"Edgefield County as it Happens"


Crime Blotter
Country Cooking
Wandering Minds
On The Record
Church Listings

Featured Columns
Pastor Howle
Tech Professor
Life Down South
Editor's Column

Registered Sex Offenders for Edgefield County

Contact us
Contact Info
803-634-0964 day
803-279-5041 eve
803-279-8943 fax

Mail to
PO Box 972
Edgefield SC

Archived Columns
Carl Langley
Wise Tech Tips
Dr. Skip Myers
School System
EC District Office
School Board
Strom Thurmond

Charter Schools
Fox Creek

Private Schools

Wardlaw Academy

Public Offices
Edgefield County

State and Federal Legislative Contacts

Local Political Parties
Republican Party
Democrat Party
Rep Women of EC

Chamber of Commerce
Edgefield County Chamber


Edgefield Genealogical

News links    
The Jail Report
Aiken Standard

North Augusta Star
The State
Augusta Chronicle
Atlanta  Journal
United Press
Associated Press
FOX News
CNS News
WorldNet Daily
Drudge Report
New York Times
New York Post
Los Angeles Times
Washington Times
Washington Post

Blue Granite

By Tom Poland
web posted June 12, 2015

LIFE DOWN SOUTH – When I was a boy back home one thing that caught my eye was a pile of crushed blue granite, kindly deposited by the highway department along the shoulder of the road. Cone-shaped, the critical angle of repose at work, the pile of blue-white stones glittered like diamonds. I’d get a bag and load up on the smaller rocks, the ones that worked best in my slingshot. Then it was target time in the woods back home.

I came across blue granite in cemeteries. Another exposure to blue granite came from the long shafts of granite well diggers pulled out of the ground. Despite being long, smooth, and beautiful they were difficult to play with and soon discarded.

In high school we often had nothing to do. Many nights we’d lounge around the Confederate monument. “To The Memory Of The Confederate Soldiers Of Lincoln County.” I can’t recall that we discussed the Civil War during those long, boring evenings, but we leaned against blue granite.

And then college and career came and my contact with granite dwindled to things like paperweights. My next involvement with blue granite was doleful. My father, who feared being buried beneath the ground, had his above-ground granite vault built as he lay dying. By his left side a place waited for my Mom and she joined him March 29, the day we laid her to rest. Blue granite. “Blue” does double duty.

I find myself crossing paths with blue granite again, and this time it’s a more comfortable thing. One summer photographer Robert Clark and I explored the old Kincaid-Anderson Quarry near Winnsboro. Making our way through brush and pines and vigilant for rattlers, we climbed uphill until we came to a flat expanse of granite crisscrossed by rusting cables. Quarry walls surrounded us. It’s one of those places where you stand, stare, and say not a word.

The quarry is deep with emerald water. I stared at massive walls where water’s runoff streaks them black. Relics of busier times included a granite block building with its roof long gone, iron steps descending into stagnant water, and all manner of pipes.
One thing and one thing only marred the place. Vandals had painted graffiti on the walls. Had better times kept the old mine open it’s tempting to think those disgraced walls might be part of some grand edifice.

Across a lagoon huge blocks of granite were heaped upon one another helter-skelter as a toddler in a temper fit tosses wooden blocks into a pile. What power it took to sling those blocks into a pile. A cubic foot of granite weighs 170 pounds. The huge blocks probably come out at 40 tons each. That power came from an old Joy turbine. Silent now, the Joy turbine that powered the machinery where men cut and heaved blue granite from Fairfield County earth stands rusting. There was no joy and all was blue come 1946. To this day cranes lean against granite walls, their rusty tears streaking the granite.

Architects, designers, and sculptors, among others, coveted “Winnsboro blue” for beautiful buildings and monuments along the east coast. The granite here is destined to remain right where it cooled and solidified to stake its claim to being planet Earth’s signature rock.

There’s something about this blue-white stone that I love. On my desk is a granite rock I commandeered from the watery grip of the Chattooga. It’s a souvenir of warm memories on a cold river. I’ve had a life-long love affair with granite. It’s filled with joy and sadness, as love affairs are wont.

Somewhere in the woods back home a million pieces of granite catapulted by my slingshot are surely in the ground again though far from whence they came. Perhaps some future archaeologist will unravel the mystery of how those bits of granite were strewn over the place. “A primitive weapon and amusement for boys distributed these rocks,” his learned paper will read.

Hard, durable, and impervious, blue granite softens the hard edges of our lives. In it we find a record keeper. We remember our rock-slinging youth because of it. We memorialize fallen soldiers and lost causes with it. We prepare our meals upon its surface, and we lay loved ones to rest within and beneath it.
Late one afternoon driving down a country lane, I saw an angel of granite, wings outstretched in a small cemetery, overlooking an even smaller family plot framed in rusting wrought iron. Dogwoods were blooming but their bracts had begun to fall. Spring was trailing away. Blue granite, however, is in season year round. Blue granite, a rock of ages, is a stone no one should take for granted.

Have a comment on this story? Email the Editor with your comment to be placed in the Wandering Minds reader comment page.

For all past articles please visit our Archives

© Copyright 2015 - All material is property of Edgefield Daily and/or parent company ECL and cannot be reproduced, rewritten or redistributed without expressed written permission.