Lake Superior Sandstone

I remember a while back, there was a discussion about sandstone quarrying and that some quarries had records of notable buildings that were constructed from their stone. I just attended a meeting of the Heritage Preservation Commission in Minneapolis tonight where the Sumner T. McKnight mansion on Park Avenue was nominated for a historic designation study. It is constructed out of Lake Superior sandstone. I couldn’t help but to wonder if there is any quarry records that correlate with this building. Would anyone know how to find the answer to that?



about 11 years ago

First, get all the information possible on the house, from whoever owns it or any preservation society that has information on it. Find out what company they got the stone from. Then trace the company. Does it have a modern day company that inherited its records? If not, then check with the local historical societies (for the company's location) to see about records. Then the MInnesota History Center. 

That's what I'd do. But maybe someone has a better answer.

Dave P

about 11 years ago


Jacobsville Sandstone is a red sandstone formation, marked with light-colored streaks and spots, primarily found in northern Upper Michigan, portions of Ontario, and under much of Lake Superior. Desired for its durability and aesthetics, the sandstone was used as an architectural building stone both locally and around the United States. The stone was extracted by thirty-two quarries throughout the Upper Peninsula approximately between 1870 and 1915.

The sandstone has been variously called redstone, brownstone, Lake Superior Sandstone, and Eastern Sandstone. In 1907, the Jacobsville Formation was given its current classification and the name Jacobsville, in honor of Jacobsville, Michigan, a town known for its production of the sandstone. There is disagreement regarding the age of the sandstone, though it dates to sometime between the Mesoproterozoic Era and the Middle Cambrian. ..Several buildings in the Upper Peninsula[75] and across the United States incorporate Jacobsville Sandstone in their construction. In the Upper Peninsula, these buildings include The Calumet Theatre, Saint Ignatius Loyola Church, and several buildings in the Quincy Street Historic District. Elsewhere, the sandstone was used in the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.


about 11 years ago

I haven't read it, but the book "The Sandstone Architecture of the Lake Superior Region (Great Lakes Books Series)" would likely be a good source of information.


about 11 years ago

There were a couple of local sandstone quarry's. And of course, the quarry in Sandstone, Minn. 

March 8, 1882: Krause & Boyle Quarry established in Fond du Lac

Amnicon Falls State Park

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