East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

Rails to Schuyler - Overhead Crane

Running above and between the jumble of buildings at the Alberene Soapstone Mill in Schuyler was the traveling overhead crane.

The crane was used to move stones to the mill from quarries close by at either end. It also removed quarry stone from flatcars spotted underneath. The stone was sorted and stacked until it could be could be cut, at which time the crane moved the stone to the gangsaw shed. Cutoffs and waste stone from the mill was in turn loaded by the crane into railroad cars for removal to the Dust Mill.

Overhead cranes are one of the most characteristic structures of stone handling industries.

The overhead crane at Alberene Soapstone was also used to move lumber, and to load and unload trucks.