I came across these abandoned pediments on a small island not too far from home. Like so many other islands along the coast, it once had a thriving quarry, home to hundreds of stonecutters and their families.

Through the 19th century, the granite business was huge here; the stone itself was – and still is – renowned as particularly fine, and the schooners that took the cut stone to build great edifices to the south could sail right up to the bold island shores for loading. 

In the early twentieth century, when architects became enamored of new possibilities inherent in concrete, they stopped specifying granite and overnight – literally overnight in many cases – the quarries were abandoned and a way of life disappeared in a heartbeat.  

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Meredith Ralston