Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rebuilding the Past

A two-day hands-on walling course will again be offered by DSWAC on July 28 and 29,  2013 involving the rebuilding of a section of historic dry laid wall at the Farm on the 'Kingsmere' estate, near Ottawa. Students will learn basic elements of dry stone construction as they dismantl a section of damaged wall and reconstruct a traditional section of free standing wall the way it would have looked originally, back in Mackenzie King's day. 
Kingsmere Farm is one of many properties maintained by the National Capital Commission (NCC). The Farm is the official residence of the Speaker of the House of Commons. It is located at Kingsmere  in Gatineau Park in Chelsea, Quebec, near the nation's capital Ottawa.
The residence is so named because of its history as an old farmstead dating back to the 19th century. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King privately purchased the farmstead as part of his country estate at Kingsmere Lake. When Prime Minister King died, he left the residence and grounds to the Government of Canada  so that future Canadian officials could make use of the area. Many walls were built on the property and now could use some repair. "The Farm" is now owned and operated by the National Capital Commission which is sponsoring this event. 
This is a beginners workshop and requires no previous experience. During the weekend professional waller and Dry Stone Walling Across Canada founder John Shaw-Rimmington will explain the fundamentals of foundation, throughstones, batter, hearting and coping. 

Gourmet lunches will be provided both days. No tools were required. This is a shine and not too much rain event. Though this workshop was fairly labour intensive it is not backbreaking. This will be our fifth time we have organized and run a wall 'rebuild' event at the Farm. Generally the women to men ratio is about 2 to 5.
Write john@dswac to register. HST cost will be waived on the $230 workshop fee for those who register before July 1st.