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Friday, August 2, 2013

Superior Sandstone?

What's in Superior?  Lots of brownstone, that's for sure.  You always know you're in northern Wisconsin when you start seeing a lot of this.

Not only brownstone, but probably Bayfield Group sandstone. Quartz cements and comprises 75% of the stone.  That's one of Superior's two Carnegie libraries above, it's for sale and at a great price I might add.  The other one in town was already purchased by a private owner and has such a thick garden around it that I couldn't get much of a look at the building.  

Superior Elks Lodge
The sandstone was a popular building material until the depression of 1893.  After the World Fair in Chicago lighter colored stone was more fashionable.

Many of Superior's fine old buildings, including Fairlawn, Martin Pattison's mansion, were made with material from the Amnicon quarry. In about 20 years, more than a million cubic feet of brownstone was shipped to many cities including Chicago, Sioux City, Omaha, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Duluth.

Fairlawn Mansion
Fairlawn is open for tours but when they said $9 and no photography I declined.  I'd probably enjoy the outside more than the inside anyway.

I also stopped in to visit the State Fire Fighters museum.  With the exception of this cool sculpture the one in Racine is definitely a much better one to visit. No guide, no organization, not much to see either.  What a shame.

I don't know if this is Bayfield Sandstone, but I thought it made a nice foreground for a shot of the lighthouse.  If you want to know more about the lighthouse, I found a great link here.

While the sandstone in northern Wisconsin is nice, nothing beats that sandstone in Utah!  I probably won't be seeing that for another couple of years again though.  (insert heavy sigh here)


  1. See what you mean about the sandstone looks better natural.

  2. Been following your exploring around Wisconsin. It's been great traveling along. I am enjoying your focus on the older architecture.

    1. Thanks, Lloyd, not much else here besides cornfields to focus on! Looking forward to some out of state adventures over the next couple of months. More Milwaukee architecture tucked away for a rainy day ahead.

  3. The turret on that mansion is wonderful! I had to look it up and discovered that it cost $150,000 to build in the 1890's - the same amount as what is wanted for that Carnegie library today. there is something about that For Sale sign, firmly planted in that planter that says it is/will be for sale a long time.

    1. It wouldn't be for sale a long time if I lived there. :)

  4. There is a town 60 miles south in Minnesota that may have supplied the sandstone. It is called Sandstone. They have a beautiful school built in 1901 that has some of the same characteristics as the library. There is also a park built along the Kettle river where the stone was quarried from.