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Transportation planning

Basalt Cobblestone Quarries

Did you Know?

The quarries were in operation in April 1903, but there is no record of when they were finally abandoned.


Circa ~ 1880


N.W. Main St., and N.W. 291st St., Ridgefield
Directions to the Quarries District

Open to public?

This property is open to the public as the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.


Basalt Cobblestone Quarries



The Basalt Cobblestone Quarries represent not only an important turn of the century industry in Ridgefield, but also a significant step in the development of Portland, Oregon from a frontier settlement to an urban and commercial center.

Beginning about 1880, basalt blocks were quarried near Ridgefield and barged upriver to Portland for use as paving material. The basalt was chipped into brick-shaped pieces of a standard size, called Belgian Block and laid on the streets. The blocks were also used for sewer line construction.

John (Jack) McKie operated the quarries, working under contract to the Portland Contracting Company. The Belgian Block paving eventually proved as unsatisfactory as other paving materials were used. 

  • Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.
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