Silica and sand mining started in the the Ottawa, Illinois region in the 1860’s. This region had large deposits of Saint Peter sandstone–probably the finest sands in the United States.
The mining industry grew. Along with that, glass manufacturing flourished.
The Ottawa facility was acquired by U.S. Silica in 1987. The plant produces 2.2 million tons of silica yearly. This sand is used in a variety of applications including glass production, foundry sand, abrasives, polishes, paint, filtration and frac sand and cement testing sands.