Saturday, April 25, 2015

Update: Waterford Slate Company

The original stone for early Waterford settler Mrs. Submit Adams, pictured here, was made of slate.
So far, I find no connections to Wales among the principals of the Waterford Slate Company -- but I do have some information to pull together here.

First, the Waterford Slate Company was incorporated in 1853 by an act of the state legislature, and the corporation members are "Otis G. Hale, Samuel G. Bracket, and Samuel A. Bracket, their associates and successors." Their first corporate meeting was to take place in St. Johnsbury.

Next, from a report by C. H. Richardson, Ph. D., Syracuse University, called "The Areal and Economic Geology of Northeastern Vermont," published in Montpelier by the Argus and Patriot Press in 1906:
The Waterford Slate Company in 1855 spent several thousand dollars in developing the quarry on Waterford Mountain two miles south of East St. Johnsbury on the St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain Railroad. In 1860 it is reported to have been sold to WEbster and Keys of Concord, New Hampshire, for $7,777. They became involved in litigation and a foreclosure ensued. There seems to be no reason why the quarry should not be worked at good profit with modern machinery and modern methods. I have split with a single blow of a trimming hammer samples three feet long and from two feet thick to the thickness of one quarter of an inch. The grout around the old quarry exposed for half a century shows how stoutly the slate will resist disintegration. A seventy five foot front can easily be obtained with excellent opportunity for grout beds.
And the 1861 "Final Report on the Geology of Vermont: Descriptive, Theoretical, Economical, and Scenographical" by Hitchcock, Hager, Hitchcock, and Hitchcock praises the quarry, saying it has "The greatest width of slate suitable for working in any bed visited on this formation" and that "In 1855 there were about forty squares of slate quarried at this place, which were sold and used for roofing, since which time little has been done by the company." The authors said that the "slate of this belt is very tough, and in many places is in all respects equal to the best slate of Wales."

Find the words "Slate Ledge" just below Waterford Mountain. From Beers Atlas 1875.

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