Vastine Hollow Freestone Quarries

During the second-half of the nineteenth century, Vastine and other hollows of Lower Twin Creek were the center of a major stone quarry industry. Here workers for various firms, including John Mueller's Buena Vista Freestone Company, quarried the famous "City Ledge," a highly valued building stone, which was popular down river in Cincinnati, as well as in Chicago and New York City. Stone from these hills went into the pillars of the Roebling Suspension Bridge at Cincinnati in the 1850s and 60s.

German immigrants and the descendants of Virginian pioneers worked the stone from a ridge-side quarry bench. The huge quarried stones were lowered to the valley floor via massive mechanical inclines, then taken by a narrow gauge tram, drawn by oxen, to the stone saw mill and landing at the Village of Buena Vista. From their they were transported by river to Cincinnati and other markets via railroad.

When the cement block industry and the popularity of steel and cement construction put an end to Buena Vista freestone business around the dawn of the twentieth century, the quarries were abandoned, leaving many massive blocks still piled up, one on top of another, along the ridge side quarry benches. Today, having been included in the Shawnee Wilderness Area, Vastine Hollow has been reclaimed by the forest. Along with the ruins of the tram road and inclines, three large stone-lined cisterns, cut into the bench, remain, filled with the darkest waters.