The title of this post should probably be Let’s Go Get Stones since it is about the Big Bend Quarry, the origin of many of Maplewood’s building stones. A number of readers expressed interest in and had questions about the BB Quarry. Hopefully this post will be of interest to the rest of you as well. If the text below seems familiar that’s probably because I posted it almost exactly two years ago.
The Big Bend Quarry
For many years a quarry of a substantial size operated in Maplewood. Known as the Big Bend Quarry, it is not identified on the 1909 Plat Map of St. Louis County nor is it found in the 1912 Directory of the City of Maplewood. It was in business by 1917 according to an advertisement found in the archives of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The retired firefighter, Dewey Eberhardt, once told me that it was hundreds of feet deep with tunnels that went off in several different directions. I’m guessing that the quarry’s main products were limestone for buildings and crushed limestone for roadbeds and concrete, etc.
The quarry was located just south of the present day Sunnen Metrolink station. It was east of Laclede Station Road and north of and as close to the railroad tracks as possible. This was probably to facilitate the shipping of the stone.
Once the removal of stone had ceased for whatever reason, the quarry became a waste disposal site. According to Dewey, Mallinckrodt Chemical amongst many others sent railroad cars to be dumped into the quarry.
One would suspect a witches brew lurks somewhere in the depths below. I’d feel better if I knew that the local office of the Environmental Protection Agency was aware of this site and others like it of which there must be many. I’d really feel better if I knew that they monitor and test these sites regularly to make sure whatever was once put down there stays down there.