Despite the impressive role it has played in our nation’s history, the classic granite of Stony Creek, Connecticut is virtually indescribable, but I won’t let that stop me. Long termed “pink,” that adjective doesn’t do it justice and lumps it together with other, less appealing varieties that go by that name. It reminds me of the mottled fur of a cheetah cub, the muted, brownish “pink feldspar” is flecked with black biotite, and gray and cream quartz. There is nothing quite like it. You can tell it immediately from pink granite from other localities. It has more character, flow structure, and a subtle intriguing complexity. It is not a feminine pink, but not quite masculine either. Darrell Petit of Stony Creek Quarry Corporation calls its look “highly eroticized.” I better stop there. You have to see it.
We have used it for a number of projects, most recently as stair treads, wall caps and as ornamental pieces on buildings at Quinnipiac University. This fall I organized a field trip of my colleagues from Centerbrook to the last Stony Creek quarry in operation. There once were as many as 15 such enterprises in tiny little Stony Creek, a section of Branford better known today for its upscale residents than for hardy quarrymen. Around 1900 there were some 1,800 workers in town extracting large blocks (routinely 20 tons, but sometimes much more) from the ground, a veritable United Nations of immigrants: Italians, Irish, Swedes, Finns, English, Spaniards, Germans, Scots, among others.