Tuesday, December 8, 2020 

Network of Historic Quarries and Wagon Roads in the Bluestone Wild Forest Spans Over 1,000 Acres--Proposed Steel-and-Concrete Project Would Destroy Key Features

Proposed concrete and steel fabrication plant at the eastern gateway to the Catskill Park puts 150+ year-old cultural and historic artifacts in the unique historic district at risk

Town of Kingston, NY—Today Catskill Mountainkeeper (Mountainkeeper) and Woodstock Land Conservancy (WLC) submitted new evidence about the historical significance of over a thousand acres of interconnected quarries and over 18 miles of interconnected wagon roads in the Bluestone Wild Forest to the Town of Kingston Town Board and Planning Board. This discovery confirms the need for a comprehensive environmental review of the proposed industrial steel-and-concrete fabrication plant at 850 Route 28.

Kathy Nolan, Senior Research Director for Mountainkeeper, called the new findings “dramatic and inspiring.”  “These historic resources must be fully investigated and protected during and following that investigation,” she said. “We can see in this work an emerging picture, not of one isolated quarry, but of a thriving and vitally important industry, written into the landscape and now being carefully reconstructed to bring history alive.”

The 46-page report, Geoarchaeology of the Stony Hollow Wagon Road and Quarry Network (circa 1830 – 1905); Ulster County, New York, prepared by geologist Paul Rubin of HydroQuest, details artifacts such as building foundations, laid stone pillars, cut dimension stones, parts of wagon wheels, and a historic 46-inch long, flat-bladed pry bar used to split bluestone along bedding plane partings.

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