The Quincy Quarries in Quincy, Massachusetts, produced granite for over a century and were the site of the Granite Railway—often credited as being the first railroad in the United States. A 22-acre section of the former quarries is owned and operated by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation as a public recreation area.
In 1825, after an exhaustive search throughout New England, Solomon Willard selected the Quincy site as the source of stone for the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown. After many delays and much obstruction, a charter was granted on March 4, 1826 for the construction of a railroad to help move the granite. The “Granite Railway” was designed and built by railway pioneer Gridley Bryant and began operations on October 7, 1826. The granite from these quarries became famous throughout the nation, and stone cutting quickly became Quincy's principal economic activity.
In 1985, Bostons Metropolitan District Commission purchased 22 acres, including Granite Railway Quarry, as the Quincy Quarries Reservation. A solution to the public safety problem was finally found with the massive Big Dig highway project in Boston. Dirt from the new highway tunnels was trucked in to fill the main quarries. This opened up new sections of rock to climbers, and the site was subsequently improved to encourage public use of the reservation. The reservation is connected to the trail system of the Blue Hills Reservation and features hiking, rock climbing and views of the Boston skyline.
May 1st, 2016
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