Waverly Stone: A Forgotten Piece of Holland's History

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Next time you walk down 8th Street, check out the dark stone covering the face of our building, look across River Avenue at the Clock Tower, or take a walk to Graves Hall on Hope College’s campus.  That’s Waverly Stone.  

We named our restaurant as a nod to the beautiful stone and to celebrate the little-known piece of Holland’s rich history that we had never heard, even as Holland locals. We first saw the name on the plaque on the front of our building that celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the Incorporation of the City of Holland. It reads: 

This Victorian Romanesque building was designed and constructed by James Huntley in 1898. It was originally the site of the Van der Veen clothing store and later Hansen Drug Store, which occupied the building for almost 40 years. Faced with locally quarried Waverly Stone, the structure proudly displays ornately detailed oriel windows with convex glass. 

“Waverly stone” caught our attention. We were curious to learn more. 

It turns out that the stone came from  a quarry off Waverly Road and Chicago Drive right in our own city. The quarry was first active in 1866. In its early days, it produced a crude stone that was used in the foundation of some downtown buildings and in the pier ballasts at the harbors of Holland, Grand Haven, and Saugatuck.

When owners made major improvements to their production in 1891, builders started using the stone on the face of buildings like Graves Hall on Hope College’s campus, the Clock Tower on the corner of 8th Street and River Avenue, and our building at 20 West 8th Street.   

The quarry was active until the 1920s when cement blocks made the use of quarried stone unnecessary. Now the quarry is filled with pure spring water and privately owned. 

It was only in operation for about 50 years, but it left a distinct mark on Holland’s architecture. You’ll find Waverly Stone featured in foundations and facades across our city, and you’ll know it by its darker color. 

You can learn more about the history of waverly stone and the quarry here. Or enjoy just enjoy the view on our outdoor patio where you can see the stone in person.

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