Tidbits from Then and Now
February 15,1921 Rutland Herald
Submitted by Mickey Kelly and Fred Remington
Six Tractors Tug At 75-Ton Boulder
Massive "Hard-head" Will Rest in Main Street Park as Soldier Memorial
Mounted on its massive sleds and dragged about 600 feet from its resting place on the Dyer farm, two miles south of the city, the 75-ton boulder which will ultimately stand in Main street park as a soldier memorial, halted about sunset last night, stuck fast just below the fork of the North Clarendon road.
A Duplex four wheel- drive truck from the Rutland garage, four Cletracs from the Miller garage and two International tractors were hitched to the big load when it stopped, and it will probably take eight tractors and three powerful trucks to start the load this morning.
F.D. Cutler of Barre, an experienced handler of heavyweight stones, who has been in the granite business for nearly half a century, is in charge of the job and says the big rock is “irony hardheaded,” much heavier than marble or granite, He is anxious to get the big stone out of the hollow and up the hill before the snow goes. It will take about a week to complete the job with the best of luck.
Last night, when the drivers unhitched and headed for home, the boulder had settled fast in a slight hollow to the northeast of the place in the Dyer pasture where it rested for centuries. The broad tracks left by the 10-inch shoes under the sleds were as hard as glass and solid as iron, but, on account of poor traction offered by the snowy surface, the trucks and tractors skidded considerably and the gang called it a day and went home.
The boulder, roughly, 13 feet long, 9 feet wide and 10 feet high and the sleds on which it rests were especially made in the Patch shops in this city. The sleds are made of 10 by 12 dimension rock maple, seven feet long on the runners. The runners are bolted together with the strongest steel and from straps and braces and there is a six-foot tongue and heavy roll in the forward sled. The gauge of the sleds is about wagon-width.
It took five days and a half to jack the awkward, ill-shaped and tremendously heavy rock out of the mud in a springy spot and it took a massive rock maple frame to take the thrust of the 20-ton jacks which were used. These jacks are also used behind the load to start it out to wherever it stops while in process of transportation.
The trucks and tractors tried five times before they were able to start the rock after it was loaded, then, after they got going, went about 500 feet down the road before they stalled.
It is probably one of the most difficult rock-moving jobs ever attempted in this vicinity and was pronounced impossible by many experts who looked the rock over and marked the probable depth to which it was imbedded in the ground and the grades which would have to be surmounted before the park could be reached.
There is quite a grade from were the rock now rests at the Mead farm, and Gouger hill, one of the terrors of old-time teaming, will probably be somewhat of a test of power. The local agents for trucks and tractors are very anxious to show what their machines can do with heavy loads and Mr. Cutler, expects that by tomorrow he will have the rock up into the main road and well on its way.
If the hitch of eight tractors and three trucks does not start the boulder and sleds tomorrow, Mr. Cutler will look about for “more beef”, but that the outfit will ultimately get to Main street park and deliver the boulder to the Daughters of the American Revolution, who are setting up the memorial, he has no doubt whatever.
It is intended to place the boulder in an attractive situation in the park and mount a tablet thereon, bearing the names of the “gold star” men from Rutland who lost their lives in the great war. The concrete base has been prepared.
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