Pearl Street Slate Family
Pearl Street Slate Company was inspired by first and second generation slate makers who lived in the little yellow house at 11 Pearl Street in Granville, New York. For generations, the Labas family has been a respected family in the community and slate industry that hugs the New York/Vermont border. Their dedication to working with the natural materials and the hand cut process continues today. Third generation slate maker Paul Labas carries on the tradition of his parents and grandparents working in the quarries. From that tiny little Granville street and the stone from their Vermont quarries, Pearl Street Slate Company was born.
In the summer of 2014 Paul and Patrick Gilgallon combined their dedication to the slate business and working with an all natural and beautiful resource. Our goal? To design, create and offer to you functional yet aesthetically pleasing serving slate and items for entertaining that will fit any decor from rustic to cabin, cottage to mansion, contemporary to modern. We have designed a piece to help you enjoy entertaining at home for many years to come.
As Pearl Street Slate Company, we dedicate ourselves to the two previous generations of Labas family and proudly carry on a tradition and work ethic worthy of their efforts in the quarries and making slate.
First Generation Slate Maker accompanied by Wife
John and Anna "Baba" Labas in The Alley. c. 1930 ~ Photo Courtesy of Slate Valley Museum
John, George, Michael, Andy and Alex growing up in The Alley, Granville, NY.
Photo Courtesy of Slate Valley Museum
Father of Paul Labas
Second Generation, Michael "Pinkie" Labas in The Alley, Granville, NY. ~ Photo Courtesy of Slate Valley Museum
Second Generation Labas Brothers
Brothers Alec Labas, Andy Labas, Mike Labas, George Labas, absent from photo John Labas, work to establish Labas Slate Company in 1967. ~ Photo Courtesy of Paul Labas
Life in the Alley
"The Alley," a cultural melting pot in Granville, NY, was home to the many immigrant slate maker families. Life in "The Alley" meant friends, family, connections to old world traditions or maybe even a fist fight! ~ Courtesy of the Slate Valley Museum. Front row: Pete Macura, Unknown, Andrew "Wob" Labas holding Pete the Dog, Unknown, Mickey Billow Back row: Michael "Pinkie" Labas, John "Abie" Labas, "Kersey" Volk (lived on Water Street) , Anna "Baba" Labas, George Labas, John "Lefty" Hritz, Unknown , Billow ~ Photo Courtesy of Slate Valley Museum
Rare Photo of Labas Family
Grandmother to Paul, Anna "Baba" Labas with son George Labas in The Alley, Granville, NY. ~ Photo Courtesy of Slate Valley Museum
A Mother and Her Sons
On leave from the war for the death of their father, four Labas brothers and cousins gather around and comfort Anna Labas (in center) for the funeral services of her husband John Labas, 1943. Courtesy of the Slate Valley Museum. Bottom row left to right Andy Labas, Mickey Billow, Hancha Billow, John Billow. Top Row left to right John (Abe) Labas, Mike (Pinky) Labas, Anna (Baba) Labas, Katy (Basher) Labas, Mary(Billow) Labas, George Labas. Picture was taken at the time when their father died suddenly. The boys all were able to make it home from WWII to attend the funeral except Alec (the youngest Labas brother) who was still in boot camp in Florida.
Beecher Quarry, West Pawlet, VT.
Pearl Street Slate Company in the early years (1902). Purchased in 1967 by Michael "Pinkie" Labas. Courtesy of the Slate Valley Museum
Big Ed working in the Pit
Life of a quarry worker. Using a hammer and chisel to separate a block of slate from the quarry's natural bedding plane. ~ Neil Rappaport, from the collection of the Slate Valley Museum
Quarry workers drill a hand hole to cut a large block in half, preparing the slate blocks for the hoist out of the pit. ~ Neil Rappaport, from the collection of the Slate Valley Museum
A Quarry in the Winter
The carriages sit quietly in the frigid air waiting to go back to work. The stone will not be worked during winter weather for fear of the rock freezing in mid air while being transported to the shanties. ~ Neil Rappaport, from the collection of the Slate Valley Museum
Using a diamond tipped blade to saw a block of slate into smaller sizes for splitting. ~ Neil Rappaport, from the collection of the Slate Valley Museum
A large block of slate being "hoisted" from the depths of the quarry via the "Billy Wheel" and "Carriage." Large blocks are delivered to the shanties for processing. ~ Neil Rappaport, from the collection of the Slate Valley Museum
Paul and His Brothers Learning the Ropes
Top photo: Third generation slate makers Paul & John Labas working the yard to prepare the stones for the saw. Bottom Photo: Third generation slate makers John, Paul, and Mike Jr. supervised by second generation slate maker Alec Labas. ~ Neil Rappaport, from the collection of the Slate Valley Museum
Two Generations of Labas FamilyAfter hours of learning the trade from their father, Mike Labas Sr., Paul and Mike Jr. take a break for the camera with their Dad. ~ Neil Rappaport, from the collection of the Slate Valley Museum
The quiet and beauty of the quarry's west slant during winter. ~ Neil Rappaport, from the collection of the Slate Valley Museum
Vince Considers Next MoveMaster rock man inspecting a slate block in the pit before hoisting. This block will be be processed into slate tiles...or possibly slate products for the kitchen and home. ~ Neil Rappaport, from the collection of the Slate Valley Museum