BOSTON (WWLP) – The Becket Quarry and Historic Forest property has been transferred from the Becket Land Trust to The Trustees of Reservations.
The 300-acre property is the former site of the Chester-Hudson Granite Quarry, which was acquired by the Becket Land Trust more than 20 years ago when the quarry was proposed to be re-activated to provide crushed stone for use in the Big Dig project. Visited by more than 14,000 people in the last year, Becket Quarry’s popularity and stewardship challenges led the Land Trust to seek a partner entity to take over the management of the property. The will continue to be open to the public as it undergoes enhancements.
The announcement follows a $270,000 capital campaign jointly undertaken by the Becket Land Trust and The Trustees to provide a modest endowment and to fund property stewardship costs. The capstone gift to the campaign was a bequest by the Estate of Helen Brackett, a New York City resident who died in 2019. Additional donations were made by the friends of the Becket Land Trust, including the Central Berkshire Fund and the Barbara and the Gunther Stuhlmann Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.
“This combination of quarry and forest makes for a beautiful and intriguing landscape that is rich in history with a unique, archaeological feel,” said Trustees Acting President & CEO Jocelyn Forbush. “It’s an enormous responsibility to steward cultural outdoor places, and we are committed to balancing preservation efforts with accessibility so this property can be enjoyed by the public forever.”
After more than 100 years of operation, the Chester-Hudson Granite Quarry ceased full operation in the late 1940s, and a variety of vehicles and industrial equipment were abandoned. These artifacts from a bygone age are still there and their rusted remains are slowly being reclaimed by the forest. Planned improvements to Becket Quarry include work on the extensive trail system which laces the interior of the property, signage updates, and upgrades to the main access trail (the former railbed for the quarry railroad), which has been heavily impacted by last summer’s torrential rains. As The Trustees will be evaluating the potential to hold events and provide public programming at the property.