Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Round Stones Versus Not Very Round

John Henry says he used to be a 'round stone chauvinist'. 

When I met him back in 2005 he sought my assistance in locating and gathering 'dinosaur egg' stones - round-shaped, glacial granite. We collected a load of suitable stones at a quarry I knew of here in Ontario, and he arranged a truck to take it back to Washington DC where he was building his unique, angle-of-repose, round stone walls in his back yard. 

After we got to know each other better, having gone down the next year to build a fireplace for him at his other house ( a beautiful rolling hill 18 acre property in Virginia ) and then a year later to help build dry laid walls with him , he announced he'd changed his mind. He was through with round stones. He'd got religion!  

Contrasting stones and walling styles on John's property

He’d watched me building in the only style I considered appropriate for the tons of irregular blue ridge mountain stone in the area that was the only plentiful material available to work with. As he put it, he’d now become a 'flat stone chauvinist', but not until he’d given it a darn good try building round stone walls on his Virginia property too. 

The problem was that the stones in Virginia were not exactly flat either, nor were there enough of them for the project he wanted to take on. At that time, his dream was merely to rebuild the several existing older walls that and add a few new border walls. It was assumed all the walls look fairly traditional in proportion and shape, and be consistent with what is seen a lot of in that area of Rappahannock County. 

Having not found anywhere near enough surface stones on his property to do the job, and not eager to buy and truck in the hundreds of tons he would need to do such an ambitious project, he started looking under the property. 

But that’s tomorrow's story.

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