Last week Ellen and I spent the weekend at our lake cottage. Saturday was such a beautiful day that we decided to drive down to Sandstone and hike around in the old quarry. There was a large sandstone quarry operating in Sandstone for decades. I believe it stared sometime in the mid-1800’s and operated right up into the early 1940’s. The quarry shipped finished sandstone all over the United States for courthouses, school, churches, and other buildings. It was quite an operation with a railroad along the banks of the Kettle River, a power house, blacksmith, and all the other operations required to support a big quarry. Most of the buildings are long gone, but I think this small building at left may have been an old powder house where they kept blasting powder. There are also some nice bridge abutements that have survived.
There are many buildings in Sandstone that are constructed using the local sandstone material. Many have survived for decades and look great. Others are not so fortunate. The most impressive building is the former elementary school. It is vacant now but was used as a school up until about 8 years ago. The city is trying to find someone to utilize the builidng for some good purpose. The stone work is really magnificant. It sits on a large city block. Hopefully someone can come up with a plan to save this lovely building.