The granite industry isn’t just a thing of Barre’s  past. Rock of Ages Corporation (560 Graniteville Rd., Graniteville, 802/476-3119, www.rockofages.com ) still cuts stone out of the same deep holes it has mined for more than 100 years. The company now gives narrated tours (9:15 a.m.–3:35 p.m. Mon.–Sat., late May–mid-Oct., $5 adults, $4.50 seniors, $2.50 children 6–12) of its main quarry, where a platform looks out on massive machines cutting blocks of granite more than 600 feet below. Guides explain the meticulous methods for cutting the ginormous blocks, which include boring dozens of small holes beneath the blocks and then blasting them free with dynamite.
Recently, the company inaugurated a visitors center (9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat. May–Oct., free) that includes historical memorabilia about the granite trade as well as a “cut stone activity center” where you can try your hand at sandblasting and other activities. And if you are really thinking ahead, you can order your own headstone from a showroom on the premises.
Separately, a volunteer group is working on transforming a former 30,000-square-foot granite shed right off Route 302 into an even more elaborate Vermont Granite Museum (7 Jones Bros. Way, 802/476-4605, www.granitemuseum.org ). For now, the volunteers run a more modest visitors center (Pinsly Depot, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Wed.–Fri.) with historical memorabilia.