The Stone Wall Initiative
Abandoned stone walls are the signature of the rural New England landscape. They are cultural ruins, woodland habitat, and pleasant scenery, all in the same package. This web page was written for those who are just being introduced to the subject.
ORIGIN OF STONE WALLS
Abandoned stone walls found in the woods all over New England have a long and fascinating story. Long before their recent re-discovery in the mid-20th century, and before they began to tumble and decompose, the vast majority of stone walls were built by early American farm families using stones that heaved up from the subsoil.
All of this took place long before the stones were buried by natural organic iprocesses, and even longer before hey were glacially quarried from the bedrock and scattered over the landscape. The ice sheets responsible for distributing the boulders were merely scraping the surface of the hard, heavily fractured rocky crust of northeastern North America, which had been created much earlier, during the episode of mountain building responsible for creating the ancient Appalachians.
That ancient rock was made of minerals that were made from elements that were made from universal mater, that was captured by our solar system during formation of planet Earth. Hence, the story of stone walls begins with the beginning of everything, and ends with the present moment.
Link to an expanded version of this history in Ten Easy Steps.
Link to Frequently Asked Questions about stone walls.
Link to the Purpose of Stone Walls, then and now.