The quarry in South Dorset today is a favorite swimming hole in the summer, but a little over a hundred years ago the marble used in the construction of the New York Public Library was carved from its depths. Over 42,000 tons of white marble from the Norcross–West quarry were needed for the interior and exterior walls, floors, vaults and columns and even the iconic lions, an order that revived the long-idled marble quarrying industry and created a new railroad line.
The Manchester and Dorset Historical Societies will host a talk by railroad expert Bill Badger on the history and legacy of the 5.9 mile-long railroad line built during one of the severest winters in Vermont to efficiently transport the marble to the main railroad line at Manchester Depot. “The History of the Manchester, Dorset and Granville Railroad” will be held Wednesday, February 19, at 7 pm at Long Trail School in Dorset.
The Manchester Historical Society elected new officers and four new members of the board at its annual meeting in December. New officers are Frederica Templeton, president, Kim Rizio, vice president, Sally Treat, secretary, and Bill Badger, treasurer. New board members Mike Powers, Gail Rice, Linda Benway and Eric Severance join current members Judy Harwood, Terry Tyler, and Bob Treat. Wes Hill was named curator.
The society’s next program, presented jointly with the Dorset Historical Society, is “The History of the Manchester, Dorset and Granville Railroad” given by Bill Badger on Feb. 19 at the Long Trail School at 7 pm. Come find out how a library brought forth a railroad.
Many items from the collection can be seen on display in the Manchester Town Hall on Route 7A North.
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The mission of the Manchester Historical Society is to collect, preserve, interpret and present the story of Manchester, Vermont, through the research collection, exhibitions, programs, and publications.