Back to one of my favorite topics- the advantages of photographing locally. This morning, after being in Danby for 10 years, I finally got the chance to take some pictures in the local marble quarry. While most people don’t know anything about this quarry, it is a big deal here in town. The quarry produces the purest white marble in the US and Danby marble is part of many important buildings in Washington DC and throughout the world. It is also the source stone for all the gravestones in Arlington National Cemetery.

Rough marble blocks

I had been in the quarry several years ago but had not had the opportunity to take any serious photos. Since then I have often thought of the amazing potential images I saw- quarrymen covered in marble dust, a 50′ marble-cutting chainsaw, the enormity of the dimly lit galleries- and have been trying to find a way back inside (it is closed to the public) to take some serious shots. Who knew that all I had to do was replace our kitchen countertop with Danby marble!

So this morning, while picking out the exact slabs that will be fashioned into our countertop I took a few shots. These I showed to Mike, the guy in charge, and he was very gracious and generous and said I was welcome to come back and do it right! Yippppeeeee!

Here are a couple of shots from inside- all hand held, shot at 6400 ISO- to give you a general sense of what it is like inside Danby Mountain.

Marble slabs waiting to be sized and polished

There are a couple of miles of passages down under the trees and much to photograph. All this goes to show that poking around locally, even poking around underground, can be a very worthwhile endeavor. These pictures are nothing to brag about but the ones I will take when I go back will be and it is only 5 miles from my house! I bet there are even stories to be found there, covered in marble dust, aching to be shared. I’ll keep you posted.