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Page 2 of 11 of the Tenino Area of Interest.
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Tenino Sandstone Quarry. In 1888, sandstone was discovered in south Thurston County. The following year, in 1889, S.W. Fenton and George VanTine opened the town’s first quarry. By the early 1900s, Tenino sandstone was famous for its excellent carving qualities and fine grain that hardened with time. When Tenino’s main street burned to the ground in 1905, the town rebuilt in sandstone as an advertisement for the local stone industry. Within 20 years, the market for Tenino sandstone would almost completely collapse as the widespread use of cheaper, poured concrete found fewer and fewer customers willing to pay for the gray stone. The Tenino Stone Company closed down its quarry in 1926. Today, the sandstone pit, 90 feet deep and fed by natural springs, serves as a public pool.
Images and information courtesy of Art Dwelley Collection.