Grandview Heights Moment in Time

ThisWeek group
In the early part of the 20th century, the quarries on the west side of what is now Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff provided limestone for various applications. Slabs were quarried and transported for such buildings as the Ohio Statehouse, Orton Hall on Ohio State University’s campus and residences all over Columbus. Stones were used in fences and walls in both public and private rights of way. Much of the stone from the quarries was crushed and used as flux in furnaces and lime kilns in the region and for road construction. Early roads used a procedure called macadamization, named after a Scottish engineer named John Macadam, who developed the process. His approach used crushed stones bound with gravel on a firm base of slightly larger stones spread over compacted soil. The road was slightly raised in the center, providing a camber that allowed rain water to drain off. The National Road was completed in the 1830s. Later macadamization techniques filled the gaps between the limestone surface stones with a mixture of stone dust and water, providing a smoother surface for the increased traffic using the roads. The automobile created a problem, as the cars raised the dust and created gaps again, so tar was spread over the stones to bind them together in a process that is still used today. Most main roads in Grandview and Marble Cliff were macadamized roads, first surfaced about 1901. Bradley Skeeles related in his memoir (on our society website) that Third Avenue had tar added to the macadamized road in 1907, when he was 6 years old. This public-domain photo (not in the area) shows the limestone being laid on a road in 1900.

Editor's note: The caption is repeated below for easier reading.

In the early part of the 20th century, the quarries on the west side of what is now Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff provided limestone for various applications.

Slabs were quarried and transported for such buildings as the Ohio Statehouse, Orton Hall on Ohio State University’s campus and residences all over Columbus.

Stones were used in fences and walls in both public and private rights of way.

Much of the stone from the quarries was crushed and used as flux in furnaces and lime kilns in the region and for road construction.

Early roads used a procedure called macadamization, named after a Scottish engineer named John Macadam, who developed the process. His approach used crushed stones bound with gravel on a firm base of slightly larger stones spread over compacted soil.

The road was slightly raised in the center, providing a camber that allowed rain water to drain off.

The National Road was completed in the 1830s.

Later macadamization techniques filled the gaps between the limestone surface stones with a mixture of stone dust and water, providing a smoother surface for the increased traffic using the roads.

The automobile created a problem, as the cars raised the dust and created gaps again, so tar was spread over the stones to bind them together in a process that is still used today.

Most main roads in Grandview and Marble Cliff were macadamized roads, first surfaced about 1901.

Bradley Skeeles related in his memoir (on our society website) that Third Avenue had tar added to the macadamized road in 1907, when he was 6 years old.

This public-domain photo (not in the area) shows the limestone being laid on a road in 1900.