What is Limestone Month?

Limestone Month, an annual celebration each June, is a series of festivals, tours, and events to honor the prolific history of the limestone industry in Monroe and Lawrence Counties. Check our events calendar HERE for more information on Limestone Month events.

What is Salem Limestone?

Salem Limestone, also known as Indiana Limestone, Bedford Limestone, Bloomington Limestone, and many other names, is an incredibly pure majority calcium carbonate sedimentary rock. It was created over the accumulation of small shelled organisms under the shallow inland sea that covered Indiana millions of years ago.

Where is Indiana Limestone used?

All over the place! Indiana Limestone can be found everywhere from the Pentagon to the Empire State Building to homes around the country. You can find Indiana Limestone in a number of iconic buildings across the United States. You may be surprised to learn that in New York City alone there are several examples of Indiana Limestone in use including Ellis Island, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Grand Central Station.

Is limestone still used?

Yes! Indiana Limestone is a great building material and several local businesses and artists continue to use limestone for its ease of workability and appealing look.

Are people still working with and carving limestone today?

Yes! Today's carvers are a diverse group of artists. Some are born to it, still working in the industrial side of the business alongside or in the tradition of their fathers, uncles or brothers who have done the same. Others are artists who have sought out the beauty and ease of limestone, sometimes across long distances, after exploring other mediums. 

Indiana Limestone Symposium
Each June, the Indiana Limestone Symposium brings together experienced carvers, hopeful artists and complete novices in an open area on the grounds of the Bybee Stone Company in Ellettsville, Indiana. Instructed by nationally-known stone artists with ears of carving experience in sculptural and architectural carving, these artists learn to carve or improve their technique under the Indiana summer sun.

Amy Brier
A co-founder of the Indiana Limestone Symposium, Amy has exhibited her work locally, nationally and internationally. She is a board member of the Stone Carver's Guild. Amy combines traditional carving techniques with contemporary art ideas such as public interaction and appropriation. Amy's architectural carvings can be seen on the new Simon Hall on the IU campus and her sculpture Impression can be seen on the Bloomington campus of Ivy Tech. Amy's unique Roliquery series features a carved limestone sphere on a bed of sand that the viewer can use to create images in the sand.  

Dale Enochs 
Creator of the centerpiece sculpture located near City Hall on Bloomington's B-Line Trail, Dale Enochs is a local artist working in limestone. Dale's work has been on display at the Indianapolis International Airport, in Bloomington area art galleries and restaurants and at the Indiana Governor's Residence. His sculptures range from small tabletop pieces to huge, outdoor installations. 

James Lax
The works of this stone carver range from traditional architectural elements to lifelike sculptures. His work can be seen locally at the Karst Dog Park and on his website.

Where can I learn more about the Indiana Limestone industry?

Indiana Bedrock Project
This cooperative project seeks to research, catalog and ultimately digitize various photographs, letters, newspaper clippings, business records and other ephemera relating to the Matthews Brothers Stone Company, a limestone quarry which operated out of Ellettsville, Indiana from 1862 to 1978. Though especially concerned with the Matthews Brothers Stone Company, the project seeks to uncover the development of the Indiana limestone industry across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Indiana Geological and Water Survey
The IGWS is located on the Indiana University campus and is a wealth of information about all types of rocks, fossils, and minerals found in the Hoosier state. Here, you'll learn about the type of Limestone found in this part of Indiana, some of the history of quarrying and the properties of Indiana limestone that make it so sought after. 

Indiana Limestone Institute of America
The Indiana Limestone Institute of America is a resource for architects, contractors, building owners and others seeking accurate, unbiased information about the use of Indiana Limestone in construction. ILI's technical publications and their "Indiana Limestone Handbook" are widely recognized as being among the best "how-to" books in the construction industry. 

Indiana University Archives
A department within the Indiana University Library System, the IU Archives are a wealth of information about all things related to Indiana University. This includes historical and cultural information, such as historic photographs and articles about various happenings on campus, such as the quarrying of limestone and the construction of new buildings and landmarks.

Lawrence County Museum of History
Located in downtown Bedford, Indiana, the Lawrence County Museum of History is a great resource for learning more about the heritage of Indiana Limestone in the Bedford and Lawrence County community. Much of downtown Bedford is constructed from the local stone and the area's limestone companies, cutters, and carvers have profoundly affected the development of communities within Lawrence County. 

Monroe County History Center
The Monroe County History Center is your resource for all things related to the history and heritage of Monroe County. In their permanent exhibit, you'll find vestiges of the Limestone industry's history and heritage, including tools, models and a video. Learn more about how the area's vibrant limestone industry helped shape the community.