In 1905, the Excelsior Stone Quarry began operations here and became one of the first early industries in the Las Vegas area.
The giant blocks, some weighing as much as 10 tons, were quarried with channeling traction equipment. These massive blocks were loaded onto wagons and pulled with a 17-ton steam-traction engine known as the "Big Devil." The sandstone was then shipped by rail to markets in San Francisco and Los Angeles for use as decorative building facades.
The sandstone was of high quality, but production was expensive and unprofitable. With the discovery of similar sandstone deposits closer to the railroad, the Excelsior Stone Quarry was shut down in 1906.
Later that same year, other operators reopened the same quarry, but even with better equipment, the operation still proved to be uneconomical. In 1912, cutting at the quarry stopped forever.
Photo captured June 19, 2011.
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