Quincy Quarries Reservation is a park that used to be the site of the Granite Railway Quarry. It’s famous for being the site selected in 1825 by Solomon Willard for the source of stone used to build the Bunker Hill Monument. Willard, known as “Father of the Granite Industry,” developed construction techniques that made granite one of the primary building stones in America.
In 1826, the Granite Railway was built to help move the granite off-site and is thought to be the first railroad in the United States. Quincy, MA, became known as “The Granite City” due to the almost 60 quarries located in the city. The last active quarry closed in 1963, the site filled with rain and groundwater, and became a popular swimming destination. The area was patrolled by Police due to many injuries and deaths over the years, from people jumping from the tops of the quarries into the almost 300 feet deep water.
The City of Quincy had old telephone polls and trees dumped into the water with the idea that they would float and prevent people from jumping in. Unfortunately, that plan failed, and the poles and trees became waterlogged and sank just below the surface, causing the injuries and deaths to skyrocket. Around this time, the site was also found by rock climbers, and in 1968 A Guide to Quincy Quarries, a book about climbing around the quarries, was published.
In 1999, after the site had been declared a public safety hazard, it was drained and filled with dirt 1999, landscaped, and opened to the public in 2003 as the Quincy Quarries Reservation. It’s popular with rock climbers, hikers as well as graffiti artists.