« Live Music this Saturday | Main | When 14.4 Was King »

From the Photo Archive | Circa 1995


It’s important to recognize and honor weird, secluded locations for outdoor alcohol consumption. In West Duluth, back in the day, the quarry was the best of those places.

Its full name is Casket Quarry, but everyone in the neighborhood just called it “the quarry.” To teenagers back then, the word “quarry” was synonymous with “kegger.”

The view is great from the top of the ledge, but drinking was always done at the bottom. This decision wasn’t based on safety, but the fact that no one wanted to drag a beer keg to the top.

The main trail to get to the quarry is wide enough to drive a truck on, so there tends to be a few discarded appliances around. It’s fun to stick firecrackers in the rusty old clothes dryer.

Throwing things off the top of the quarry is, of course, irresistible. There aren’t many loose rocks left up there, but finding a dead tree branch isn’t too difficult.

If you roll up a giant snow boulder and shove it off the ledge, you might think it will practically explode after plummeting that far. In reality, it just makes a soft, anti-climatic plop.

On a winter day, you might find ice climbers at the quarry. On a summer day, you might find teenage girls sunning themselves in their underwear. Most of the time, you won’t find anyone.

Then again, you might come across two grown men just standing there confidently, wearing neck braces for no reason at all. Legend has it they stashed a bottle of mead up there somewhere. It’s probably underneath a boulder.


Oh man that place. One summer nite in high school three or four of us Superiorites were bumming around and started to climb part of that quarry wall (no equipment & we were sober). We got about halfway up and realized it had been far easier to climb up than to go back down. One slip and we would have fallen all the way down, so we decided to keep going up. The moon was pretty bright but as you can see from the pictures, groundwater seeps out of those rocks, making them nice and slippery. We went further up and got to a point where, since I was the tallest, I had to boost the other guys up to a ledge. They then had to reach back down and pull me up in a classic death grip. Luckily the climbing was easier from there on out. Scary stoopid.

Snooping around our neighborhood one night we found that the garage belonging to the old lady across the street who moved to a nursing home, was unlocked. We used the garage as a place to hide after we bombed cars with snowballs, and of course for drinking. There was an old mattress in there to sit on. After we finished a beer we set the empty can on the myriad shelves in the garage. A year or so later we were playing basketball next door and could hear the person who bought the place cleaning out the beer cans, knocking hundreds of them off the shelves onto the floor. It was hilarious, the racket it made!

I wonder if the kiddies still go there. And I wonder if the cups are still 2 for $5.

In my sophomore year of college, I wrote a term paper at the top of the quarry. "Seriously? You're handing in this paper in longhand? And what is this...sap?"


In the winter months, it is very popular for ice/mixed climbing, there has been a ton of developement there (cleaning routes, bolting anchors, etc). Probably my favorite place to hang out on a Sunday morning/afternoon.

Love this picture (check out the full size)


I've been up to the Quarry a couple times in the past month. I doubt a weekend goes by that people aren't ice climbing there. I'd doubt it if the teens are drinking up there in the winter though.

I ran into Paul once near the quarry when I lived in Spirit (-fingers) Valley.
He was in Zubaz, shouting, 'HEY!! You guys here for the Keg?!??"...already three sheets of bad attire to the wind. Funny thing was: This was his HS REUNION bash...still at the ol' stompin' grounds. I was up there sharing a beer with a man interest at the time...was caught entirely off-guard to run into Mr. Lundgren at 11 pm in the middle of the Westside thicket. One of my favorite new-to-town memories...thanks, Paul!

Post a comment

Seriously: If you click "post" more than once, you're going to end up looking really stupid.

If you don't see your comment after it's published, try refreshing your browser.