Wake stone
Company History

Wake Stone Corporation was founded in April 1970 by John Bratton, a civil engineer with 23 years of experience in the quarry business. He began the company with the purchase of approximately 100 acres of farm land near Knightdale, N.C. The granite reserves under the farm became the company's first quarry. Picture on left shows John Bratton (second from right) and his sons (from left) Sam, Ted and Johnny.

The first employees were John Bratton, Johnny Bratton, Duncan McCormick, and Ronald Bissette. Sam Bryant was hired three months later. Together they erected the first crushing plant and developed the first pit. After purchasing the farm land, Wake Stone spent the next 10 months preparing for operation. During this time, a competitor reopened an abandoned quarry on adjacent property, posing a significant threat to the newly formed business. However, a few key customers had pledged their support to Mr. Bratton during the company's planning stages, and they remained loyal to their commitments. Those customers were the key to the initial survival of the company, and they are among Wake Stone's most important customers today.

In 1974, the company took a bold step. It opened the Moncure Quarry to provide stone for CP&L's Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant in southern Wake County. Between 1974 and 1982, the quarry sold nearly three million tons of stone to CP&L. When the CP&L project was completed, Wake Stone closed the quarry.

The decision came at an opportune time. For several years, Wake Stone had been planning, testing, acquiring real estate options, and attempting to gain permission for a site in Cary. Finally, in 1982 with all permits in hand, Wake Stone opened its Triangle Quarry. It was able to move the crew and much of the equipment from Moncure.The Triangle Quarry is adjacent to Interstate 40 and a short distance from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The site gave Wake Stone a strategic location. Although the economy was in a recession, Wake Stone was positioned to capitalize on the explosive future growth in the Research Triangle Park area.

Six years after closing the Moncure Quarry, Wake Stone returned to the site in 1988 to take advantage of projected growth around Jordan Lake and in nearby counties. Reopening Moncure was like opening a new quarry. A new crew was hired and new equipment was purchased. Additional demands were placed on existing personnel. The last few years have proved the market studies correct. Moncure has been a very productive location, and its future looks especially bright.

Two years after reopening the Moncure site, the company established a quarry in Nash County. Companies had been searching for a suitable location for some time, but there were no quarry operations in the county. Perseverance and good fortune paid off for Wake Stone. The Nash County Quarry opened in 1990 and sales have grown every year. The new location in 1994 helped bring Wake Stone's total employment to 100 for the first time. In 2000, Wake Stone expanded into South Carolina with the purchase of 400 acres and additional mineral lease of 1,100 acres on SC Highway 9, fifteen miles west of North Myrtle Beach. Opened in 2002, the new North Myrtle Beach Quarry was also Wake Stone’s first venture into mining marine limestone. Overcoming many new challenges in this new market, Wake Stone now produces SC DOT Marine Limestone Base Course (MLBC), NC DOT ABC, Commercial Base, and Structural Fill for much of the surrounding area, as well as serving as a local sales yard for products from Nash County Quarry. In 2012, an additional Agricultural Lime Plant was constructed to provide calcitic Ag-Lime to North and South Carolina farmers to use as a pH raising soil amendment.

The years since 1970 have been a period of steady and controlled growth for Wake Stone. This approach has enabled Wake Stone to remain lean and efficient. By designing and building all of its operations, Wake Stone has provided continuing job opportunities for its employees and wisely managed its expenses. Almost half of Wake Stone's personnel have been with the company for more than 10 years. They have helped maintain the family atmosphere that goes back to the beginning. With their continued support, a strong customer base, ample stone reserves, and the continued economic growth of the Carolinas, Wake Stone is well positioned for years to come.