Gantts Quarry Alabama
Gantts Quarry, in Talladega County, was incorporated in 1910 after the discovery of white marble by Dr. Edward Gantt in 1830.
Gantts Quarry demise was caused by a steady decline in population as the demand for marble in building construction declined in the 1930’s post Great Depression era. At that time Gantts County had 542 residents. Over time, all citizens relocated to other towns. By the late 1960s, the company that owned the quarry decided to demolish the company owned houses and this forced the residents to move to other towns and communities. According to the 1990 U.S. Census, the incorporated town of Gantt’s Quarry had a population of seven. The 2000 Census recorded Gantts Quarry as having zero population.
The first recorded discovery of marble was in 1820 by Dr. Edward Gantt, a physician who had accompanied General Andrew Jackson through the area in 1814. Even Gantt probably did not realize the extent of this calcium carbonate deposit. The deposit is part of the “Murphy Marble Belt” extending 321/2 miles wide by 400 feet deep and is the world’s largest commercial deposit of madre cream marble.
In the 1830’s, several quarries were opened in Talladega County and perhaps one in neighboring Coosa County. Using the old Plank Road, they made shipments throughout Central Alabama. By 1906 New York interests had bought Gantt’s Quarry from its Ocala investors, and this site emerged as the center of marble-working activity. An elite town actually developed in and around this property, later called the Alabama Marble Company.
By the turn of the century, Sylacauga quarries had an established reputation; and shipments were being made throughout the state. Although structural marble was being produced to some extent, a very lucrative use of marble was found in the steel industry. More and more of the Sylacauga deposits were being blasted and used for fluxing steel. Later dolomite replaced marble in this process.
Credit: The Marble Industry In Sylacauga