Routine Internet Search Uncovers Rare Colorado Yule Marble Document
It’s not often that anything of significance, let alone importance, should arise from any given internet search, aside from the odd confirmation of knowledge or information of little relevance to our Story of Colorado Yule Marble – link in the header. So imagine my delight upon stumbling across this little nugget of a gem of a find !
Now, at the time of writing – January 25th, 2022 – I have only just this day become aware of the document, consequently I have placed it here for safekeeping, where I or you or anyone may look at it and make of it what they will. But unless I am mistaken, and by his writing Edward J. Larsen does not sound like a man to mince his words, the organization and layout of his writing speak loud in regard to his knowledge and familiarity with the subject. Therefore I feel I have good reason to be optimistic that the volumes of files that he refers to are still stored safely away in some vault or another, or may even exist on paper, who knows?
And so, in the spirit of the brilliant Elaine S. McGee and her Building Stone of the Lincoln Memorial, abridged in 8 parts here on martincooney.com, link in the banner, may I present the first part of what I hope will be an equally compelling revelation regarding the Colorado Yule Marble Quarry itself, and the many, many tales of trials, misfortune, (murder?), triumph, catastrophe, bankruptcy, betrayal, splendor and pride…
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Today I will post the entirety of what I have collected regarding this extraordinary document by Mr. Edward J. Larsen, so that we are on the same page as it were, then in the next post I will go through the document step by step and item by item, along with a few comments of my own, plus a nice display of choice photos of course in order to illustrate the point. But right now I simply aim to give this remarkable find the fresh air it deserves after being stuck in the internet for over 30 years, and together hopefully over the coming weeks and months we will unpick each and every morsel of knowledge available through the discovery of these remarkable files.
So, sorry, no pictures or much in the way of commentary this time, (which has never happened before in over 340 posts), just the text so that we can stay focused and appreciate the document as a whole, but stay tuned as this Yule Marble Mystery unravels over future posts, and we’ll begin.
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Part One: Original Text: An Inventory of the Papers of The Colorado Yule Marble Co. by Edward J. Larsen.
PRODUCERS AND WHOLESALERS OF STATUARY AND WHOLESALERS OF STATUARY – NO. 1 WHITE STATUARY GOLDEN VEIN
COLORADO MARBLE Collection No. 159
A holding of the Library of the Colorado Historical Society Denver, Colorado 80203 and the Marble Historical Society Marble, Colorado 81623 processed by Edward J. Larsen December 1988
GENERAL HISTORY. The Colorado Yule Marble Company, located at Marble (Gunnison County}, was a major supplier of very high quality marble from 1905 to 1941. During this time it provided the material for hundreds of buildings and monuments including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Although the history of marble production in the Crystal River valley begins much earlier, the Colorado Yule Marble Company came into being in 1905. It was originally organized by a brilliant businessman named Channing Frank Meek. Under his direction a daring trolley system and railroad spur to the nearest mainline were built and the mountain-high quarries were finally linked to the market. Until his death in 1912 the company grew to become the third largest marble producer in the country and boasted the world’s largest and best equipped finishing mill.
Although prosperity would continue for a few more years the tragic death of Mr. Meek in 1912 was a harbinger of the trouble to come. James Forrest Manning became the new president of the company which soon was ranked as the second largest marble concern in the world.
This title did not last for long, however. Heavily in debt, the company was forced into receivership in July of 1916. By 1917 a world war, declining market demand and financial problems caused the quarries and mill to be closed. The original Colorado Yule Marble Company ceased to exist in July of 1919 when a Denver Judicial Court issued a final decree of foreclosure and sale.
Marble production at the site did not begin again until about 1922 when a pair of companies (Yule Marble Company of Colorado and the Carrara Yule Marble Company) coordinated their activities in order to fill new orders for marble. Eventually these two companies merged into the Consolidated Yule Marble Company. The name changed again in 1925 when the Tennessee-Colorado Marble Company was incorporated after a Tennessee company leased the properties from Consolidated. The lease was not renewed and by the end of 1925 the operation was once again known as the Consolidated Yule Marble Company.
Moderate production continued sporadically until 1929 when the property was once again sold – this time to the Vermont Marble Company which called its newly formed subsidiary the Yule-Colorado Company.
The Yule-Colorado Company was never the full-scale producer that its original predecessor had been but it did manage to secure the last and perhaps the most prestigious marble contract in the history of the Yule creek operations.
The largest piece of marble ever quarried was installed at Arlington National Cemetery in 1932 as a monument to the Unknown Soldier.
Meager production continued at the Yule-Colorado Company until 1941 when all operations were ordered to a halt by the parent company, Vermont Marble. Shortly thereafter, all of the equipment was dismantled and sold and the mill was torn down. An era had most certainly ended. Although the Vermont Marble Company investigated the reopening of the…
…quarries in the early 1960’s nothing has come to pass and as of this writing no more marble has been removed from the Yule Creek site . In recent history another concern has secured a lease of the quarry property and a new Colorado Yule Marble Company is being born.
Perhaps another fine era is about to dawn but for now the great mill is gone and the quarries are cold and silent. Only the spirits of the pioneering companies and their hard working people continue to endure, locked in the translucent beauty of the pure white stone.
The history of marble quarrying in Colorado and in particular the story of the Colorado Yule Marble Company is important in many ways. It provides a vivid example of how people, businesses and towns are always at the mercy of seemingly uncontrollable ~ influences.
Was Channing Meek perhaps a little too aggressive in his pursuit of corporate expansion? The answer to this pertinent question can most likely be found in the historical collection.
This finding aid includes the collections at the Colorado Historical Society and the Marble Historical Society. Information on the collection at the Marble Historical Society was graciously provided by Oscar McCullom, society president. Collections also exist at the Denver Public Library Western History Department, the Western State College Library of Gunnison Colorado, and the Vermont Marble Company at Proctor, Vermont.
1873. Geologist Sylvester Richardson discovers the marble deposits while prospecting along Rock Creek.
1874. George Yule “rediscovers” the marble deposits along the creek that now bears his name.
1885. Perry, McKay and Griffith stake the New Discovery and London marble claims on the Yule Creek site.
1886. John c. Osgood provides funds for the development of the quarries.
1887. Tests in London on a sample of Yule Creek marble indicate that it is harder than any marble on record.
1893. Osgood sends a large block of marble to the Columbian Exhibition in Chicago; it stimulates much interest.
1895. Yule marble is selected as the material for the interior of the capitol building in Denver.
1905. Channing F. Meek organizes the Colorado Yule Marble Company.
1906. First train arrives at Marble on the new extension from Placita – the Crystal River & San Juan Railroad.
1910. The electric tram from the quarry to the mill is completed.
1912. Colonel Meek dies from injuries suffered when he jumped from a runaway tram.
1913. Provided tribute slab for Washington Monument.
1914. Awarded contract for Lincoln Memorial.
1916. Placed in receivership under J. F. Manning.
1917. All production operations are halted.
1919. All company assets are liquidated by public sale.
1922. Yule Marble Company of Colorado and the Carrara Yule Marble Company reopen the quarry and mill.
1924. Operations are joined to form the Consolidated Yule Marble Company Property is leased and does business as the Tennessee-Colorado Marble Company.
1925. Lease is terminated and the name returns to Consolidated Yule Marble Company.
1927. Jacob Smith purchases Consolidated and reorganizes as the Yule-Colorado Company. All properties are acquired from Smith by the Vermont Marble Company.
1930. Awarded contract for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
1941. All operations are halted; the mill and all equipment and properties are either sold or torn down.
1963. Vermont Marble investigates reopening the quarries.
1976. Vermont Marble is purchased by a Swiss corporation.
1988. A Denver business concern leases the quarry site for possible operation in 1989.
COLORADO HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLECTION
The collection at the Colorado Historical Museum consists of numbered file folders (FF) and four oversize business ledger books. These items are located together on a shelf and known as collection number 159. The contents of the file folders are primarily business documents: vouchers; payroll ledgers; bills; correspondences.
All of the file folders are arranged chronologically, from the earliest company name to the latest. The ledger books contain entries for sales, expenses, payroll, etc. and can be cross referenced to much of the documents in the file folders. The photographs have been transferred to the photography department.
FF-1 Yule, George Yule Creek White Marble Company.
FF-2 Incorporation Documents 1904 Colorado Yule Marble Company.
FF-3 Incorporation Documents 1905-1913.
FF-4 Annual Reports 1908, 1912-1917
FF-5 Manning, James Forrest.
FF-6 Manning, James Forrest.
FF-7 Meek, Channing Frank.
FF-8 Correspondence 1913, December 1918.
FF-9 Correspondence 1918.
FF-27 Lincoln Memorial.
FF-28 Clippings Pre 1900.
FF-29 Clippings 1910 to 1914.
FF-42. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
FF-43. Mutti, Orfeo P. Master Carver.
FF-44 ClippingsFF-47 Oral Histories.
FF-49 Mill Site, Nomination, National Register 1978.
FF-53 Dunn, Stacey, Developer.
FF-55 Clippings 1988.
MARBLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLECTION The Marble Historical Society is located in Marble, Colorado. It holds a large and interesting collection of articles pertinent to both the town and the industry. The society maintains a museum in the old Marble High School building. The following is a list of the items in the collection that pertain specifically to the marble operations in the Yule Creek area.
Letter 1907, February To Charles Austin Bates CYM Letterhead Signed by Mr. C. F. Meek, 4 Pages
Brochure 1908, September “To stockholders of CYM Co 4 Pages Brochure 1908, September.
Minutes of informal stockholders meeting at Waldorf Astoria hotel, 16 Pages
Booklet 1909, November “Pictures Made at Marble” By Charles Austin Bates Photographs and article from Denver Daily News, 16 Pages
Brochure 1910 “Facts About the CYM Co” Form 59, 8 Pages.
Bulletin 1911, September “To stockholders of the CYM Co Reference visit by Meek to New York, Reference Charles Austin Bates Clipping 1912, September American Stone Trade 11 York. “Col. Meek meets accidental death” page 47 “Monument dealers visit Marble Colorado” page 48.
Clipping 1913, January New York Curb issue 36 page 2 “Government investigating California Yule Marble Co. ”
Clipping 1913, January Rutland Daily Herald 1/22/13 “News of the city: Colorado Yule in bad shape” Prospectus 1914, May 5 Printed on newsprint Reference officers, directors, property, business on hand, marble market, quality of CYM marble, history, profits Financial statement ending 12/31/1913, 8 Pages.
Price List 1915 “CYM Co price list” Terms, descriptions, catalog references 28 Pages. Catalog 1923 “Design Catalog A”, 92 Pages. Blueprint 1924, July Colorado Consolidated Yule Marble Company Ownership of land.
Letter 1925, February To “My dear niece” From H. L. (Henry L. Johnson – photographer) Colorado White Marble Co letterhead.
Report 1929, February “History of Yule Colorado Marble Company’s Properties at Marble Colorado” By Edward C. Hanley, 7 Pages.
Brochure 1931, April Memory Stone Vol 6 #5, 8 Pages.
Blueprint Map 1932, November Yule Colorado Quarry Yule 5-5 1932, December “Yule Colorado .. (unreadable) •• Dec 1932” Shows quarry 1 and 2, aerial cable line Blueprint 1933, November Yule Colorado Quarry #4 Yule 5-6 Blueprint 1934, July Yule Quarry #4 “Vert. and Horz. channel cuts” Blueprint 1934, December Yule Quarry #4 “Possible channel cuts” Blueprint 1935, August Colorado Quarry “Vert. and Horz. channel cuts” Page 13 Blueprint 1935, December Colorado Quarry Yule 5-8 Blueprint 1936, December Colorado Quarry Yule 5-9 Set of Haps 1934 1940 “Yule Colorado – Quarry No. 4” Floor levels and dimensions on 8 different dates, 8 maps.
Report 1941, October “Yule Colorado Marble Company” Description of deposits and some structures.
Report 1952, April “Abandon Quarry Report” By Herbert W. Johnson Includes quarry production 1930 – 1941, 2 Pages.
Clipping 1980, September Valley Journal “Swiss firm sends reps to study possible Blueprint.
Map 1985, December Cite and location map Yule Marble Quarry New fences at quarry 6 Sheets Undated Material “Yule Colorado Marble Deposit, Yule Creek, Marble, Colorado” II Shows area from Osgood quarry to tunnel no. 5 Map “Ownership of Land” “Colorado Consolidated Y. M. Co.” By A. J. Mitchel, C. E. and E. M.
Map From Crystal River to quarry Electric lines, rotary station, trolley line Colorado Yule Marble Scale: 1″ = 50′ “Change of pipeline .. substitute tunnel for dam.” 8″ x 12″ blueline copy Circular Colorado Yule Marble Company References to newspaper articles Form 65, 8 Pages.
Clipping Rocky Mountain News “Colo. deposit of statuary marble equal largest in world”.
Pamphlet Book “The CYM views of Quarry and Mill” Pictorial of quarry and buildings, 18 Pages.
Monumental Design Published by Williamson – Hafner Co, Denver Headstone monuments Pictures of mill and quarry, 350 Pages.
Letter Pledges to assist a fellow employee 10 Signatures 1 Page Blueprint “Ownership of Land” References to A. J. Mitchell and W. W. Wood Blueprint “Sketch #1” “Property of Yule Creek White Marble Company” Blueprint “Yule-Colorado Marble Company” “Plan of quarries and profile of cableway” Pa&e.
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OK, so there you have it. Here is a link to the original document:
If you want to take a look at it for yourself and then join me in my next post, when I will add my own comments, plus a few pictures in my usual fashion, and together we will explore just what this ‘new’ find may reveal, or not, as the case may be. But either way, something has to come out of all this, and as it does this is the place -martincooney.com – to find out just what we will discover, together.
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Part 1: Original Text: Inventory of the Papers of The Colorado Yule Marble Co., 1988, by Edward J. Larsen.
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The Story of Colorado Yule Marble
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