Thursday, June 3, 2010
An Underground Limestone Quarry?
June is Limestone Month, and that means lots of great exhibits, events and activities throughout Monroe and Lawrence Counties. Log on to www.limestonemonth.com for a complete calendar of things happening this month.
Last year, as part of the first ever Limestone Month, I was lucky enough to go on a tour of an active limestone quarry operated by the Elliott Stome Company in northern Lawrence County, courtesy of Elite Tours. It was an incredible experience.
A family-owned business, the Elliott Stone Company quarries limestone in a large underground cavern rather than the more traditional quarrying technique of blasting a large hole in the ground.
The stone is quarried by large, specially designed saws that cut horizontally into the cavern walls. Bags inflated with air are then used to break the stone from the wall.
The equivalent of three stories of stone can be quarried underground without disrupting wildlife and vegetation on the surface.