As I look out the window from my desk here at Tupper Hill, I see one. It’s a meandering, linear pile of stones tracing an old field that has now grown into woods. Gravity has been kind to it in some places and not so much in others. The section along the public road has been picked for the perfect, flat stones that once capped the wall.
I grew up with walls like this. I used them as trails to navigate my woodland playground, memorizing the wobbly rocks so as to not be launched into the leaf litter. I created imaginary, impenetrable fortresses that overlooked my domain. As a child I took them for granted, like many of us New Englanders do. After all, there are thousands of miles of them and rocks grow really well here.
These walls tell a story of how this land was used, a silent narrator voicing an effort made by someone whose name or face may be lost in time. As I have learned more about who built these stone walls and why they did, one question that I am curious about is how did they build them? Some walls are much more intricate and artistic than mere heaps of stones. Have you ever attempted to build a wall?
On Saturday, January 28th we will be kicking of our Winter Lecture Series with Kevin Gardner, author of The Granite Kiss and stone wall builder specializing in restoration. I have attempted to build a rather small section of wall and I wonder if someone like Mr. Gardner would even consider it an attempt! There is something about working with stone that is not an easily acquired skill, perhaps not a skill at all but a gift. I am looking forward to learning more from this speaker, who will be building a miniature stone wall during the presentation.
For more information, as well as a complete list of upcoming events, visit the calendar section of our website.