Approximately two hundred years ago, early settlers in the James River basin of Buckingham County, VA, first knocked slabs of blue-black rock from the banks of Hunts Creek and used it to roof their homes. Unaware at the time, those settlers had discovered one of the finest veins of durable slate in the world.
Slate is produced today at the same location in Arvonia, Virginia (Buckingham County), under the trademark Buckingham® Slate. The uses of Buckingham® Slate are the direct result of its excellent durability, as well as its versatility and beauty. One of the first Americans to recognize the value and architectural beauty of slate in the United States was that master architect Thomas Jefferson. Geologist W. Rogers reported to Virginia Legislature that, "In texture, density and capacity of resisting atmospheric agents, it can scarcely be excelled by a similar material in any part of the world." He further recorded the use of Buckingham® Slate (still serviceable today) on the University of Virginia, specified by Thomas Jefferson for roof covering.
The Buckingham Slate Company was founded in 1867, and for the past 150 years has quarried some of the finest slate roofing, flooring and architectural products available. Today, Buckingham Slate Company has over 85 employees on 500 acres. The Buckingham Slate Company is the only quarry and manufacturer of slate in Virginia, and the only source of true Buckingham® Slate.
MORE PHOTOS: Splitting Slabs | Slate Inventory | Virginia Quarry Workers