Mullins Limestone Mine

Industrial / Kentucky

The Kentucky Stone Company operated a large above-ground and below-ground limestone quarry in Mullins (Withers), Kentucky.

Mullins, originally named Withers after a large local family, was established along the L&N’s Kentucky Division mainline in June 1886. 4 The town grew to include 50 residents, a sawmill, and other businesses. A limestone quarry was opened adjacent to the Mullins Tunnel in 1897 and was later operated by the Kentucky Stone Company prior to 1939. 2 The quarry operated until 1979. The white crystalline oolitic limestone and a medium gray microcrystalline limestone 3 was crushed and used as ballast for the Louisville & Nashville Railroad (L&N), cement for roadways, and as agstone. 2

The Kentucky Stone Company also operated a rock wool production plant at Mullins, which produced an insulating material manufactured from argillaceous limestone or purer limestone in combination with shale, sandstone, or slag. 1 It required the fusing of the rock and then blowing the liquid into fibers by a strong jet of steam. The rock wool facility was destroyed by fire in February 1939. 5


  1. Miller, Arthur M. “Miscellaneous Mineral Resources.” Geology of Kentucky, Kentucky Geological Survey, 1919.
  2. Subsurface Sites.” n.d.
  3. Richardson, Charles Henry, editor. “Rockcastle County.” The Building Stones of Kentucky, 1st ed., vol. 11, ser. 6, Kentucky Geological Survey, 1923, pp. 94–96. 6.
  4. Rockcastle County – Place Names.”
  5. “Mineral Wool.” Nonmetallic Mineral Industries in 1939, by Paul M. Tyler and Oliver Bowles, Department of the Interior, 1940, p. 22.