.

As an added bonus for attendees, MIA-member companies who send two employees to a classroom seminar will receive a $200 credit for items from the MIA bookstore. Eligible companies will include those who joined MIA prior to January 1, 2009. Credit will be awarded onsite at the seminar. Meanwhile, non-MIA member companies who join prior to or during the seminar will be able to send two employees to a seminar for free (a $498 value). For more information about membership, go online to www.marble-institute.com/membership/join.cfm or call 440-250-9222 and ask for Jeff Handley.

For more information on the event, visit www.stoneworld.com/miaeducation or www.marble-institute.com.

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