Featured on the cover of this issue is the Colorado Yule quarry in Marble, CO, which was recently purchased by Italian stone producer, R.E.D. Graniti. This quarry was actually one of the first I visited when I started out at Stone World. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit it again this summer. The site certainly has a history, and the operation has definitely changed since I was first there in November 1997.

The drive from Denver to the town of Marble is majestic. Even in the summer months, the Rocky Mountains are capped with snow. And as you approach the Colorado Yule quarry, you realize that the white caps are actually made of marble.

Founded more than 140 years ago, the quarry has a storied past. Since the beginning, it has gone through several ownerships. In the last few decades none of the owners have experienced the level of success necessary to maintain the kind of operations that a marble, with such historical connotations, requires.

R.E.D. Graniti is operating the quarry under the name of Colorado Stone Quarries (CSQ).

I was happy to accept the invitation to see the investments that have been made in a relatively short period of time.

“We made sure we had the proper personnel in place so we could use their experience in operating the quarry in a way that would provide the very best material,” explained Fabrizio Ponzanelli, CEO of R.E.D. Graniti. “We made, and continue to make, large investments in equipment and infrastructure so that the quarry can produce marble that is the best we have ever seen.”

During my visit, I was able to see the “Lincoln Gallery” — the new area of the quarry where viable marble was discovered. A road had to be built to allow access to the new part of the quarry, and a new entrance was created.

I had the opportunity to meet with Daniele Treves, general manager, and Stefano
Mazzucchelli, quarry master — two men who have worked for R.E.D. Graniti for many years in quarries around the world. Their knowledge and expertise is immediately apparent, and it is clear why they were relocated to Colorado.

More can be learned about the Colorado Yule marble quarry and CSQ’s operation beginning on page 78. This article is one of two featured in our “U.S. Quarried Stone” focus.

The other one is the Mount Airy granite quarry owned by North Carolina Granite Corp., a distinguished quarrier and producer of granite and other natural stone products. This quarry also has an interesting story to be told. The quarry site was purchased in 1872 by a farmer named John Gilmer. His purchase included several thousand acres of land covering what is now part of Mount Airy, NC, and the village of Flat Rock, NC. When he realized the property contained 40 acres of bare rock, which is known by locals as “The Rock,” he demanded to be reimbursed for the “useless” portion of his land. This “useless” portion of land is now the base of the world’s largest open-faced granite quarry. To read more about it, turn to the article on page 90.

To me, learning the stories behind the quarries and companies are the most interesting and fun part of writing these types of articles. I also think articles such as these are beneficial to our readers. It makes you aware of the various materials out there, as well as the owners of the quarries that are making them available. While some of the larger ones are well-known, there are also plenty of smaller ones throughout the U.S. that may offer just the particular stone needed for a project design or to meet a customer’s request. Look for more stories such as these in upcoming issues of Stone World.