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Upcoming Dana Cudmore Lecture at the Old Stone Fort

Written By Editor on 5/1/23 | 5/1/23

SCHOHARIE – Late in the 19th century, stone was king of building materials and much of the cut stone which helped transform New York into the Empire State came from Schoharie County.

The Schoharie County Historical Society invites you to join local author Dana Cudmore for a look at how that demand for stone impacted Schoharie County during his lecture Boom and Bust: The Abandoned Stone Quarries of Schoharie County on Sunday, May 7 at 2 p.m. at Schoharie’s Lasell Hall.

“In the decades before concrete, there was cut stone,” stated Cudmore, the author of three books on the caves and limestone quarries of Schoharie County. “In the final years of the 19th century, Schoharie County quarries supplied millions of tons of it to help build New York.”

From the Brooklyn Bridge to New York’s expanding barge canal system, the numerous engineering marvels of the period created a huge demand for cut building stone from upstate (and elsewhere). However, explains Cudmore, the boom was short-lived.

There were eight limestone quarries in the town of Cobleskill, with six in the village alone. The largest, located near Barnerville, employed 450 men to fulfill a huge contract with the city of New York, worth the equivalent of approximately $65 million today.

These are not the same quarries we see today; they have all since been abandoned. This presentation looks at some of the largest and catalogs the others, long forgotten. A Q and A will follow the presentation.

Signed copies of Cudmore’s 2021 book Underground Empires: Two Centuries of Exploration, Adventure, and Enterprise in NY’s Cave Country will be available to those attending and can be found locally and online at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Admission is by donation. Lasell Hall is located at 262 Main Street, Schoharie, NY, 12157.

This event is sponsored by the Schoharie County Historical Society. The society is in its 134th year at the Old Stone Fort Museum Complex, publishing the semi-annual Historical Review of county history, and organizing lectures and historical events such as Stone Fort Day, Decoration Day, and much more. For more information, visit

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