The James River Park System - Richmond, VA

7 of 10 • start over

South Geology Tour

Stop 7: The Hand of Man

DIRECTIONS: Look right. Walk to the low ridge of rock. Stop and look 180˚ around you. (37.526126° N, 077.454593° W)

The Curbstone Quarry

Panorama of quarry

You are standing at  the site of an old QUARRY where curbstones were cut. Quarrying took place here because the cracks and stress lines in the granite made cutting the rock easier. Vertical cracks created one side and exfoliation along  the stress lines helped rock to break the along the bottom.

where curbstone was cut out of rock

In the late 1800s, granite was one of the best materials with which to construct a city. Large sections of granite were used as building foundations; slender strips were curb stones; slabs became sidewalks; and small cubes became cobblestones that paved roads.

This small quarry provided cobbles and curbstones. You can see these in use along Tredegar St. and Cary St. in Shockoe Slip.

cobbles and curbstones

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