Tunkhannock, PA – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more info contact Endless Mountain Fieldstone Supply at (888) 836-ROCK (7625).
Bluestone mines that dot the Meshoppen, Wyoming County PA, area contain a durable and colorful sandstone unique to the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania.
For over 100 years, miners have been blasting into these jagged mountainsides to uncover bluish snad grains cemented by percolating marine waters over 350 million years ago. Owner and miner Matt McClain refers to his mines simply as “the quarry.”
In the quarry, mud puddles splash the surface as an employee, Porky, slices an 18-inch-square, glassy chunk using a gas-powered saw that operates like a lawn mower. Off to one side, Kerby, Matt’s older brother, and co-worker Hyram Stevens are layering chunks into thinner slices. “These men split 1,000 feet of stone a day,” McClain points out.
At McClain’s mill, Endless Mountain Fieldstone Supply located in neighboring Tunkhannock, bluestone slabs are trimmed and sized. The mill property consists of a gravel driveway and a sky-blue shed filled with the buzzing sound of an electric saw. Finished one- two- and three-foot squares of the stone are layered onto pallets. Building contractors order 24-ton tractor trailer loads of these for curbing, flagging and building materials.
Natural 1″ to 2″ thick layers are split and prepared for shipment.
Explaining the varieties of bluestone comes naturally to McClain, who started mining at the age of 8 in his family’s backyard quarry in Meshoppen. “In center deposits, you’ll find the blue-blue color,” he says. “Customers pay extra for its durability and natural look, although it fades to green in the sun.”
Irregular standing patios call for scraggy pieces found on the fringes of a quarry in shades of lilac, yellow, buff, brown and green. “People want natural, rustic-looking material that’s not necessarily blue in color,” McClain explains.
Tawny bluestone boulders called fieldstone add authenticity to waterfall landscapes, cob-textured porches, steps and paths. Said to be “glaciated in” from the highlands during an ice age, this type of stone was traditionally used by farmers as fencing to keep cattle away from crops.
McClain began mining over 40 years ago in a quarry behind his family’s two-story, white Meshoppen farmhouse. His father, George McClain, gave up being a pastor of a small Methodist church when his income wasn’t supporting his family of nine boys and one girl, and entered the bluestone mining market.
Leaving the family business at age 16, Matt traveled the countryside searching for a less strenuous livelihood. Construction work paid his bills over the next 10 years, until he felt the urge to return to the family tradition of mining bluestone in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania.
His 29-year-old son, Stace, also left and then returned to the stone industry. He operates an area fieldstone yard. Sitting behind his desk in his office trailer, Stace discusses with his father why they both left and later returned to the bluestone business. Family pride, it seems, had a great deal to do with it, a quality as durable as the stone the family has mined for 40 years.
Endless Mountain Fieldstone Supply proudly serves Wyoming County PA, Lackawanna County PA, Luzerne County PA, ASUllivan County PA,
Susquehanna County PA, Bradford County PA. We will also deliver to large and small customers in Southeastern PA and the Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley regions.