Our quarry process is pretty simple.
Finn lifts ledge rocks of all sizes at their source,
one at a time from fractured horizontal beds of sandstone using:
The sandstone layers are first lifted up by pounding flat wedges between the layers. Once a crack forms, Finn uses pry bars or the leverage of the forks on the old Harlo Forklift to finish the job.
Stones of all sizes are sorted and stockpiled, then cut and handcrafted with hammer and chisel. That's pretty much it!
Notice how the stone outcropping is in flat layers? Finn uses hand tools to drive flat wedges in between the seams to lift them up.
The quarry is 2 hours south of St. Louis in the Ozark foothills near Poplar Bluff, Missouri.
Most of our customers are in and around St. Louis, Springfield and throughout Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas.
We offer flexible hours and are open by appointment including on the weekends. The quarry is located on the hill by our home. Call 573.300.4377 to schedule a time to visit.
Cash or check
Based on freight weights obtained by DOT scales, we estimate our stone sells for between $0.08 to $0.20 per pound. But since we don't weigh stones at the quarry, we measure and sell them by the square foot.
We only sell native Missouri sandstone from our own quarry. That's it. The seam we're currently working is the top shelf which comes in rustic sunburst tones between clay red and sandy yellow. If left to weather, our stone colors will mellow to browns and greys over time.
This sandstone, like all sedimentary rock, is laid down in horizontal beds of sediment, in varying thickness, like the thin sheet and thick comforter on the bed you sleep in.
It then, slowly compresses into rock. In the case of the Ozarks, the region where that sediment turned to stone has now been uplifted as a landform, and in the process, created faults and fractures in the original continuous sediment beds.
After eons of Ozark weathering, by 40 inches of rain per year, temperatures fluctuating annually from 0-100 degrees F, and winter temperatures that cross the freezing mark daily, a fractured stack of roughly horizontal sandstone beds, cloaked as a hill, is all that remains.
This stack of rock, once a continuous seabed of sandy near-shore sediment, laid down and sorted by water in a shallow inland sea, is now an uplifted platform of stone that is continuously being dismantled and carried away, bit by bit, by water, down streams and rivers leaving behind the sandstone bluffs that we quarry.
Finn dismantles the hillside, bed by bed, rock by rock, exploiting existing fractures when possible, trying to leverage up the horizontal slabs of stone using the forks of the old Harlo forklift where possible, and hand driving wedges horizontally if needed, splitting the stone along the weaker seams of the old sand seabed.
Sometimes the bed of stone wedged up is so large it needs to be split again or broken in place before it can be moved. At the other extreme, some beds are thin, coming out in layers between 1 and 6 inches. Most stones range between 4 and 24 inches thick in lengths of 1 to 6ft and are moved and further hand-split, then manually broken/cut and dressed to produce the range of stones you see on our products page.
As one of the smallest quarries in the Ozarks, with an active ledge of less than 1/2 acre, we hand-cut around 300 tons a year. We use no explosives to quarry our rock. Finn runs on 3 square meals a day and the Harlo forklift uses less than a gallon of diesel for every ton of stone that leaves our stone yard. Mr. Flintstone might be higher tech than us.
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