I spent yesterday working with seven students rebuilding a one hundred year old wall near Campbellford, Ontario. The wall is part of a network of walls at Ferris Provincial Park. The original land was owned by the Ferris family and about 15 miles of walls were built when the land was cleared starting about 1896. This is the second year the DSWAC has been involved in restoring these historic walls. Many of them are very wide 'consumption walls' which helped to store the vast amounts of stone that came out of the limestone bedrock every year up through the shallow soil.
The 35 feet of wall we are repairing in the park at this workshop has had about a third of the stones stolen or removed for other purposes over the last 60 years. Luckily the walls are still wide enough that there is enough material to rebuild them to their original height in the same style using the original stone.
Speaking of original. These are old metal maple syrup buckets which we are using to hold our hearting. Carol Robertson, one of the Friends of Ferris, provided these antique buckets for the workshop. They sure look better than the plastic ones we normally use. We like to think they would have been used around the same time as the walls were originally built. Not only will these stones add to the structural composition of the wall, sitting in these beautiful metal buckets they make a nice composition for a photo too.
Below is a photo of the wall with the three step stile we repaired last year, along with the string line set up for the new stretch we are fixing this year. Local vet and workshop participant Kathy Wilkins is putting on the gloves to put in one more hour of work which then ends this first wonderful day of walling at the park.