It was here in West Quincy that America's large scale granite quarrying industry was born in 1825 when, after an exhaustive search throughout New England, Solomon Willard selected the area as the source of stone for the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown. With his development of the revolutionary construction techniques that made hard Quincy granite a practical building stone, Willard earned the title "Father of the Granite Industry". The Granite Railway, a Civil Engineering Landmark, was established in 1826. It was designed and constructed by railway pioneer Gridley Bryant, and many of his inventions are still in use today. Quincy became known nationwide as "The Granite City". The last active quarry closed in 1963; in 1985, the then Metropolitan District Commission purchased 22 acres including Granite Railway Quarry. Trail connections to the Blue Hills Reservation are protected by recent parkland purchases.