Frazier Quarry, Inc. Reaches 75-year milestone With VTCA
The Frazier Quarry, located in the Shenandoah Valley, has been providing quality products to customers for over 100 years. For over a century, they have strived to deliver the highest quality stone, in the safest way possible, at the best price for our communities. So, let’s take a step back and look at how Frazier Quarry has grown throughout the years and review some major milestones along the way.
The Frazier Quarry story began in 1912, when Rockingham County advertised for bidders to construct an all-weather road from Elkton, VA to Harrisonburg, VA. Mr. Fred K. Betts, Jr., a New York state contractor, was awarded the contract. He was the first heavy highway contractor to mobilize in the central Shenandoah Valley, with powered excavation equipment, drills, rock crushers, and screening equipment. He opened a small roadside quarry to provide the materials needed for road construction of what is now U.S. 33. After completing the road contract, Mr. Betts decided to make Harrisonburg his home, and opened the Betts Quarry in eastern Harrisonburg.
The Valley was slow to feel the privations of the Great Depression, but by 1933 demand for crushed stone had dwindled. As the ‘30s progressed, the other ‘alphabet soup’ agencies of Roosevelt’s New Deal provided more job opportunities, with funding for civic construction projects. The Skyline Drive was one of these major projects. The Skyline Drive required a lot of crushed stone and asphalt to build the new mountaintop highway. The paving contractor set up a new paving plant in Betts Quarry and hired Robert Y. Frazier, a soon to be son-in-law to run the operation.
The rural nature of the Shenandoah Valley changed rapidly in the years after WWII as both the population and transportation needs boomed. Ready-mixed concrete emerged as an essential construction material. Betts and Frazier Ready Mixed Concrete was opened in 1950. During this time the Betts Quarry was idled, and The Frazier Quarry began its first operation, the Waterman Quarry owned and operated by Mr. Frazier. Both businesses thrived during the Interstate highway construction years. The concrete business was sold in 1972 to focus on operating the Waterman Quarry.
With the rapid growth of Madison College, the Harrisonburg area also experienced tremendous growth. Soon Waterman plant was at capacity and The Frazier Quarry needed to expand. North Quarry was permitted and opened in 1978. For the next 30 years, the Waterman Quarry and North Quarry ran in tandem to supply the needs of the growing area. In 2008, Waterman Quarry had mined out and all production was moved to the North Quarry site.
In 2012, The Frazier Quarry acquired the Elkton Plant to assist in meeting demand for crushed stone in the Shenandoah Valley. This plant provides an outlet for agricultural lime that is a mainstay for farming throughout the state of Virginia. In addition to agricultural lime, construction stone is provided throughout the eastern side of the Valley by the Elkton Quarry.
The Frazier Quarry continues to grow as just this year, the 3rd operation, Thorndale Quarry has opened and is providing quality stone to the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, with the same commitment to our customers and communities that has been in place for decades. This quarry will assist North Quarry with demand for construction stone as growth from construction to improve I-81 begins, along with growth in Harrisonburg and surrounding markets.
"As with our customers and communities, our partnership with the VTCA is very important to The Frazier Quarry. The relationships that we have built, support we have experienced, and superb advocacy we have received by being members of such a great organization is something that we cherish and look to build upon for years to come," said Kevin Baker, Chief Executive Officer at The Frazier Quarry, Inc.