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"Greenfield Granite and Marble Co." advertisement
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The Greenfield Granite and Marble Company was originally an offshoot of the Shelburne Falls Marble Company. Edward D. Temple, the manager of the Greenfield company, was related to the Temple Brothers, David and John, who purchased the Shelburne firm in 1888. Edward came to Greenfield in 1893 and ran the company until his death in 1928. On his death, L. L. Negus and a Mr. Taylor purchased the company. Their successors still run the firm in Greenfield as Negus & Taylor. Their business was made up of the two preferred gravestone materials of this era, granite and marble. Almost all American granite initially came from the quarries at Barre, Vermont. There, the United States' first granite quarry was established in 1820. Granite was very expensive and was not widely used until after the Civil War. Technological improvements like the steam drill, introduced 1868 and a new rail link into the quarrying area dramatically lowered its cost. By 1910 granite was a preferred material for gravestones, much valued for its durability and beauty. However marble, rarer and more expensive, was highly treasured.
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