History Lessons at the Mt. Desert Granite Museum

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MT. DESERT, Maine (WABI) Steve Haynes has been working with granite since he was 11 years old. Now he is the curator of the Granite Museum in Mt. Desert and showing people from around the country the rich history of his industry.

"We had huge plutons of granite that was all naturally split horizontally. And so, with deep water transportation to the Sound, the schooners could come in and quarry the granite block off."

After a quick trip to Hall Quarry, Haynes takes his tour group back to the museum. On display are structures from around the country that utilize Maine granite.

"The Post Office in Washington D.C., U.S. Treasury Building, the Washington Monument, which the super-structure is of Maine granite."

Haynes gives his visitors a hands-on demonstration of how granite was cut in the early days of quarrying.

"This has been lost. The history has been lost for all these hundred and thirty years and now, we're bringing it back and teaching people."

The granite industry has changed immensely in Maine, with fewer quarries and new technologies. But despite the different tools and methods, the works of the old Maine granite workers still stand strong throughout the country.

"They have been looking at these public buildings all their lifetimes and they haven't realized what the buildings were made of. And then every person says 'oh, I'll never look at that granite building the same again.' And so I say 'thank you, I've done my job.'"