History of Beaver Dam Quarries
Almost two hundred years ago, around 1815, quarrying began in what is now the Beaver Dam Swimming club. Over time there were many quarries in the area, working a vein of stone that runs from the Lake Roland area, near the Baltimore city line, north, to just above the Cockeysville area. The only quarry still in production in this area is the LaFarge quarry at Texas, Md. The Beaver Dam quarry is the only marble quarry in the area used for recreation. Marble can vary greatly in quality from area to area. The marble from Beaver Dam is a dolomite and due to it’s hardness was considered one of the best and made an excellent building stone. Other quarries in the area had deposits of marble and limestone. Over time these quarries ran out of buildable stone and were used only as a source of lime for agricultural use.
Work in the quarries at first was done by hand using hand drills, hammers and chisels and the number of workers employed was as high as 200. Many Irish immigrants, who had fled Ireland during the potato famines of the 1840s, worked the quarry. In 1878, Hugh Sisson acquired the property and began using the newest equipment available–derricks, shovels, drills with diamond bits and cutters – all run by steam. Prior to a spur being run from the North Central Railroad (now the NCR bike trail) to the quarry in 1866, the stone was loaded onto heavy duty wagons, drawn by teams of oxen, and taken to the rail line at Cockeysville, less than a mile away.
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