From the Archive: Duluth’s Lost Brownstone Industry

If you’ve enjoyed Chambers Grove in Fond du Lac in the past few years, you may have walked the new interpretive trail takes you through what’s left of Michael and Emily Chambers’ brownstone quarry. It was one of three operating near Fond du Lac from the 1870s to about 1910, producing stone that faced building not only in Duluth, but also Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and other major U.S. cities. Quarrying brownstone was difficult work—and the men who owned and operated the Fond du Lac quarries could be quite difficult themselves, sometimes settling disputes through assault or arson. Read about the industry and some violent incidents surrounding it HERE.

Workers pose at an unnamed quarry in Fond du Lac, ca. 1888. (Image: University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives and Special Collections)