• South Carolina
  • About
  • Advertise
  • Contact Us
South Carolina

South Carolina State Stone – Blue Granite

South Carolina SC Facts & Firsts SC State Symbols SC State Stone

The South Carolina State Stone, Blue Granite, is unique to the Midlands and the Piedmont region of our state, where granite can be found in abundance. When the bill designating this symbol was passed in 1969, legislators declared that it had been used "to beautify all areas of South Carolina" and was thus the most appropriate choice. It was even used in the 1908 construction of the South Carolina Statehouse, pictured below.

South Carolina Statehouse
SC Statehouse in Columbia

Often referred to as Winnsboro Blue Granite or simply Winnsboro Blue, this light-blue or gray-colored stone was quarried in Fairfield County between 1883 and 1946. Granite is an igneous stone, meaning that it was formed when magma (or molten rock) was trapped beneath the surface of the earth. There, it intermingled with other stones and particles (in this case, flecks of mica and quartz), cooling very slowly and then crystallizing.

Blue Granite
A Blue Variety of Granite

Granite has many uses beyond that of kitchen tile and counter tops. It can be cut into block and carved into monuments, or set as curbstone and building facing. Granite blocks with irregularities can be used in the construction of coastal jetties, which help prevent beach erosion.

A 1909 document from the Board of Public Works of Charleston reported that more than 28,000 linear feet (5.3 miles!) of granite curb were placed along its streets that year. Another 12,000 square yards of granite block were used to pave Charleston streets in the traditional cobbled style.

Cobble Street
A Street Paved in Granite Cobblestones

South Carolina has historically been one of the nation's top producers of granite. Granite weighs approximately 180 pounds per cubic foot, so transporting it by rail was the most efficient means. The Rockton and Rion Railway, based in Fairfield County, allowed large quantities of stone to be transported all over the country, where it was then used in building construction.

Buildings from Columbia all the way to Philadelphia were built from the stone quarried at the Winnsboro mine, pictured below. Local granite companies and the Rockton and Rion Railway made it possible for this small farming community to jump headfirst into the Industrial Revolution.

Winnsboro Mine today
Winnsboro Blue Granite, Abandoned Mine, Fairfield County, SC – Joel Gillespie

A 1893 publication by Clinton-native Thornwell Jacobs describes South Carolina's State Stone as "the silk of the trade." A prized stone, it was used in the 1912 construction of Songbird Manor, the first home in Fairfield County to boast an indoor bathroom. Prior to the official mine's operation, this beautiful stone was used in the 1803 construction of the Little River Church, located only a mile from the modern quarry. The foundation, steps, and even the fenceposts were all carved from blocks of Blue Granite.

More about Blue Granite


SC Gifts
SC Newsletter

Charleston Hotels
Columbia Hotels
Greenville Hotels
Myrtle Beach Hotels

Charleston Real Estate
Columbia Real Estate
Greenville Real Estate
Myrtle Beach Real Estate

Charleston Jobs
Columbia Jobs
Greenville Jobs
Myrtle Beach Jobs


SC Arts & Entertainment
SC Businesses
SC Calendar of Events
SC Churches
SC Cities, Towns
SC Colleges, Universities
SC Consumer Help Desk
SC Counties
SC Education
SC Elections
SC Facts & Firsts
SC Genealogy
SC Gifts
SC Government, Politics
SC Health, Medicine
SC History
SC Hotels
SC Jobs
SC Libraries, Museums
SC Maps
SC Movies
SC News
SC Organizations
SC Photo Gallery
SC Plantations
SC Pronunciations
SC Real Estate
SC Restaurants
SC Schools
SC Sports, Recreation
SC Tax Guide
SC Tides
SC Tourism
SC Vacation Rentals
SC Web Cams
SC Weddings