In the middle of the 19th century when america was still a farming nation more than 250 000 miles of stone walls coursed through new england and new york. As the most common rock in new england granite was also the most popular stone for wall building but gneiss and limestone were also used.
In the early days of the country the entire region was farmland and these walls were used to separate properties or to build mills near lakes.
Rock walls in new england. The type of rocks that masons used to build stone walls in new england varied. This wall is thigh high and mostly built of gneiss and schist metamorphic rocks common in the valley flanks of central new england. In the following decades came inventories of the region s stone structures which some believed to be ancient.
These are also the few types of rocks found in new england. With thorson s help one begins to see a little structure in. A stone chamber in leverett mass.
Most of the estimated 380 000 kilometers of stone walls that had been built in new england by the end of the 19th century were made of fieldstone the generic term for rocks found lying in a field. Here we present a collection of images celebrating the beauty of new england stone walls in fall. The stone walls were built from rocks cleared from farm fields and used as boundary markers.
New england stone wall stone walls are commonly encountered in the woods of the northeast. Most of the time the rocks that were used in a wall were granite limestone or gneiss. These rocks were the most popular to use because they were found in abundance across new england.
Stone pens were developed to hold farm animals and stone formed the foundation for wood structures. Over the last 40 years starting with his family s business and now on his own kevin gardner has rebuilt some of that old fencing. The period between 1775 1825 is called the golden age of stone walls in new england.
Along with lighthouses covered bridges and white steeped churches new england stone walls are one of our region s most enduring reminders of the past. More skillful italian masons were engaged to construct laid walls in 2 stone over 1 stone patterns to increase their stability. Some of those ancient stone structures are oriented to the stars and planets.
They line country roads border cemeteries mark the edges of fields and even snake through the woods sometimes seemingly in the middle of nowhere. In the 1930s someone estimated that new england had 250 000 miles of stone walls. Most of new england except for far northern maine was deforested for small scale agriculture from the 17thc 19thc.
Surrounding states were part of this movement as well and it is estimated that over 250 000 miles of stone walls were built in new england and new york during this period of time.