Burroughs Materials History

Burroughs Materials

The Wallace Stone Quarry started in the late 1800s and has been producing quality aggregates and stone products since that time. The quarry, owned by the Wallace family, housed a full community of workers from all over Europe between 1917 and 1945. Workers came through the WPA (Works Progress Administration) from Bulgaria, Italy, Germany, Yugoslavia, and many other countries.

     The company provided housing, education, food, a company store, and a blacksmith shop. At the time, homes had no running water, so families came to the plant for a shower once a week. The ability to speak English within the workplace was critical, so the on-site English teacher was the highest paid employee. In fact, the better the employee’s English, the better their level of accommodations.

     The Edw. C. Levy Co. was first introduced to the Wallace Quarry during World War II. Levy was producing agricultural limestone at their Sibley Quarry – and the marketing agent was Wallace Stone. The quarry later became part of the J. P. Burroughs Company, which was the limestone provider to local construction and landscaping efforts.

     In 1985, the Edw. C. Levy Co. purchased the J. P. Burroughs Company, including the Wallace Stone Quarry. The acquisition became part of its Michigan aggregate operation under Burroughs Materials.

     Remnants of earlier times remain today. Visitors will see logs in the roof and walls of two of the old buildings. In the manager’s office, many antique tools from the quarry’s early history are on display, and some are branded with Henry Wallace’s initials. Barn wood from demolished buildings at the site has been used to panel the office and frame old certificates and photographs. A roll top desk once served as a parts bin years ago. The site is even registered with the Michigan Historical Society as a Centennial Business.