|History of Bangor Slate|
|Letter to our Customers|
|For the Hand Painter|
The Story of Bangor,
As you enter the Bangor area, you are welcomed first by this sign
Before we explain our products to you, we feel it necessary to formally introduce ourselves and explain a little about this fascinating rock formation we call slate. Most likely you have not given much thought to this stone. Like so many things which surround us in na≠ture, we simply take them for granted. However, if you look about, the use of slate appears in many places. Perhaps the roof of your very own home is covered with roofing slate. Slate has proven valuable as a superior roofing
It is common to see thousands of homes protected with beautiful long lasting slate roofs in the Eastern part of our country.
material, often lasting hundreds of years. There are records of slate roofs in England and Wales which date back hundreds of years still in good condition. Perhaps you have walked on slate floors many times, for it makes an excellent flooring material. Quite often it is used in public buildings where floor traffic is the heaviest. In many residential homes, the first thing to greet you is the warm and earthy welcome of a slate foyer floor. Yet an≠other place of extensive use most worthy of mention is the slate blackboard. Used by schools for hundreds of years, slate has played a major role in our educational system. Students used little personal slate chalkboards before paper became common. Just imagine the amount of information conveyed between teacher and student on slate blackboards throughout the years.
|Years ago, because paper was scarce, the children used little school slates to practice their lessons. This particular school slate was bound with yarn to reduce the noise when closing. It is interesting to know, pencils made of slate were used as a writing instrument.|
we have used slate in our every≠day lives often, never giving it a second
thought. We would like to change all that as you read on, and then examine our
We are the Capozzolo Brothers Slate Company. Our quarry operation exists just a few miles outside of the old slate mining town known as Bangor, Pennsylvania. The Bangor area is located in the Eastern portion of Pennsylvania; nestled at the foothills of the famous Pocono Mountains and just a few miles west of the great Delaware Water Gap. Quite often the Bangor area is referred to as the Slate Belt; so named for the heavy mining activity which once took place here. Our family has been mining slate for several generations and at the present time, we operate the last true Bangor slate quarry still in production.
|Here you have a groups of Slaters in the early 1900's. Their jobs were hard and dangerous, as the quarries were hundred of feet deep. Most of the men were welsh immigrants who came to America seeking a new life full of opportunities.|
mining has been a tradition in Bangor for nearly 150 years. Before the discovery
of slate only a small farming community existed here. That all changed,
seemingly overnight upon the strike of slate in the mid 1850ís. Soon hundreds
of Welsh, English and Italian slate miners moved in. The little village grew
rapidly as houses, stores, schools and churches were built to accommodate the
daily arrival of new immigrants. The little village which now appeared to be a
growing metropolis was renamed Bangor, for it reminded the new people of Bangor,
Wales; a very prominent slate mining town in the British Isles where most of the
miners originated. Many quarries were dug and the Bangor area became quite
prosperous for the slate found often proved very good. Soon Bangor slate earned
a reputation as the finest slate available. Architects often specified it by
name, thus adding to the already great demand.
what made Bangor slate so valued? The answer to this question is its ability to
be split into very thin slabs without breaking. To better understand this
mystery we must take you back 400 million years. Science claims that the Bangor
area was once covered by a vast inland sea. As years passed, sediment slowly
layered the ocean floor, eventu≠ally becoming thousands of feet thick. Time,
heat and tremendous pressure turned this layered clay-like material into very
hard beds of stone. This unique layered formation would later be the very reason
that man could split this stone into thin sheets of roofing slate, school
blackboards, floor tiles and many other useful items.
|Huge slate blackboards are utilized in many classrooms even to this day. Although most of us have stared at blackboards throughout our school days, we seldom think of where they come from or how they are made.|
slate industry would enjoy many successful years, however prosperity would not
last forever. In the early 1900ís many new and less expensive man made
products would appear on the marketplace. The demand for late steadily dropped
off. Soon many jobs for the higher paying factory jobs which became available.
the slate industry declined and very few slate quarries currently exist in the
entire U.S.A., a legacy was left behind to remind us of these rugged pioneers
and the products they produced. Much of what they made is still in use today. If
you travel through the Slate Belt today, you will see high mounds of slate
pieces scattered about the countryside. They will forever stand as monuments to
this great industry and an era when the lifestyle in Bangor revolved around the
at our slate company, the tradition goes on as we quarry in much the same way as
was done years before. Each stone, often weighing tons, is uncovered where it
lay hidden through≠out time. It is then pried loose from its resting place with
simple tools such as chisels, hammers and steel bars. The work is very hard and
dangerous and requires much experience. Every slate we produce is split by hand
as no machine can match the eye of a skilled Slater.
at our quarry we are producers of slate flooring. However in recent years we
have added very unique slate gifts to our product line. Our novelty line came
about quite unintentionally when as youngsters we would create gifts of slate
for our special friends and loved ones. Well, everyone seemed delighted with our
gifts and soon they began to ask us to create gifts for their special friends.
So it began, first with friends and neighbors and soon the local townspeople
began to come. We now have a quarry gift shop which many people around the world
come to visit. Many of our customers send our gifts to friends in other
countries or take them along with them when they travel. Our gifts truly reflect
a part of America old and new and will always provide great
Some Quarries now are reservoirs, which hold excellent drinking water for local communities
truly believe the interest in our slate gifts grew simply because they satisfy
every requirement a well thought out gift should. Not only are they personal
gifts with a historical significance, they are very beautiful to look at. Each
gift is assured to be original for no two slates ever share the same grain
pattern, somewhat like snowflakes or fingerprints on a human. This is mother
natureís contribution, as she adds her artistic flare to everything we create.
Much of the stone extracted was inferior and was discarded. Each quarry had a huge heap of rubbish stone near the pit. These slate hills are scattered throughout the Slate Belt Area.
hope we have shared some of our knowledge of this fascinating stone with you.
The more you know about a product the better you can appreciate the hard work
and effort that goes into its creation. Our family is very proud to carry on
this ancient craft of slate mining which dates back to the year 1200 in Wales.
It is also comforting to know that no pollution occurs during the slate mining
process. The many abandoned slate quarries now serve as water reservoirs that
support fish and water fowl. The high piles of waste slate now make excellent
habitat for animals who like to make dens such as fox, rabbits and mice.
|Phone: 1.800.282.6582||Fax: 1.800.588.3971||Local: 610.588.7702|