New Hampshire Glossary: Quarry

quarry– a type of open-pit mine from which rock or minerals are extracted.

Quarries are generally used for extracting building materials, such as dimension stone. Quarries are usually shallower than other types of open-pit mines.

Minerals of New Hampshire were mined before and after the arrival of European immigrants. Eleven pre-historic quarries (quarries used by the pre-historic and indigent people, i.e. “American Indians”) have been identified in New Hampshire, including the most recent one at Ossipee Mountain (2005). Some of the most common types of minerals mined or “quarried” in New Hampshire by European settlers included limestone and granite (Concord NH had the greatest concentration of these), iron, gold, and other minerals.

The official NH State mineral is beryl. The official state gem is smoky quartz.

The Swenson Granite Company of Concord NH gradually became the strongest of these companies, and purchased other regional quarries. The Swenson Company has provided granite for numerous monuments and prestigious projects around the country, including parts of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Library of Congress, the Brooklyn Bridge, The Pentagon, and Civil War monuments from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Antietam, Maryland. [SEE, “Names of Origin of Stone”]

Francestown was also the site of a high-quality soapstone deposit, discovered by Daniel Fuller about 1785. This quarry was closed in 1891.

NH Trivia: Although New Hampshire is called the “Granite State,” granite was not adopted as our official state rock until 1985.



Fact Sheet: Gold in New Hampshire

New Hampshire Mines and Mineral Localities

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2 Responses to New Hampshire Glossary: Quarry

  1. Kieron Walsh says:

    I am doing research on the Diamond Ledge Mining Compay active in the late 1800’s in Cheshire County. Do you have any info on what a operation mining for gold at that time would have looked like? Otherwise, could you direct me to one who would know more about this topic?
    Best regards,
    Kieron Walsh, Goldmine Road, Dublin NH

  2. Scott McGovern says:

    Kieron, I am a teacher just up the road at Mountain Shadows. I’m curious about the location of the mine. I teach a geology unit to our 5th graders and wondered if it’s worth seeing the shaft location. If you have any information I would appreciate getting in touch. Email:

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