William Wise Boxley, founder of the company, was born in 1861. As a young man he went to work for J.C. Carpenter and eventually partnered with him building railroads, later working on such railroad lines as New York Central, C&O, Baltimore & Ohio, and N&W.
In 1906 Boxley established the corporate headquarters in Roanoke, continuing to concentrate their partnership in the railroad business, straightening and double tracking the main line railroads for N&W, C&O, and the Virginian. In the same year, they had contracts for over 100 miles of work totaling more than $3.5 million.
In 1908 they started their first quarry 58 miles west of Roanoke, known as Sinking Creek Limestone Quarry in Giles County. It was created to furnish ballast and concrete base for the construction of the Virginian railway. It also furnished crushed stone for roads and streets in the counties of Norfolk, Bedford, Suffolk, and Fayette as well as Princeton, West Virginia.
The second quarry, Pembroke Limestone Works, was opened in Giles County as well, and by 1916 it was the largest of the quarries. Quarry number three was opened in 1913, known as The Pounding Mill Quarry. The fourth quarry, Blue Ridge Stone Company opened in 1917. Most work was being done by hand, mule carts, and some steam machinery, their first mechanical shovel cost $4,500.
Because of his integrity and fairness, Roanoke Council chose Boxley as a candidate for mayor. Aligning with no political party, Boxley was elected in 1918. He held the only nonpartisan political term in the history of Roanoke. Not only is he credited with leading Roanoke through its modernization, he earned a reputation as a successful entrepreneur, community advocate and politician.
In 1922, the current Boxley building was erected downtown and at eight stories, was the tallest building in Roanoke. Boxley materials also contributed to the construction of Memorial Bridge and the Patrick Henry Hotel, as well as numerous foundations and roadways. Output increased over the years and in 1923 Trego Stone Corporation was opened as a new quarry near Emporia, Virginia.
Boxley ceased railroad construction but the production of ballast and screening continued.
A sand plant and rock dust plant was added in 1941 at Pembroke. In 1946 Pounding Mill purchased a Euclid Model 36-FD rear dump truck, the first appearance of the large trucks transporting stone to the primary crusher.
Pounding Mill opened the first new plant in 20 years, at Rocky Gap, Virginia. In 1983, Mt. Athos was purchased near Lynchburg and in 1984 Boxley bought Mercer Crushed Stone in West Virginia which provided plentiful stone deposits. A significant job was acquired when the Blue Ridge Plant had to provide approximately 85,000 tons for the construction of Roanoke's Valley View Mall, which was opened in 1985.
In 1984 the company adopted the slogan, "Quality From the Ground Up". They organized a higher community profile, building a softball complex with concession stand near the Blue Ridge property. In 1988 the company donated 5.2 acres near the Lynchburg location of Lawyer's Road for the Lyn-Dan Heights Volunteer Fire Department.
In 1987 the current Mission Statement was adopted. This is a written commitment to the customers and communities Boxley has always supported. It still holds true today despite company growth and expansion. Building on the integrity of his predecessors, Ab Boxley improved internal processes of maintenance, finances, personnel and the use of computer technology. The nineties provided additional growth & diversification that continues into the new millennium. Boxley - building on a century of quality.
A Historical Look
An early year steam shovel in operation at Blue Ridge
Abney Boxley Sr. at BC-1 in Blue Ridge 1946-1947
A truck being loaded at the sand plant in Blue Ridge
Mr Huff, superintendent, retired from the Blue Ridge Quarry 1960 and was their Mule Buyer in the early years.
The main plant at Blue Ridge that was in operation from 1917 to 2004
The current state-of-the art Blue Ridge quarry