Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Ash Fork flagstone

I suspect that the Flagstone Capital of the World is ominously quiet in 2009. Probably next year, as well. Without yesterday's building boom, there is not much call for that yellow and pink and orange Coconino sandstone quarried northeast of Ashfork and over in the canyons by The Matterhorn. (Don't laugh -- look at your topo map while you motor east on the Drake Road and there it is, a big bluff that juts out from The Rim. I don't know why someone picked that memorable name.)

When the LH and I first moved to Arizona, a regular highway sight was the big flatbed truck loaded with slabs of flagstone, wired together in bundles for stability on the road. The trucks were heading out from Ashfork and Drake, destination those ever-expanding tracts of homes down in the Valley of Death.

The big flagstone yards are located in Ashfork; that is where I took these pictures the winter of 2007-8. BTW, if you want just one or two pieces of the stone for your yard or other use, take a ride out the Drake Road. There are plenty of drop offs by the roadside, free for picking up.

These reddish slabs are the same material as the famous Red Rocks of Sedona. The sandstone which is quarried comes from one of many differing sedimentary layers that comprise the Colorado Plateau.

Above, the standard packaging for the Phoenix market via flatbed truck. Other types of packaging below.

The pallet may be made in Canada, but the stone is certainly a native Arizonan.

Because the stone splits into neat flats, its main use is underfoot. Above, a staircase; below, stepping stones. A proper southwestern patio is almost always fashioned from flagstone. My fireplace is made entirely from flagstone.

The sandstone is also fashioned into bricks (above) or used locally for architectural details, such as the window lintel (below) at the Sparkes Activity Center (armory).

Then there is this sculpture in the gardens at Yavapai College. Quintessentially Arizona.


Anonymous said...

Nice pics. Lots of use for the stone.

Granny J said...

steve -- yes, indeed, the stone is quite popular in these parts.

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

In the 60's and 70's a local variety of sandstone, called Toodyay(two-jay) stone, was widly used as facing on fireplaces and feature walls. There's alot of muscovite mica in it, so that it has sort of a sheen.


Anonymous said...

Have always loved flagstone, always will.

Very nice post, GJ.

~Anon in AV.

Granny J said...

bro -- I'll bet that there are interesting and unusual colors ad styles of flagstone around the world.

anon av -- it's very pretty stuff!

Photo Blog Blog Top Sites Blog Directory for Prescott, AZ

Local Blogs - Blog Top Sites