Signs multiply that the stone quarry industry in this county has reached a new era of prosperity, with the assurance that this condition will continue indefinitely. New quarries are being opened and the old ones being operated with greater forces of men.
The terms of the lease from the O. J. Keller Lime Company to the Southern Limestone Company, a subsidiary of the Cambria Steel Company, of Johnstown, Pa., were made known this week, when the lease was filed for record in the county clerk’s office. The Keller company, by the lease, grants to the Southern company the quarry rights on a farm of 156 acres, at Engle’s, this county, getting a royalty of two cents for each long ton of stone taken out. The Southern Limestone Company is to pay an annual minimum royalty of $2,500 a year for a term of twenty-five years. The Keller company reserves the right to farm all the land not occupied by the quarries. Alfred Slater, the manager of the Southern Limestone Company, informed the Advocate that he expected to employ about 300 men at the Keller plant when operations get in full blast this summer.
A similar lease was taken by George W. Johnston, of Newcastle, Pa., who is said to represent the United States Steel Corporation, on the farm of B. F. Moler at Millville. Mr. Johnston’s company will pay a royalty of two cents on each ton of 2,240 pounds of stone, with a minimum of $400 per year. The company is under contract to begin operations not later than May 15th.
The quarries at Bakerton are witnessing the greatest activity in their history. At present about 400 men are employed there, the largest number since operations started twenty-five years ago. Only a few days ago the company made a voluntary advance in the wages of the men. The wages of kiln fireman were increased from $1.50 to $1.60 a day. Other men about the kiln have had their wages advanced from $1.35 to $1.50. In the quarries, the rate for truck loaders was advanced from 16 to 19 cents per truck.
Touched by the new life that affects the stone industry, the Virginia ore bank on the river, near Bakerton, is to be revived. Work is being done preparatory to opening the ore mine and the shipment of ore to the furnaces at Everett, Pa., will be resumed. — Advocate.
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