Limestone Month Activities

Sample from Victor Oolitic Stone CompanyDid you know that the Empire State Building is built with limestone from Monroe County?  The Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Circle in Indianapolis, the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, Tribune Tower in Chicago, the Lincoln Memorial in D.C., and a host of other buildings and statues, including our own Library Bears—all use limestone from local quarries.  You can travel all over the country to see some of these amazing creations—or you can stay right here in Monroe County, and enjoy a perfectly awe-inspiring view of beautifully crafted stonework.

 

Indiana BedrockJune is Limestone Month, celebrating southern Indiana's long history of building and carving with this very versatile rock. To join in the celebration, read and watch stories about the quarries, the carvers, and the buildings through the Library's collections—particularly in the Indiana Room. You can start with Indiana Bedrock—a digital display of photos, letters, and more relating to the Matthew Brothers Stone Company (now Bybee Stone Company), Victor Oolitic and Bloomington Limestone Company. You can also scroll through the Monroe County Timeline, limiting your view to the history of limestone.  And for even more great photos, check out Building a Nation: Indiana Limestone Photograph Exhibit online, or go see the photos on display at Bloomington's Fountain Square Mall, where they're on exhibit all month long.

 
Baker Memorial, First Methodist ChurchSample from Albert McIlveen's portfolioSample from Albert McIlveen's portfolio
 

Two workers using side planersWant to get out and see our amazing limestone works in person? Download the Indiana Limestone Heritage Trail brochure [PDF] for excellent examples found in parks, quarries, and buildings throughout Indiana, or use the IU Campus Limestone Walking Tour brochure [PDF] to get a closer look—and the stories behind many of the limestone buildings and carvings at Indiana University Bloomington.

 

For a more hands-on way to enjoy our limestone heritage, you might want to try your hand at carving. Limestone Symposium sessions are offered throughout the month for a variety of skill levels, from beginners and kids' sessions to those for skilled artists. 

Cherub panel carvings Urn being turned on a lathe

 

Limestone Stories