Through the 1890s, quarries blasted the Palisades for stone to make gravel and concrete. The largest of these, Carpenter Brothers' quarry, was just south of here (background photograph and B). Many thousands of tons of broken rock were taken from this quarry.
Public outrage at this "desecration" of the landscape was captured in newspaper articles such as this one (A) from the New York Times in 1895.
In New Jersey, the fight to preserve the Palisades was led by the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs. In 1897, club women toured the quarries by boat (C), making a stop here at Carpenters' quarry. Could a handful of women - a generation before suffrage - succeed in such an ambitious effort?
In 1900, New Jersey and New York, spurred by the women's clubs and with the backing of several prominent individuals and families, including New York governor Theodore Roosevelt, formed an Interstate Park Commission whose purpose was to close down the quarries and preserve the Palisades. John Pierpont Morgan would donate the funds to close Carpenters' quarry. The last blasting at this spot occurred on Christmas Eve, 1900.
The Palisades Interstate Park was formally dedicated in 1909 at Alpine Landing (D).