Since it began operating in 1903, Danby Quarry has grown to become the largest underground marble quarry on the planet. Its tunnels, ramps, and vast caverns twist and turn to a depth of 1.5 miles, and its marble has been used in famous structures including the Jefferson Memorial and the U.S. Supreme Court building.
The quarry entrance into Dorset Mountain looks the same as it did a century ago, but while the square-cut mining shaft is the same entry shaft used in 1903, Danby Quarry has grown considerably since then. Today, the quarry covers 25 acres, capable of producing up to 4,000 square feet of marble slabs per day, a total of roughly 200,000 cubic feet per year. The largest blocks removed from the quarry so far have weighed up to an impressive 93 tons.
Also located within Dorset Mountain is the onsite production facility, which itself is one of the largest such facilities in the United States. Here, the marble is cut and shaped into blocks and slabs, ready for immediate export to projects across the globe.
The quarry encompasses various layers of marble with different characteristics, allowing the operator, Vermont Quarries Corporation, to extract 10 different types of marble. Olympian Danby, for example, is quarried on the top floor, while Imperial and Eureka come from deeper inside. The various types of marble have different veining, which determines the price. Royal Danby is the most common and therefore the most affordable. Imperial Danby, meanwhile, is the rarest and the most expensive.
Marble from Danby has been used in the construction of many famous buildings, including the U.S. Supreme Court Building, Jefferson Memorial, New York Public Library, the United Nations Building, the Sama Bank Building in Saudi Arabia, and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan. Martha Stewart also used Danby marble in her home, giving Danby the ultimate seal of approval when it comes to kitchen countertops.
Know Before You Go
According to Vermont Quarries Corporation, tours of Danby Quarry are not available to the public. Tours might be available in special circumstances, in which case try contacting them at the website above.