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Events and Items of Interest, July 22

TODAY! 6/22 @ 6 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time

Troubled Waters: A Review of Historic

Best Practices in Stonemasonry

A webinar sponsored by Friends of Santa Fe Architecture. Presented by TST professional member Joe Dinwiddie. 4 p.m. Eastern

Participant Submission from Jim Wood

This dry stone retaining wall holds back the oversteepened slope of a mine tailings dump at the F St crossing of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad (V&T) in Virginia City, Nevada.
Wannabe miners flooded into Virginia City in 1865 including the largely Irish labor force of the Central Pacific Railroad which at the time was still building its rail line in the Sierra Foothills of California. Some of those Irishmen probably brought walling skills with them.
While not perfect, this near vertical wall still stands after some 140 plus years.
The stone in this wall is composed of andesite, a type of lava with a lighter color than basalt due to a different mineral composition. Andesite is a dominant ore bearing rock in the surrounding Comstock Lode mining district. The foundations of remnant mine workings littering the landscape are similarly composed of this strong rock.

This section of the V&T was built begining in 1869 to connect the rich silver mining district of the Comstock Lode with the state capital of Carson City.

Participant Query

Evan Robinson emails, “I was curious if you could direct me to some good books, articles, links, etc. that might help me figure out how to tunnel my way through a 15 foot long fissure crack made up of solid limestone that I need to get past?” He has been digging his way through a dry cave that he purchased several years ago.

If you have thoughts for Evan, please send them to We’ll make sure he gets them.

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