Smith Granite Quarry, Vermont

The Upper E. L. Smith Quarry is said to be the "largest and deepest dimension granite quarry in the world." It is one of several in the region, most of which are owned and operated by the Rock of Ages company. The grey granite of the Graniteville quarries is popular, especially for cemetery memorials, and that is the main business of nearby Barre. Several companies are at work shaving and engraving tombstones in the region, rock usually bought from Rock of Ages. Rock of Ages, itself the largest supplier of granite tombstones in the nation, has a 200,000 square-foot rock processing mill in Barre, where they cut blocks into slabs and shape granite into nearly any form imaginable. One famous custom gravestone, ordered for a teenager's grave in Linden, New Jersey, was in the shape of a full size 1982 Mercedes Benz limousine. It weighed 32 tons. The quarries are unusually dramatic and picturesque. The Smith Quarry can be visited on tours leaving from the Rock of Ages visitor center in Graniteville.