Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 27

MOUNTAIN CURIOS
percentage of workable stone than any other
known deposit in the world" (Paper of the
Albemarle Soapstone Company, Special Collections, UVA Library). Founded in 1883, the
Alberene Soapstone Company (a combination of Albemarle and Serene for one of the
three founders) began mining on the eastern
side of the Blue Ridge.
From a Scientific American article dated
June 6, 1896: "The Alberene soapstone is
exported all over the world...its smooth
texture and hardness...time-defying in their
durability. Four car loads are in the laboratory at Yale; at Tiffany's there are acid tanks;
the Hahnemann Hospital, at Chicago, and the
Vanderbilt Clinic, of New York, by their use
testify to its merits" (Vol. LXXIV, No. 23).
At peak in the 1920s, the company employed over 2,000 people and was a selfsustaining community called Alberene-
complete with a school, post office, store,
churches and electricity.

"I have some old photos in the office,"
says Candice Clark, current sales manager of
Alberene Soapstone Company, Polycor, Inc.,
"and the children and grandchildren come in,
tell stories and write names on the backs of
the pictures."
In the 21st century, Alberene claims the
lowest carbon footprint while creating natural soapstone products that do not need
(and should not have) chemical sealants or
stains. This Schuyler, Virginia, company with
deep roots and a long history continues to be
the oldest and largest producer of American
soapstone.
Follow-up note: In spring of 2017, The
Quarry Gardens at Schuyler opened amongst
six retired soapstone quarries offering trails,
34 Native Flora Galleries, 14 ecozones and
seven conservation areas, a visitor center
and a dedicated repository for Virginia's
soapstone history. Individual visits and group
tours available by appointment only.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ALBERENE SOAPSTONE POLYCOR VIRGINIA INC

BRIAN STANSBERRY

S

ite of Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, the largest hand-cut stone

building in North America and the venue for the scariest paranormal tour

Crazy Good Fun!

in the region. Home to West Virginia's most scenic and delicious winery.
Destination for your next legendary get-away. It's Stonewall Country.

C R E AT E L E G E N DA RY A DV E N T U R E S AT STO N E WA L LC O U NT RY. C O M

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020

27


http://www.STONEWALLCOUNTRY.COM

Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020

Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Cover4
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