Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday search challenge (Nov 16, 2011): Where's the quarry?

I'm in Maryland this week and had the chance to visit the Newseum in downtown Washington DC.  It's an incredible museum of news, a place I highly recommend when you visit the DC.  It has a great view of the capital building and on the top floor, a wonderful vista of the entire mall.  

While I was there I spoke with man who told me that the beginning 45 words of the First Amendment to the constitution are engraved on giant slabs of marble on the front of the building.  He went on to say that it was made of the same stone as was used to build the museum directly across the street.   "The idea was that they wanted it to match, so they went and re-opened the original quarry."  

He didn't know where the quarry was that was used as the source of stone, but he was pretty sure it was "down south" somewhere.  

I was curious about where such a massive chunk of rock would come from, so I searched it out.  It took me about 3 minutes to find an aerial photo of the quarry from whence it came.  

I now know where the quarry is.  Can you find that aerial image and provide the lat/long of the quarry?  

For extra credit, can you find the lat/long of the place where the stone was cut to shape? 

Search on!


  1. Googling for [newseum stone] gets a top hit of a Knoxville news story about the stone: , which tells you it was from the Endsley Quarry in Blount County, TN. From there, googling [Endsley Quarry] gives you a bunch of pages about houses on Endsley Quarry Lane, but halfway down page 3 you get a map: Wierdly, the Endsley Quarry Lane entries seem to completely confuse Google Maps/Earth, such that I was unable to find a map via [Endsley Quarry Google Earth]

    No time for extra credit, back to the day job

  2. Started with the bldg across the street - and worked my way backwards through:

    1) Wikipedia entry for the National Portrait Gallery
    2) link to Wikipedia for Tenessee Pink marble (bonus: it isn't actually marble)
    3) Article reference to the marble used for the Newseum - Dead link
    4) Wayback machine for that article
    5) Reference to location of marble quarry
    6)Google Maps, Satellite view of the quaryy:
    35.7536, -84.1341

    7) As for the processing, I'm not as confident in the answer - the TN Valley Marble Co shows this location for their processing facility:

    35.77148, -84.11444



  4. These are fun to do. :)


    Tennessee pink marble was used.
    Mined at Endsley Quarry near Friendsville, TN
    35.75311, -84.13047

    Shaped, etched, carved etc at Rugo Stone of Lorton, VA.
    38.742369, -77.177166

    Found the details from a knoxville news source after 2 searches.

  5. Tennesee Marble Company
    343 West Vinegar Valley Road, Friendsville, TN 37737-2436
    Endsley Quarry

    Rugo Stone Llc‎
    7953 Angleton Court Lorton, VA 22079-1012

  6. I Googled "Newseum marble." The fifth link led me here:

    Google Mapping "Endsley Quarry, Friendsville, TN" gives you this:

    and here's the lat/long:

  7. Quarry: Endsley Quarry in Friendsville TN. 35.753735,-84.134195

  8. Endsley Quarry

    Prepped by"
    Rugo Stone of Lorton, Va

  9. I searched for Newseum marble, browsed a couple articles, found the name of the quarry... Endsley Quarry in Friendsville, TN +35° 45' 13.46", -84° 7' 56.52" also listed the marble was cut by Rugo Stone of Lorton, VA +38° 44' 33.22", -77° 10' 37.52"

  10. Right to the source ;-)

  11. This is such a cool idea! I'm a new library student, and I love getting this opportunities to search for odd bits of information.

    Here's what I came up with (took me about 5 minutes, but I had a couple of interruptions at the circ desk): 35.749385,-84.130482

    That exact point was mostly just a hunch, but it looked like a spot where a crapton of trees and dirt got moved to pull out just the right bit of pink marble.

  12. Step 1: google maps: newseum
    to find out what is across the street
    Step 2: google: national museum of art marble
    says "Tennessee pink marble"
    Step 3: google: tennessee pink marble quarry
    Get "Most recently, pink marble from Tennessee was used on two projects of national significance: 1. the floor of the United States Capitol Visitor Center, and 2. the “First Amendment” tablet facade of Washington D.C.s latest museum entitled “The Newseum.”

    If one has the training and mindset of a geologist, it is important to note that the rock commonly referred to as Tennessee Pink Marble is actually not marble at all…it is limestone."

    "The marble came from the Endsley Quarry in Friendsville and was provided by Tennessee Valley Marble before the company was purchased last year by Tennessee Marble Co."

    "The panels were then placed in crates, put on trucks and shipped to the Washington area, where the letters and characters were etched into the marble by Rugo Stone of Lorton, Va."

    Step 4: google maps: Endsley Quarry near Friendsville
    35.750552, -84.132134 seems to be the quarry on Endsley Quarry Lane, but 35.749238, -84.13062 is also possible (also on Endsley Quarry Lane, possibly different pits of the same quarry).

    Step 5: google maps: Rugo Stone of Lorton, VA
    38.742363, -77.177169