Rutland Herald
February 10, 1977

Vermont Marble Company Considering Expansion
By Harry Jaffe

Proctor – Expansion of the Vermont Marble Co. operation in Rutland County may occur in the future.

If the proposed additions to one of the area’s major industries are completed, the county will benefit from both a new factory and increased job opportunities. The company is based here in Proctor.

Vermont Marble President F. Ray Keyser Jr. said Wednesday in a telephone interview, "We are looking at possible expansion of the company."

Although he stressed that potential growth would remain in the planning stages for at least a year, Keyser’s statement sheds important light on the future direction of the marble company.

In October, a Swiss firm bought the controlling interest in the Vermont Marble Co. that had been a major political and economic force in the state for over 100 years. Pleuss-Staufer North American Inc., a subsidiary of the Swiss firm, purchased the company from the Proctor family, the original owners.

The trend of the marble company’s activities will be toward the Swiss company’s interest in calcium carbonate, a very fine product of ground marble.

Keyser said there will definitely be no reduction of the company’s current operation. "It will be business as usual," he said Wednesday, "with possible expansion of the company."

Calcium carbonate is the chemical compound that composes marble rock, Keyser explained. Producing the chemical is accomplished by "extration and processing" of the stone into a "super-fine ground," he said.

The end product is then used as "extender and filler" for use in plastic and paper, he said.

Keyser said plans for manufacturing calcium carbonate definitely include construction of plants. While he said such plants would be built in Rutland County, he was unsure of the exact locations.

Last year, before Pleuss-Staufer purchased its interest in the marble company, it was conducting tests in the towns of Tinmouth and Danby, to determine if a quarrying operation should be begun there. There were rumors then that the Swiss company might also open a processing plant in Clarendon.

However, when Pleuss-Staufer purchased the marble company interest in the summer, officials indicated there would be no quarrying at the test location in the near future, and Keyser on Wednesday didn’t give any indication whatever that Clarendon would be the site of expanded operations.

The company and its diversified subsidiaries include plants that manufacture a variety of marble products and also Callahan Ams Machine Co. in Center Rutland which makes metal food and beverage containers. Close to … employes work at…various marble comp…operations, and..number could increase…the planned growth, according to Keyser.