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If you listen, stone walls have a story to tell

After our last big medley weekend of workshops is over and with days getting shorter, grab a good book to read during those long, dark evenings. If you look closely at the books in our online store, hidden among the assortment of ‘how-to’ books, you’ll find two gems on the history of stone walls. The perfect way to deepen your understanding of walling and its ancient past.

Sermons in Stone by Susan Allport

What do we actually know about stone walls? About the people who built them, and why? The author takes the reader on a fascinating journey that begins in the Ice Age and that has been shaped by the fencing dilemmas of the nineteenth century, by conflicts between Native Americans and colonists over land use, by American waves of immigration and suburbanization.

Stone By Stone by Robert Thorenson

Stone walls tell nothing less than the saga of how New England was formed. And even though most of them are crumbling today, they contain a magnificent scientific and cultural story about how they formed and the humans who built them. Travel back in time and discover the secrets these walls have to tell.  Bill McKibben writes, “Now I know why all the stone walls I’ve ever stumbled across in the northeast woods are thigh-high–along with about a thousand other interesting details that shed illuminating light on the human history of this sweet region.”

These two books are also available in our Wall History Book Pack for additional savings.


One other publication rich in the history of stone structures across the world, built centuries ago and being replicated today, is StoneChat, edited by Sean Adcock and published by the Dry Stone Walling Association (DSWA).  New issues arrive as Sean has time and content enough to create them. As Sean asks, “Is a sometime periodical, a sporadical?”

We’re excited to announce that we just received Issue No. 33 (Spring 2021) featuring a look at how endangered stone buildings in Punta Nati, Menorca have been safeguarded. Another article discusses dry stone huts in Mallorca and connects the tradition of corbelling to other locations across Europe and Africa. Issue No. 33 also includes a piece on the moai–the enormous stone statues of Easter Island. How did they do it? You will also find several articles applying the tradition of dry stone walling to contemporary projects.

The StoneChat is a member benefit for all Basic, Professional and Corporate Members of the Stone Trust. Current members can expect Issue No. 33 in the mail within the next few days. We’d love to have you join us as a member! We’ll get StoneChat in the mail to you!

Joining us now gets you four additional membership months, since our membership year runs March 1 thru Feb 28. Your membership continues through Feb. 28, 2023.

Membership also comes with a 10% discount on all store merchandise and on workshop registrations.

Last, but certainly not least, becoming a member helps extend high-quality training in dry stone work to more people in more places. Through your membership you help preserve and advance the art and craft of dry stone walling! Please join us!