Monday, December 18, 2023

Skipped Stones

     "You've got rocks in your head!"

     Not exactly a compliment, but in my case it's true. Ever since my last post about stone walls I've had a head full of rocks. They are items that were inadvertently omitted and have been rattling around my noggin ever since. Time to get them out of there and make room for other silly stuff. 


Content Farm entrance near Coila

     The Stone Trust in Dummerston, Vermont is a great resource. You can take workshops or connect with skilled craftsmen thru them. Browsing their photo galleries is inspiration and delight. 

A Stone Trust workshop

     I know there are local stone masons but unfortunately don't have any contact info. If you see a recently constructed wall or feature that you like, maybe try asking the homeowner who built it. Lot's of varieties of quarried stone available locally: of course there is slate around Granville, marble in western Vermont, gneiss and other hard rocks often marketed as granite along Rt. 4 between Fort Ann and Whitehall as well as sandstone and limestone. Gravel pits also separate out larger rocks for sale. These are often a mix of types that have been rounded by action of ice and water. I'm sure the Slate Valley Museum in Granville can help you find stone and people to work it. The Rt. 4 commercial stone yards will also know who to get in touch with. Here's a link to Champlain Stone's site to get you started.

From the Champlain Stone website


     For a quiet walk in woods laced with old stone walls there's no better place than New Skete in White Creek. At the Monastery find the trails on the right in back of the kennels. Wander and enjoy. And thank the Brothers who created and generously share these enchanting paths.

     If you have time to go further afield a visit to Opus 40 in Saugerties, New York can be a revelation. Here you can wander 6.5 acres of stone sculpted landscape created by Harvey Fite over the course of a lifetime. I believe they've closed for the season but the stone will be there waiting for you next spring.

     Finally, I want to share a photo of a rather nondescript wall that nonetheless is near and dear to my heart. This is one Gwenne and I built many years ago when we were young and foolish (now I'm just foolish). It framed the entrance to our first house in Bacon Hill. A simple structure but what a lot of work. Building it has given me tremendous respect and appreciation for everything created from stone that I've come across since.

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