Lannon had become the center of the building stone industry by 1915, yet, according to research done by Jean Penn Loerke, in her thesis "Waukesha Limestone, the Quarries, the Kilns, and the Buildings" notes that in 1915, nowhere on record had the name Lannon stone appeared.
Rather, it was referred to as "limestone from the Lannon area."
This trade-name seems to have become associated with limestone building stone between World War I and World War II. Since 1950, this high quality stone and the village name of Lannon have become synonymous.
Other quarries like to use the name Lannon stone in referring to all limestone building stone, as it implies a higher quality than some beds really produce.
After World War II, the stone industry changed primarily from paving stone, lime kilns and solid-wall building stone, to by-products such as disinfectants, ornamental landscaping rock, and thin veneer-facing stone for building.
Portland cement had replaced mortar and macadam, power machinery had replaced pick and crowbar and modern markets replaced the demand for stone building blocks to more ornamental stone.
The low cost of old stone buildings — of which Waukesha County was so proud — was due to the abundance and excellence of local stone. That has faded into history as modern markets demand such a variety of stone that the few remaining stone companies import 40 percent of what they sell.
In 1959, more than 30 stone companies were listed in the local telephone yellow pages. Now, there are four. The Halquist Co. controls most of the building stone, having bought up the independent operations around Sussex and Lannon. Vulcan Materials specialized in limestone by-products.
The stone industry is not declining, it is just changing. Lannon stone houses are still popular, whether remodeled or modern.
The future of the quarries here may not depend on the quality or amount of stone available. It will more likely be restricted by social and governmental controls. The Lannon stone quarries are being circled by subdivisions, and population brings regulations and controls which may, in time, strangle this famous industry.
Until the days of World War II, stone provided a livelihood, in one way or another for almost everyone in the village of Lannon. Now less than 20 percent of the population depend on stone for a job.
Old settlers can tell many stories of early Lannon, all based on its quarries. Like the wise man who built his house on a rock, the village of Lannon was built on stone.
Old timers will tell you the community was settled by the Irish, but the colorful stories in Lannon's history indicate the Italians, the Poles, the Germans, and other nationalities have contributed their share to the growth and glory of Lannon and Lannon stone.