One Fall Day

One fall day in November, I was walking through the woods with my friend in Conway, New Hampshire. The air was crisp and there was a thin layer of snow on the ground. This was a perfect day for a fall hike and a little adventure. We unexpectedly stumbled across an archaeological site.

As we walked around we saw remnants of a time long forgotten. Granite columns, stone slabs, rusty machines, hanging cables and an abandoned building. These artifacts left behind as if people left in a hurry hoping to someday return.

This is all that is left of Redstone Granite Quarry on Rattlesnake Mountain. This granite site was built by the Maine and New Hampshire Granite Companies in 1887. The village of Redstone was a company town where there was a church, post office, school and the Maine Central Railroad passed through here. Over 200 men worked and lived here. The granite produced here was used all over the country. Two beautiful columns adorn the post office in Intervale, NH today.

Cables frozen into the lake that was once used to run and cool the machines. Most of the machines were steam powered. I used these cables to pull myself up the steep slopes.

In 1948, the factory produced granite for the last time. Some of the machines were auctioned off and the rest left here in a mill graveyard.

The walk through this forgotten piece of time is eerie. The quiet woods only being disrupted by the crunching of the snow and leaves under our feet. If you listen carefully you can hear the cracking of the ice on the pond. I imagine the once bustling and noisy days of hard mill life.

These scattered remnants tell a story. A story of a time of great need for granite and hard physical labor. A story of a little village in New Hampshire trying to survive through the harsh mountain winters, through the depression, through two World Wars.

But like all stories,this one came to an end. Atop the Rattlesnake Mountain with gorgeous views of the mountainside, the story of Redstone Quarry is buried here amongst the white birch trees and stone slabs known only to curious hikers like me and to those who desire to read the story.

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