About Us - Our History
Granite Industries of Vermont has crafted fine granite and marble memorials for over a hundred years. We are part of an enduring Vermont industry centered in Barre, and dating back to the period just after the War of 1812.
Jeff Martell and Glen Atherton purchased Granite Industries in 1988 and set about turning it into the modern facility it is today. Glen passed away in 1994 and now Jeff and his partner Forrest supervise every aspect of the business, from calling on customers, to overseeing all orders as they travel through the mill.
To help them, they have a dedicated, experienced and creative team, from the designers who turn our customers' concepts into finished sketches, to the carvers who use state of the art pneumatic chisels to carve the delicate roses into a headstone. Many of these men and women are part of a long tradition of involvement in the Barre Granite industry and can claim parents, grandparents, and even great-great-grandparents who helped turn this small town in the hills of Vermont into a major player in the national stone industry.
GRANITE INDUSTRIES OF VERMONT TODAY
Today, Granite Industries of Vermont can provide our customers with the highest quality craftsmanship the world over. And we offer the finest granites from Vermont, selections from the contiguous United States, and a number of beautiful granites from around the world. To learn more about our capabilities, visit our Personalization section.
WHERE WE STARTED
Granite Industries of Vermont has been in the present location throughout our history.
Barre, Vermont—granite capital for almost 200 years
The stone industry in Barre got its start when colonial settlers began cutting into the granite outcroppings of the surrounding hills to make lintels for their homes and sidewalks for the town. Quarrying really got underway after 1838, when Barre supplied the granite for the state house in Montpelier.
Suddenly the rest of the nation became aware of the quality of Vermont stone. Soon, not only were new quarries opening, but a secondary industry to carve the stone into pillars, monuments, and memorials developed.
Skilled immigrants arrived from all of the stone centers of Europe to take part in this economic boom. They came from Italy, Scotland, England, Norway, Sweden, Finland, France, Spain and Germany to settle in Barre and build a stone industry that is the third largest in the nation—quite an accomplishment for the eighth smallest state in the union.
TRANSPORTING GRANITE THROUGH VERMONT'S HILLSIDES
In the nineteenth century it was not easy to get the stone out of the mountains and across the country to the businesses that demanded it. The hillsides here in Vermont are steep, and it took large teams of horses hitched both in front and behind the granite carts to haul them down the mountainsides.
The advent of the railroads solved this problem. Later, development of pneumatic tools and power saws, did for the carving industry what the rail system did for the quarries—provide economies of labor and improvements in quality that have allowed the industry to continue to prosper.
To this day, the granite industry in Vermont continues to supply stone for buildings, monuments, and memorials all over the United States, with enough stone still to be quarried to meet demand for centuries to come.
Our company believes it is important to be involved with organizations that nuture the stone industry, our city and state. We are proud to be members of the below affiliations and encourge you to visit their websites.