Saturday, July 9, 2011

Am I an idiot?

I should add that this dry stone wall we built nearly eight years ago was the subject of much controversy. We were instructed by the owner where to build the wall. Though it was nearly twelve feet back from the road (much further back than many other fences and retaining walls further down the street) it managed to set off the town alarms, in the form of one newly hired director of works and engineering. Apparently the road allowance mysteriously widens a full twenty feet more in front of this one house. He drove by several times while we were working and on the day we completed it he informed us that the fence had to be taken down.

This is just one example of an encroachment of stones closer to the road than our wall
which apparently didn't merit any cause for concern by the town.

I watched the drama unfold in various newspaper accounts. Back then I was always looking to read anything about dry stone walls in the local paper. We had only recently moved to Port Hope.

One article pointed out rather cleverly that the wall was built not using any mortar, but rather merely stacking random stone material and that it didn't have the usual deep poured footings for a foundation. I thought the writer had got the details perfectly and was extolling the virtues of this time tested way of building. My wife pointed out that no, it sounded more like the article was implying that only an idiot would try to build such an unorthodox wall.

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