Everyday Fossils

If you're like us, you're constantly noticed the stone used in buildings and interior wherever you go. The stone used to build offices, churches, banks, government buildings, and residences always tells a story - Where did it come from? Why was this stone chosen? What's special about this material? Beyond those questions, there's the millions of years old story of how the stone was formed in the first place. In the case of limestone, that story includes fossils.

Most limestones form in shallow, calm, warm marine waters. That type of environment is where organisms capable of forming calcium carbonate shells and skeletons can easily extract the needed ingredients from ocean water. When these animals die, their shell and skeletal debris accumulate as a sediment that might be lithified into limestone. Their waste products can also contribute to the sediment mass. Limestones formed from this type of sediment are biological sedimentary rocks. Their biological origin is often revealed in the rock by the presence of fossils.
— geology.com

Phenix Marble (named thus in the early 20th century because our limestone has unique qualities that allow it perform as a marble) has many distinctive fossil inclusions, some of the most common being brachiopods, horn coral, bryozoans, and crinoids (the Missouri state fossil!).

Since Phenix and other limestones are used so frequently in historic and modern construction, chances are you walk by or on multiple fossils each day without realizing it. Atlas Obscura has an excellent guide to help you start hunting fossils in your daily life and on your travels.

How to Spot the Fossils Hiding in Plain Sight

Some of the most arresting evidence of prehistoric life is enshrined in museums: fossils, hoisted onto pedestals, interpreted with placards, illuminated by spotlights. But fossils can be anywhere-you likely pass some every day. Countless fragments of shells, corals, and other traces of long-extinct life are embedded in outcrops and the building materials that we stack to make everything from skyscrapers to town halls.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources Geologic Survey has an excellent guide to the fossils that can be found in the Missouri State Capitol.

Once you start noticing what's hidden in the stone all around us, it's a hard habit to break. Happy hunting!

2017 - Thin Veneer

One of most exciting developments of 2017 for Phenix was the introduction of our Thin Veneer product. We have been offering a full-depth option for some time and are thrilled to finally be able to offer a thin option as well. Our Missouri limestone is a classic, beautiful, and hardy choice for your home or commercial building. Many historic homes in the area feature the Carthage style building stone (especially in the Phelps Grove/University Heights neighborhoods). The thin veneer is a great option for matching that historical look, but in a more cost efficient way. Thin veneer uses less material than the full-depth stone and also requires less labor to apply. 

Nothing compares to real stone, especially local stone quarried less than an hour from your job site. The thin veneer is perfectly suited to outdoor use, as seen below, but is also a distinguished choice for interior use as well. 

Cut to an average thickness of 1 1/8” +/- with a weight of 15 psf or less.

We will have some display boards and more information about our Thin Veneer at the upcoming Springfield HBA Home show at the end of January. Plan to stop by the Phenix booth!

2017 - Professional Tours

2017 saw a lot of renewed local interest in Phenix and how the stone is produced. We had the opportunity to lead tours for several area professional groups including the Springfield Contractors Association and a new fabrication partner of ours, Solid Surface Designs from Billings. We love working with groups like this because is gives us a unique chance to educate builders, designers, architects, and fabricators about what makes Phenix so special. How many times do you get to recommend a product to a customer where you can say you've seen it's origin from pit to fabrication to install?

Along with these tours we sometimes offer a presentation about the material that covers its history, geological specifications, and primary uses. This presentation can be used to gain Continuing Education credits.

If your staff or group is interested in setting up a tour and/or CE presentation for 2018, let us know and we'd be glad to work with you.

2017 - Trail of Honor

One project we were particularly glad to be a part of this year was the Trail of Honor - a partnership between the Ozarks Greenway and Missouri Veterans Cemetery.  The dedication ceremony took place this October.

A special new one-mile trail section called the Trail of Honor is now open, meandering along the banks of the beautiful James River and through the edge of the Missouri Veterans Cemetery! This unprecedented trail segment is made possible by a partnership between the Missouri Veterans Commission, C.W. Titus Foundation, and Ozark Greenways donors. We invite you to travel through this landscape with respectful reflection in honor of our country’s veterans.
— Ozarks Greenways

The trail head is flanked by large pieces of Phenix stone - representing the dedication and service of our veterans. Along the length of the trail are Phenix benches featuring the seal of each of the military branches.