Quarrying of Seneca Sandstone along the Potomac River began sometime around 1785. In 1837 this building, known as the stonecutting mill, was built. Here, men used a machinery powered by water running through the middle trench of the structure to cut and polish Seneca Red Sandstone.
The most famous building using sandstone from this site is the Smithsonian. But, we also see this red sandstone used in homes throughout the Ag Reserve, for example, at Rocklands.
In the late 1860s, this site was the center of a massive presidential scandal known as the "Seneca Stone Ring Scandal," which centered on President Ulysses S. Grant's stock ownership in the Seneca Sandstone Company, and the company’s illegal business dealings. - 2 hours ago