West Castleton Slate Company
The West Castleton Slate Company is one of the abandoned villages which you can find in the Bomoseen State Park. This slate company was built many years ago, in about the mid-1800s in Castleton, Vermont. It is very difficult to imagine that this small, quiet town in Vermont was once filled with lots of machinery and hard-working immigrants. Not many remember that there was one a large slate company existing, many forgot it existed.
Backstory and Context
This company was once one of the most significant spots in Castleton, which offered many jobs to working people. When it was first built, the slate company owned 600 acres of land between Lake Bomoseen and Glen Lake. The town had 43 houses, a school, a store, three barns, two sawmills, and many several quarries.
The town was tiny compared to some other towns/cities in Vermont. There are/were three significant record belts in Vermont. This territory, the western Vermont-New York belt, was the most productive, beneficial and contained the most different colors you could have found around this area. Pennsylvania was the only state who surpassed Vermont and that time.
There are a few different colors. Some of the slate colors include "Vermont Sea Green", "Unfading Green", "Purple Variegated" and "Unfading Red".
West Castleton created Purple and Unfading Green records. These can be found in the waste heaps, record outcrops and rooftops in the Castleton zone.
The quarry played a big role in the Castleton Slate industry. There was a double stack that anchored the derricks and pulleys used to hoist slate blocks from the quarry, which is now filled with lots of water.
This all didn't come without risk. Slate mining was one of the most dangerous things people could do for a living. Early quarries used manual labor, blasting, and animals to remove slate, rubble, and water. Many workers were killed from accidents during work, such as blasting or collapsing rocks.
And turns out, they had to work over ten hours a day, earning less than two dollars a day. On either side of the street from were, the slate company laid, you may discover establishments and the remaining parts of laborers' quarters. Every living arrangement was isolated into at least two little and tiny units. The organization intended to construct 100 of these by 1854, yet an 1869 guide demonstrated just two lines of homes. Most people living there were, for the most part, Irish Catholic workers.
During the 1860s, the slate company built a brand new mill for the making of green and purple flooring, billiard tables and many other things. At the time the mill was developed, it was one of the biggest record completing factories in the nation. The mill sadly burned down in 1870 but was later rebuilt. The slate business owed its prosperity to geologic procedures that happened 500 million years back. Vermont was secured with tropical oceans and seas. Through the natural development of the dirt and mud laying around in those areas, slate-rock was created. The slate industry then created something called the Slate Industry Boom. With all the new jobs and people coming in, new markets were created for new high-quality slate. By 1850, the Slate Company was in operation.
, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation. Bomoseen State Park, vtstateparks.com. December 12th 2019. Accessed December 12th 2019. https://vtstateparks.com/assets/pdf/bomoseen-slate-trail.pdf.