Stone Wall

©2006 Ruth B. McDowell

Much of the forested land in New England was cleared for farming and pastures in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries at great labor of men and animals, and the stones encountered stacked for fences and foundations. Without annual mowing or grazing, the land reverts to forest in a couple of decades. This barn foundation wall, about half actual size, is now deep within a forest of mature spruce in Colrain, Massachusetts. Most of the stone in this area is layered and makes good walls. Occasional granite rocks are rounder and harder to fit. Four similar sized pieces of granite lined up at the top of this wall like a frieze, survey woods now rather than the cattle yard.


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