The Limestone Borg

A few weeks ago, I researched granite.  Did you know the Pine Tree State may very well have more of it than the Granite State of New Hampshire.  According to Steve Haynes, founder and director of the Maine Granite Industry Museum on Mount Desert Island, “Maine has a wider variety of colors of granite than the other New England states…and has the most quarries.”

Maine does not have any limestone quarries.

This week’s needle in a haystack was discovering much of the Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul’s exterior ornamentation was made of Indiana limestone.  This stone, lighter and more tan-colored than the granite, is best seen along the window tracery.

The exterior also has various statues affixed to the outer walls and in niches.  But are they limestone?  Or are they cast stone?  While researching these statues, I found some information which raised doubts in my mind as to whether they were carved stone or cast stone.  According to the Cast Stone Institute, “cast stone was first used extensively in London in the year 1900 and gained widespread acceptance in America in 1920.”  The Basilica’s upper church was built between 1934 and 1938.

I’ve got a call in to the Cast Stone Institute.

But that’s not to say limestone was not carved.  It is, even today at places like the Indiana Limestone Symposium.  I’ve got a call in to them, too.

Then, there’s problem of statue identification.  Mary, mother of Jesus?  Or Saint Thérèse of Lisieux?

This is how it goes writing features for the local newspaper.  I spend too much time searching for “facts” or some reasonable facsimile of them.

(Please, no comments from the peanut gallery about facts, lies, and statistics.)

It’s a mystery and a puzzle; a needle in a haystack.  It’s not exciting or glamorous, like whatever is trending on the hive mind this morning.  The intricate details regarding the construction of an old Catholic church in Lewiston, Maine are not important to people of the screen.

I look out my window into the dawn and realize I’m wide awake now.  It’s good to be still learning.  It’s better than The Borg.

Fight the Borg.

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