Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/369

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353
THE GREAT BLUESTONE INDUSTRY.

quantities in a belt of country reaching from the Helderberg Mountains in Albany County, in this State, diagonally across the southeastern portion of the State and into Pike and Wayne Counties in Pennsylvania. The bluestone belt varies in width, being in the shape of a scalene or elongated obtuse triangle, no two sides of which are equal. In Albany County, at Reidsville and Dormansville, and Greene County, composing the northern extremity of the belt, the territory producing good marketable stone is narrow, being confined to the foothills of the eastern watershed of the Catskills and the southern slope of the Helderbergs. The stone quarried here is gray in color, with frequent tinges of

PSM V45 D369 Bluestone quarry at west hurley ny.jpg
Fig. 1.—Bluestone Quarry at West Hurley, N. Y.

greenish and light-red and brown streaks, caused by the presence of calcite and ferric oxides. This stone is not regarded with favor by dealers, and brings a much lower price than the dark-blue product quarried farther down the river. The industry is also a vanishing one here, for the top matter to be removed in the quarries has become so heavy as the strata dip into the hills that few quarries pay to work at the present price paid for flagging stone. Many of the best-paying quarries of other days have been abandoned, and in consequence the ports of New Baltimore, Coxsackie, Athens, and Maiden, particularly the last, have declined very much in importance since the shipments of stone have fallen off.

The bluestone belt follows the Hudson River until the town