On this hillside archeologists have found evidence of stonecutting that was almost certainly related to the building of the Allegheny Portage Railroad. There is no formal quarry pit, but broken stone is abundant, and many sandstone outcrops reveal drill marks where blocks were removed.
Stone was a workable and durable building material for the railroad's culverts, bridges, viaducts, and engine house foundations, and for the stone sleepers on which track was laid. When quarries were nearby like this one, stone was relatively inexpensive.
The stone cutters and masons - most of them Irish immigrants - worked as much as 10-12 hours a day for about 50 cents. The precision and permanence of their work may be seen in the Skew Arch Bridge, the Lemon House, and other railroad-related structures in this area.
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Drill marks are visible on the stone outcrop at your feet, and at many other places on this hillside. The stonecuter drilled a series of holes with a hand-held star drill to insure the break would be straight.
On level sections of the railroad, rails were fastened to stone blocks called sleepers. Sleepers are still visible today along level sections of the railroad trace.