The process of Utah's settlement and growth necessitated a search for building materials including stone and limestone (used for mortar). Thus, quarries and lime kilns were found near many Utah cities and towns. Lime also became important commercially. The Utah Lime and Stone Company in Tooele County is recognized as among the oldest such commercial operations in Utah. Its plant at Dolomite prepared and sacked hydrated lime. Limestone was used in Utah's sugar industry, where it was calcinated at the sugar refinery to obtain lime and carbon dioxide.
Red sandstone and white oolitic limestone (found in Sanpete County) were popular building materials. Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City utilized red sandstone found in nearby Red Butte Canyon. In Sanpete County, the quarries near the Manti LDS Temple attest to the use of the oolitic limestone in the temple itself. The Salt Lake LDS Temple and the Utah State Capitol Building were constructed of granite from Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Early quarries were generally developed by individuals and communities, with the stone quarried as it was needed. Stone was a popular building material in nineteenth-century Utah, especially after the initial settlement, when more permanent materials became desirable. Most of the masons involved in stonework were European: Danes and Swedes who had settled in Manti and Spring City, English in Heber City and Midway; and Italians and Greeks in Carbon County. Spring City in Sanpete County was built almost exclusively of stone--the light, cream-colored oolitic limestone quarried in the hills west of town. As brick became more available, the use of stone declined.
Last Update 01/28/01
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