Elmhurst Stone Helped Carve out Community
Greco, Carmen, Jr., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Carmen Greco Jr. Daily Herald Staff Writer
Editors note: Each day for the last 100 days of the 1900s, the Daily Herald is taking a snapshot look at one of our institutions - places that have played a key role in bringing us to the dawn of the new century.
Noise, vibration and dust.
That has been the natural order of things at the Elmhurst Chicago Stone Co. since Adolph Hammerschmidt founded the company in 1883.
Hammerschmidt bought his first quarry in Elmhurst for $3,300 in 1883 after he stopped by for some stone for a new barn he was building at his Naperville farm.
"He wanted to build a barn, but he ended up buying a company," said Ken Lahner, a senior vice president for the company.
With expansions, the Elmhurst quarry grew from 11 to 33 acres, and the company, which is run by the sixth generation of Hammerschmidts, continued to increase its holdings in succeeding years.
Today, the dynamite blasts issued from company quarries are fewer and farther between as the company sells off depleted quarries for other uses.
A few years ago, DuPage County bought the company's flagship Elmhurst quarry along Route 83 near St. Charles Road for a flood control project.
The massive Cantera development along the East-West Tollway in Warrenville is located on property that once was a 700-acre sand and gravel pit. …