Learn About the Geology, History, and Artistry of Limestone

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Lawrence and Monroe Counties, IN –June is designated as Limestone Month, celebrating the Indiana Limestone Heritage Trail and the history, industry, artistry and architecture of limestone. This month brings numerous opportunities to experience limestone in a variety of ways, including guided tours and presentations. Access to working quarries and mills is highly restricted, which makes these Limestone Month activities particularly unique.

Two highlights of Limestone Month are tours of the Elliott Stone Mill (June 2 and 16) and a tour of the Maple Hill Quarry (June 25). The Elliott Stone Mill tour will be led by Judy Elliott and provide guests with an opportunity to watch the slabs of stone being cut. The Maple Hill Quarry tour will be led by Todd Thompson of the Indiana Geological Survey, providing guests information on the geological make-up of the stone as well as industry practices. Both tours cost $10 and transportation to the sites is provided.

Limestone Trail Bloomington

Other quarry tours include a guided walk around the State House Quarry in McCormick’s Creek State Park, led by Todd Thompson (June 4), and a tour of the abandoned Furst Quarry (June 17), which is now privately owned by preservation expert Duncan Campbell, who will lead the tour. A tour of the Indiana Stone Works Mill (June 7) offers another opportunity to watch workers cut the massive stone. All tours cost $10 and include transportation, except the State Hour Quarry tour which is free (state park fees required for entry).

Guided architectural tours of the IU campus plus tours of various important cemeteries in Monroe and Lawrence Counties will also take place in June. Each of these provide an opportunity to learn about the history of these communities and appreciate the artistry of hand-carved limestone.

Hand carving is also a part of the 20th annual Indiana Limestone Symposium (June 5-25). This annual event offers a series of workshops on carving limestone and is open to anyone, from beginners to advanced sculptors.

Limestone Month was created by Visit Bloomington and the Lawrence County Tourism Commission to help promote the Indiana Limestone Heritage Trail. This trail follows the 35-mile corridor of limestone called the Salem Belt. Along the trail are various limestone quarries, sculptures, architecture and art.

Many more tours, exhibits, and presentations will take place in June. More information on all the activities, and a complete calendar of events, is available at www.limestonemonth.com.