WHAT IS THAT BIG BUILDING AT THE STATE PARK? By Leslie Korenko This is one of the TOP 10 questions that we get asked at the history museum and on Facebook. That was the North Side quarry crusher. Late in 2018, the State Park cleared the trees and brush from around this structure, revealing it for the first time in many years. As a result, people are asking “What is that big cement thing at the State Park?” While there are several great pictures in the quarry section of the museum that tell a more detailed story about this structure and the various quarry operations on the Island, here is a little history about this particular building. The right side of the building was the steam plant that powered the entire operation. The left side was the crusher building and stone storage bins. Railroad cars would back up through a hole in the upper part of the building and tip stone down into the crusher, which was located in the corner where the two structures meet. You can still see the concrete pads from the trestle in the grass. Conveyor belts would carry the crushed stone across the top of the concrete structure and dump it into the bins. RR cars backed up underneath (in the ‘tunnel’) where the stone would drop into the cars. The train would carry the stone cars out onto the dock and dump it into the bins on the dock. These were called pocket docks. There were chutes that would be lowered to allow the stone to tumble onto the boats. If the stone should get stuck in the chutes, they would send a quarry worker in with a sledgehammer or a small charge of black powder or dynamite to dislodge the blockage. It was very dangerous work. Chris, at the State Park, wants to do some descriptive signage for this building. The North Side crusher building back in the day. That small building on the left was the Locomotive House. The building today. Look closely at the small shed – it was originally located on the roof of the building behind the smoke stacks. You can still see the concrete pads for the trestle in the grass.
by Leslie Korenko I recently met with Randy Edwards who is a freelance writer doing research for an article on island quarries for Twine Line (Ohio Sea Grant's print magazine). https://ohioseagrant.osu.edu/products/twineline After exchanging several emails, Randy visited Kelleys Island on December 20 to tour the museum and explore our quarry displays. He brought a long list of questions. One item that intrigued him was a nicely detailed article in our display, “The Shays of Kelleys Island” (The Kelley Island Lime & Transport Company’s Kelleys Island operations) by Lee Rainey. This article appeared in the Railroad Model Craftsman magazine, December 1986. It is a treasure trove of information about the early days of quarrying here. Because it contains so much great information about such an important part of our history and was so well researched – we scanned it and shared it with him and now with you. There are some great photos here. We particularly like the long shot