Historic Quarry Area
The quarry, known during its operating days as the Chester-Hudson Quarry, played a key role in the early development of the Town of Becket and the surrounding area. Granite from this quarry was used for monuments in many states. The quarry was operational from the 1860’s to the 1960’s.
When the quarry was abandoned, much of the equipment and structures were left just as it was (as if the quarrymen had gone for lunch and never returned). The site has stayed the same, plus some rust, until now.
The Historic Quarry and Forest is open year round, dawn to dusk, and admission is free to the public.
A self-guded tour is available at the historic quarry site. Beginning in the parking lot (the Gateway), visitors can continue up the access trail and pass numerous markers describing artifacts and objects including pieces of machinery, tools, trucks and buildings. In addition, old rail beds that lie dormant, remind visitors of the time when the stone was transported down into the town of Chester for processing. A brochure containing helpful definitions and information about the tour can be found at the kiosk (located at the quarry entrance, throughout the Berkshires, at the Mullen House Education Center, and on this website. Also available is a separate trail map of the historic walk.
Public programs and curriculum based enrichment projects can be specially designed for your classroom or community group.
Themes explored by the museum’s education department include: granite and granite quarrying, stone cutting and monuments, development of quarrying machinery from colonial times through the industrial revolution (from wood to steel), social history of the quarry community to include immigration issues and influence of quarrying on the development of Berkshire towns, and the relation of area railroads to the quarrying industry.
Oral history footage, documented by a professional video producer, is available for viewing. These videos feature interviews of residents of Becket and beyond whose ancestors worked in the quarry. Many of these same relatives of quarrymen have given the museum gifts of historic objects such as photographs, newspaper articles, maps, ledger books, letter and other primary sources of importance to the collection. We are indebted to those who have made contributions of time, funds, and primary documents, and urge anyone having information about the former Chester-Hudson quarry to contact our office, Email: spokenhistory@BecketLandTrust.org or complete the form on the contact page.