Public demonstration of derrick
The public will have the rare opportunity to see the 100-year old wooden Liberty Derrick at work at Quarry Park and Nature Preserve on Saturday, June 15. The derrick will be put into operation as part of Waite Park’s Spas Tag Festival.
Derricks were the main equipment used by granite companies from about 1900 to 1950 for lifting huge blocks of granite from the quarries. Now Stearns County Parks will operate the Liberty Derrick to demonstrate the process to the public. A four-ton block of granite will be hoisted from the quarry floor at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 15. Excellent viewing locations will be the observation areas along Quarries 17 and 18, and just south of the parking lot.
In addition to the derrick operation, visitors will be able to see interpretive displays, view the operation shack and talk to staff about quarrying. Parking at Quarry Park will be free that day.
The Stearns County Parks Department acquired the Liberty Derrick in 1996. After painstaking restoration work that began in 2005, and thousands of dollars in donations, the derrick was fully restored in 2008. Today the derrick is operated once a year; however, visitors can view the derrick exhibit anytime Quarry Park is open.
A seven-minute video on the “History of the Liberty Derrick, Lifting the Past into the Future” can be viewed on the Stearns County website at co.stearns.mn.us.