Since I'm a Quarryville Realtor and have seen the now flooded quarries that sit not far from my house the name of the town has always seemed self evident. But there is a bit of history behind it. Abram Barr, son of Martin Barr, who built the “Ark” that I mentioned in a previous blog first recognized the important fact that Quarryville marked the lower limit of the limestone in Lancaster county. The less fertile land of the “Lower End” lacked a necessary element, lime. Barr quarried the limestone that was burned in stone kilns into lime with the then abundant chestnut timber.
In 1825 Abram Barr laid out about twenty acres in lots of one-eighth of an acre each and these he sold to farmers to take out stone for their own use. They did this in the winter after all their other work was done. In order to be convenient to their work, about twenty good-sized log cabins were built and "Barr's Quarries” became quite a place. The lime was the making of the "Lower End"and the opening of new quarries began. Large kilns were erected and the quarrying of stone and burning of lime grew to be a very extensive business. At the time Abram Barr began the sale of quarry lots the prices were from $75 to $100 each. As time went by these same lots sold as high as $1,500.
Other kilns were built all over the lower end of the county, and the quarrying of stone became quite profitable. In 1833 there was no other business; but in that year Jeremiah P. and Lewis Haines built a frame store and dwelling-house and transferred their mercantile business from Darlington, Maryland, to Barr's Quarries. Quarryville was known only as "Barr's Quarries" until 1837 when one of the Haines brothers applied for the establishment of a post-office in the village and named it Quarryville. But it wasn't until 1849 that this facility was granted.
The lime business continued to grow rapidly at Quarryville, and considerable money had been made until about 1860, when the use of commercial fertilizers became more general, and the business began to decline. In fact it became almost extinct.
Okay enough of history. I'm a Realtor, not a historian. If anyone knows differently about how Quarrvville got its name, please let me know.
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