In the summer, this abandoned mine is crawling with fearless jumpers hurling themselves off the 90-foot cliffs into the aqua-blue coolness.  No matter that the quarry is private property.   YouTube videos reveal how popular this swimming hole gets on a hot day.  Sans suit, George and I came to hike and enjoy the preserve’s many trails instead, today.   

This is the historic Becket Land Trust Quarry and it’s been open to the public for over 15 years, so says their website.   All trails are easy to follow and there’s plenty of room in the parking lot this time of year.

During our hike, surprised were we to discover scattered heaps of machinery and equipment half-buried into the land. The former Hudson-Chester quarry was operational from the 1860s to the 1960s, when the business shuttered and left everything behind. Among piles of granite boulders lay old dredging derricks, rusting autos and the frame of an electric generator building.

Further down the blue trail was more industrial debris sticking out of the snow like pipes, cables, and tin roofing.  George fell to his knees to examine the rotting ruins of vintage motors slowly sinking into the limestone hill.  

This once booming operation is now just a footnote in a region once known for mining stone for monuments and memorials. 

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