Amberg, Wisconsin

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Amberg is a town in Marinette County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 854 at the 2000 census. The unincorporated community of Amberg is located within the town.

Contents

Geology

The Amberg and Athelstane Granites

Amberg is located in Northeastern Wisconsin about 75 miles (121 km) north of Green Bay in Marinette County. The Amberg-Athelstane Granite is part of the Wisconsin Magmatic Terrane. The Wisconsin Magmatic Terrane is an area formed by a tectonic plate collision at about 1850 Ma. marked by the Niagara Fault Zone. The Amberg Granite is one of the most extensive in Wisconsin. It is well known for its great variety of color and texture. The two most common types are a fine-grained gray granite and a course-grained red granite known as "Amberg red". These granites were a valuable commodity in the late 19th century and early 20th century, causing quarries to be started in the area.[3]

Dave's Falls is located about 1-mile (1.6 km) south of Amberg.

History

Labor history

There were several main companies in the Amberg area during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Amberg Granite Company was the first in the area and later, the Pike River Granite Company, which formed in large part due to poor working conditions at the Amberg Granite Company. The Amberg Granite Company was owned by William Amberg of Chicago and consisted of quarry operations in Amberg - the Argyle, Martindale, the Athelstane and Aberdeen. The Argyle and the Martindale quarries produced the fine-grained gray granite and the Aberdeen quarry produced the "Amberg red". The Athelstane produced a gray granite, but course grained, similar in texture to the Amberg red. Much of their granite was used in Chicago for curbing blocks and street paving. It was also used for buildings such as, the Minnesota State Capitol, and buildings in Chicago and Cincinnati. The Pike River company produced primarily the fine-grained gray granite and much of it was sold as monumental stone because of its strength and attractiveness. However in 1929, 500-600 cars of this stone was sold to the Universal Granite Company of Milwaukee to be used as breakwater stone. Although, once a thriving, profitable businesses, there are no longer any active quarries operating in the Amberg area. More about the history of these quarries and the surrounding area can be found at the Amberg Museum complex, this is located in the town of Amberg on Marinette County V, right off of Highway 141.[3]

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 72.7 square miles (188.3 km²), of which, 71.8 square miles (186.0 km²) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km²) of it (1.21%) is water.

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