All About Deer Isle Granite™
Granite is a common component of the earth's crust and takes on many different appearances, each reflective of its origin. There is some debate as to just how granite was formed. Some are clearly igneous while others show evidence of a melting of metamorphic rock. The different granites get their distinctive patterns from unique mixtures of feldspar, hornblende, biotite, mica and quartz. The pink and white colors are derived from the feldspar component while the intense black is hornblende and biotite.
Granite has been an integral part of the colorful history of Deer Isle for over a century. The quarrying business began in the late 1860's with the recognition of the granite's quality and accessibility to transportation. It was started at Green's Landing by John Goss Sr. although several other companies soon joined this growing industry. Operations expanded to include several other islands with Crotch Island, just across the Deer Isle Thoroughfare from Stonington, becoming the most prominent. Today this island is devoted to quarrying, the last remaining, isolated island quarry on the New England coast. So important was the granite industry to Deer Isle that the town of Green's Landing changed its name to Stonington, which remains one of the most picturesque villages on the coast of Maine.
The first uses for Deer Isle granite were as construction materials. The Harvard bridge across the Charles River in Boston was one of the first sites incorporating this famous stone. You may have even seen it at the Tri-borough bridge in New York City or the breakwater in New Orleans without recognizing it. Several other sites have incorporated the stone in a more visible fashion. From chiseled Deer Isle granite, the Isaiah Wall at the United Nations speaks of peace.
You may recognize Deer Isle granite while visiting many of our most beautiful monuments and buildings across the nation, from the Statue of Liberty and Rockefeller Center in New York to the Security Trust & Savings Bank in Los Angeles. One of the more interesting applications is the so-called Rockefeller Bowl, the largest fountain bowl ever produced. It was made from a single piece of granite weighing over 200 tons and whose fabrication and transport to its home at the Rockefeller estate in Tarrytown, NY, was a monumental task in itself. Perhaps the most famous example of Deer Isle granite, however, is President John F. Kennedy's memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Here one can read several of President Kennedy's most well known quotes, all hand carved by stone cutting craftsmen, several of whom still live on Deer Isle. Mrs. Kennedy's visit to the island to select the stone is still fondly remembered.
While reinforced concrete has commonly replaced granite as a construction material, it can never match it for beauty. Although the quarrying industry has gone through a number of changes, it remains alive today through many new and creative products. Some of the more prominent new uses include kitchen counter tops and a variety of elegant furniture pieces.
Now the Deer Isle Granite Co is making this beautiful stone available as accessory items to be enjoyed for years to come in your home and office. Included are polished granite pastry, cutting, serving and cheese boards along with trivets, coasters, pen sets and clocks. Forged iron tables are made by a local blacksmith and fitted with granite tops. All together, they represent a naturally beautiful and rugged stone whose Maine crafted products will bring a lifetime of pleasure. They will not scratch or discolor with age like those from softer stones, such as marble or slate. They are heat resistant. They are unique. They are Deer Isle Granite™.