Valley of western Vermont is well-known world wide
for its high quality, multi-colored roofing slates some
of the best slates in the world come from here. Stretching
for 25 miles from north to south, the valley is dotted by
numerous quarries of stone that glistens purple, red, green,
gray, or black; stone that has been historically proven to
withstand the test of time on the roofs of buildings. Many
rugged men work these quarries, wrestling from the Earth
the massive stone slabs that will be skillfully worked by
hand into individual roofing shingles.
Dave Camara is one of those workers. President and founder
of Camara Slate Inc., Dave and four of his sons now operate
three working quarries spread throughout the valley. Camara
Slate also owns an additional dozen or so area quarries
for possible future development.
Dave started in the business by salvaging slates from old buildings
in the early 80s, trucking the salvaged slates around the
nation, and back hauling steel building components. His
slate salvaging business expanded rapidly, allowing, from
year to year, the purchase of bigger trucks and more slates,
and finally his first slate quarry. Truly a tale of hard
work, determination, and ingenuity, Dave Camara, with the
help of his family, has risen to the top of the field in
the slate roofing manufacturing business. Camara Slate
now offers for sale new slates of a rainbow of colors:
gray, unfading red, Spanish black, unfading green, unfading
mottled purple, sea green, purple, and Vermont
gray black. They also produce slate flooring, flagstones,
cladding, sills and copings, treads and risers, countertops,
and structural slate in a variety of colors. Pallets of
salvaged slates can still be found in the Camara stockyard
on Route 22A just outside Fairhaven, although these are
now dwarfed by the extensive inventory of new slates that
fill the yard.
Camara and his sons express a strong pride in their products;
their attention to detail and concern for quality and reputation
is remarkable. Shawn Camara (age 30) ran the Blissville
Quarry at the northern end of the valley, working alongside
the other men there, splitting slates and keeping an eye
on quality control. Here they produce the unfading slates:
mottled green and purple, unfading gray and unfading green.
Dave Camara Jr. (age 33) worked in the pit at the Blissville
quarry an experienced rockman, responsible
for selecting the high-quality stone that is needed for
splitting into roofing shingles.
Mike Camara (age 32) ran the West Pawlet quarry at the southern
end of the valley, while Danny (age 26) was the rockman
there. Here they produce Vermont black slates, semi-weathering
gray, and semi-weathering green slates. From their Wells
quarry, in the center of the valley, also come sea green
and semi-weathering gray slates.
Camara slates are shipped throughout the United States including
Hawaii, as well as to Canada. Their roofing slates have
the traditional punched nail holes as opposed to non-countersunk
drilled holes that are found on lower quality slates. The
holes are punched to allow for either a three inch or four
inch headlap. Camaras slate prices are very competitive;
their product quality appears to be quite high; their attention
to detail and concern for customer satisfaction is genuine,
and they offer information that is no-nonsense and straightforward.
As a result, Camara Slate is gaining an impressive reputation
among roofing contractors in the United States. Theyre
certainly worth a look when considering the purchase of
virtually any slate product.