The James River Park System - Richmond, VA

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North Geology Tour

Stop 8c: Shape Up and Ship Out

DIRECTIONS: Find an iron ring in the stone. (37.52959° N, 077.45529° W)

This iron ring anchored cables that lifted granite blocks by way of a crane-like tower, called a derrick. (The derrick was named for its resemblance to the gallows named for Thomas Derrick, an English executioner.)

iron ring in rock

Granite is very durable and heavy, weighing roughly 26.9 kg per cubic meter (168 lbs per cubic foot). How many cubic feet of granite do you weigh?  (HINT: Your weight ÷ 168 lbs)

During low river flow, especially in summer and early fall, you may be able to walk to the site of a very small rock quarry in this area. The quarry looks like a shallow pool surrounded by a rim of fairly flat rocks, cut at 90° angles.

The few slabs of stone in the pool are unfinished pieces of stonework, perhaps intended for cobblestones or a section of sidewalk. Just beyond are several rectangular blocks intended for curbstones.

small rock quarry

Small rock quarry


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