To improve the little income they were able to achieve with their poor farms on the plateaus of the Westerwald region, cooperative associations of small farmers quarried basalt. In the months between sowing and harvest, and whenever else there was time, cobblestones and basalt columns to demarcate country roads or to build dykes along the North Sea coasts were cut.
The quarry workers, called Kipper in German, profited from the impoverishment of the rural areas starting the in the mid-18th century and the economic upturn of the towns and cities, which were eventually able to afford to cobble their streets.
The quarry recreated in the museum with its protective roof is modelled on a real quarry near Merenberg south of the Westerwald. The workers laboured under a protective cover which also served as sun shelter to protect the basalt from drying out.