Wanda English Burnett, Editor
History has been preserved with the restoration of a Diamond
Iron Works crusher taking its place at the entrance of Hanson
Aggregates quarry just south of Versailles on US 421.
The old crusher dates back to the early 1930s and was
used by Karl Cord, grandfather of Mike Cord, who found the crusher
literally in pieces on his property in the late fall of 2005.
There was a main part, plus two flywheels, the jaw and
axle, he noted. He contacted Neil Allen, plant manager
at Hanson Aggregates to see if they would be interested in displaying
the old crusher that is much like the one they use today.
Employees of Hanson Aggregates, Bob Brison and Wayne Gunter,
did the work of getting the crusher restored and then, using
big equipment, were able to place it at the entrance of the
facility. It had originally been sitting on old timbers, which
were deteriorated from the weather. Brison constructed a platform
that would hold the massive piece of equipment and it was set
on a concrete form.
The Cords, known for their involvement with the quarry business,
had three generations working in the stone industry, according
to Mike. He said that particular crusher had been used from
the early 30s until about 1944, when it was retired.
At that time, his family had a contract to provide stone to
the Jefferson Proving Ground. They had to get permission to
buy another crusher to fulfill the contract. That was during
World War II when you couldnt just go out and buy things
like a crusher due to materials being rationed.
Mike noted that the flywheels on the crusher were belt driven
and turned by a steam engine and later a tractor. He laughed,
The family joke is that grandpa (Karl Cord) sold the steam
engine to buy grandma an engagement ring, and then the tractor
had to be used.
Much like the operation of today, dynamite was used to blast
the stone out of the ground, then the crusher was used to crush
the big chunks into smaller ones. My grandfather said
sometimes a sledge hammer would be used to break the pieces
so they would fit in the crusher, noted Mike.
The old crusher that once did the job of crushing thousands
of tons of stone that today are the foundations for much of
the county, sits proudly on a pedestal welcoming those who enter
the Hanson property.