Not many states have a State Rock—in fact, North Carolina has designated the great Mount Airy quarry the Official State Rock of North Carolina.
There are several reasons Mount Airy Quarry has been given this honor. It was one of the first commercial natural stone businesses in North Carolina. But more importantly, this was recognition of the many beautiful structures built from Mount Airy White that dot the earth.
The Rock, as it is known affectionately by local citizens, was once considered a white elephant when it was purchased in 1849 by Robert S. Gilmer. He was so angry when he found this “big white rock” on what he thought was a farm, that he insisted the seller give him part of his money back. So the story goes, that the huge Mount Airy White Quarry was bought for zero.
That was over 150 years ago, and we have been harvesting stone from this site since 1743—and will be, for the next several thousand years. The great grand children of your great grand children’s great grand children will be able to design and build a building that will match exactly the one you built.
It has other interesting distinctions. Astronauts circling the world can see it from outer space, it is so big. It has been designated the “World’s Largest Open Faced Quarry”.
That’s our Rock and we love her.