The Quarry’s Impact on the Local Economy
Looking back on the quarry’s heyday, in 1943, the Evening Star reported that at one time the Mohegan Quarry was the area’s third largest employer. And as Peekskill was the area’s population and business center, the quarry played an important role in the village’s economic wellbeing.
- A 1913 bulletin from the Peekskill Board of Trade noted:
“One of the busiest industries in this vicinity is the Mohegan Granite Company. Within a few days they have been awarded the contract to furnish the stone for the great Christian Science Church in [Reading, Massachusetts]. Everybody at the quarries is hustling and the prospects are fine. Let us hope that they may grow large enough to establish a big granite cutting plant down on the river front and employ 500 men or more.”
- In 1925, the down county Yonkers Statesman took note of the quarry, writing that “Peekskill is all agog over the contract (a $5 million contract for the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine). Merchants see a boom in business which has been rather slow in that section for quite some time.”
- A 1928 newspaper article noted that the quarry ranked third in size of payroll in Peekskill.
- In 1935, a report on the accomplishments of the Peekskill Lions club noted that the group had “aided in movement to secure contracts for [the] Mohegan Quarry.”
Not unlike businesses today, the Mohegan Quarry survived by aggressively competing for contracts with other quarries.
- In 1913, when the Village of Peekskill was reviewing plans for a new police building, the trustees debated the pros and cons of granite from the Mohegan Quarry versus granite from the nearby Millstone quarry.
- In 1915-1915 when the Westchester County Board of Supervisors was seeking bids for a new $600,000 courthouse, a Dobbs Ferry newspaper reported that the Peekskill Board of Trade had passed a resolution that was sent to County Board saying that the new courthouse should be built using Mohegan granite so that Westchester labor could be used. More than 550 bids were received, and when opened, it was clear that while all the bids using limestone came in under $600,000; those using granite all exceeded the planned cost by $20,000-$87,500.
- In 1933, an Albany newspaper carried reports of the Albany Chamber of Commerce protesting the possibility that Mohegan granite would be used for a new federal building instead of Vermont granite.
- In 1935, Grenci & Ellis joined other granite producers in Washington, DC for a meeting with senators and congressmen from granite producing states in an effort to get them to induce the Treasury Department to give preference to granite in federal buildings.
Read about Transporting the Granite