Large numbers of people migrated to Barre from Italy, Scotland, Spain, Scandinavia, Greece, Lebanon, Canada and a number of other countries. The population increased from 2,060 in 1880, to 6,790 in 1890, to 10,000 in 1894.
The first Scottish granite workers came in significant numbers to Barre from Aberdeen via America’s established granite centers in Quincy, Westerly, Ryegate and coastal Maine in the late 1870s and early 1880s. Some used Canada as a stepping stone into the United States.
Many had heard from friends and family about Barre’s granite center not near the ocean that had a drier and perhaps a healthier climate than the coastal centers. In the mid and late 1880s, many came directly from Scotland as letters and trips home spread the word. Most originally came from farms and small villages in the Aberdeenshire after having learned their trade in Aberdeen’s granite industry.
The first Scottish granite shed, owned by George C. Mackie and J.C. Simpson, was established in 1880. The statue of the Alonzo Fisher Monument in Elmwood Cemetery, the first sculpted granite figure erected in a Barre cemetery, was carved ca. 1894 in Mackie’s shed. In 1887 George Mackie built what is now known as Maplecroft for his wife Mary and their children, featuring its circular tower which was meant to remind them of the castles back home in Scotland.