In the Pit ~ Lanesville

Quarrymen, Lanesville, circa 1890 Anonymous/©Fredrik D. Bodin
I have fifteen quarry photographs in my collection, yet only this one shows quarry workers. The negative is from a house in Lanesville, and came to me four years ago. These men stopped in the midst of their labor for a picture. Three granite cutters on top are double jacking vertical drill holes into the granite with heavy sledge hammers, which means they are alternately pounding on a narrow star bit, held by the brave cutter sitting down. As you can imagine, his was a dangerous job. Below, two quarrymen score a horizontal seam with hand hammers into the granite bed, where it will (hopefully) break cleanly. I haven’t been able to identify this quarry. If you recognize it, please let me know. Thanks.
Printed archivally from the original 5×7 inch glass negative in my darkroom. Image #A9957-007

Fredrik D. Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930


  • great photo…it looks like it could be a Lilliputian photo by Judy Robinson-Cox ..


  • There’s a hallway full of historic photos in the Varian Marketing office area. The ones showing quarry workers show they cam from the Alexander R. Chevis and Barbara Erkkila collections. You may be alble to compare some background effects to know where yours came from.


  • Thanks Mark. I have a photo taken by Alexander R. Cheves, and assume it’s the same photographer. I’ll have to check out the Varian Collection. Maybe they’d like to add to it!


  • A few years ago I learned a great deal I’d never known about the quarry men of Gloucester and Rockport from Les Bartlett. He gave a great little interactive presentation at the Cape Ann Museum. It made me gain such an awe of appreciation for these individuals who worked in the quarries. It made me look at architecture containing granite very differently; I’ll never view the Customs House in Boston the same way………


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