Tuff Stone History

The original Ideal Quarry opened in 1869 and tuff stone from that quarry was used extensively in northeastern Oregon, including the John Day Valley, Wallowa and other communities. It was used to build many of the structures in historic Baker City, Oregon.

tuff stone building

Eventually the quarry closed, but we reopened it in 1991 in order to provide local stone for a project to restore the historic stone buildings in Baker City. It was a real privilege to be involved in that restoration project.

carved tuff stone

Tuff consists of volcanic ash that has been compressed over time into stone. It has been used for building material around the world, over many centuries because of its relative light weight. It can be worked very easily, sawn into blocks or carved into intricate decoration. Historic examples of tuff buildings exist all over the world, such as ancient buildings in Rome, for instance, and in Turkey. It is still a popular building stone today.