If you have ever driven St. Lawrence county RT19, in Dekalb NY, you may have noticed some odd-looking cement ruins on the East side of the road. There is also a pond there. This is what is left of the Clarkson Marble Quarry. This has been long defunct, but it was one of many mines in the DeKalb area. The Greenhill mine was very close by, but did not mine marble.
The sight of the quarry is privately owned, and I was able to get permission from the gracious owner. You can see some of cement foundations, and the quarry itself, from the roadside. Please respect this and all private property. The owner told me that the pond is sixty feet deep. Most all of the iron and steel millworks and machinery have been salvaged as scrap. Traces of marble can be found around the quarry.
The mines changed hands many times between its start 1881, and its final days, when the mineral rights were put up for purchase in 1946 at a tax foreclosure sale. It operated under several different names as well. Records show it listed as the Clarkson, as well as the Dekalb White Marble Company. The quarry produced cut marble for use in the building trade originally. According to The Republican-journal., (February 24, 1928), the company also shipped crushed stone, via the New York Central railroad to places such as Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland and Chicago. The rates that the railroad charged were challenged in ICC court, and the DeKalb White Marble company (at that time ran by J.H. McLear) was awarded a settlement of around $1500 in refunds. Marble from this quarry was used in many buildings in the area, among them- the courthouse in Canton NY. This was probably the last of the Dekalb mines to operate.
For more information on this and other mines in the DeKalb area, see the excellent Town of DeKalb Historians page: http://www.dekalbnyhistorian.org/LocalHistoryArticles/MinesMinerals/minesminerals.html
Timeline of the Clarkson Marble Quarry
1881- Leased to C. W. Bayley
1889- leased to Mark Spaulding’
1890- sub-leased to Thomas Clarkson, by Mark Spaulding and Chester Buck Clarkson Marble Company formed.
1896- Thomas Clarkson dies, quarry is sub-leased to J.A. Phelps and W.D. Chamberlin.
1904- Title to mineral rights reverts to Spaulding. Clarkson Marble Company incorporates. Board of directors consists of: C. Chichester, G. Rigney, G. Johnson, W. Griffin and E. Phelps.
1906- Spaulding dies. Trust formed to manage the holdings. Chester Buck named first trustee. The trust did business under the name of DeKalb White Marble company.
1917- Leased to J. Hermon McLear.
1925- McLear incorporates and is the president. G. Cummings is vice president, secretary and sales manager. H. Donnigan is named treasurer. A mill is constructed to produce crushed stone and dust.
1946- Mineral rights sold a tax foreclosure sale.
Credits and references
Town of DeKalb Historian- http://www.dekalbnyhistorian.org
NYS historic Newspapers- http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org
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About the Author
William C. Hill
I am a life-long resident of the north country, calling Edwards my home. I have always had a passion for the outdoors, and for local history. I recently started this site to share places that have been part of our local history and heritage. I hope you get a chance to hike some of these trails for yourself, and reflect on the rich history of those that walked here before you. And if not, sit back and experience these from where ever you are right now. Either way, enjoy!