All over the countryside New England and much of the Northeast are some of the loveliest and historical stone walls. Built by early American farm families using stones that heaved up from the subsoil. The walls were used to pen animal pounds, delineate boundary lines and outline farmland crop sections.
|image via WID|
|via New York Times|
|via NY Folklore|
|Boston Post Road via Flickr|
|The Jason Russel House via Arlington Historical Society|
Taking long country drives, finding backgrounds filled with stunning countryscapes is a favorite pasttime of mine. The best sights are those lined with stone walls. I even hop out of the car for a photo if one is just too beautiful to pass up...
|me at one of our favorite walls in Catskill farm country. It is covered in overgrown plants and lines the most charming property which faces that happy green barn & silo behind my huge head.|
Not all country estates are blessed with stone fencing hundreds of years old. So many homeowners build stone walls to create barriers between property lines or in place of old, dilapidated walls.
Joan from For the Love of a House (hands down, the best old home renovation blog in my Google Reader!) has shown such impeccably-reported progress of their barn renovation, which included re-building some stone walls as retaining support leading up to their driveway. See the details here.
|now those are some nice stones! image via For the Love of a House|
The poet Robert Frost lived on a farm in Derry, New Hampshire where he wrote "Mending Wall" in 1914, a blank verse poem about the constant rebuilding an old stone wall season after season with his neighbor.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
At the end of the day, Frost's stone wall neighbor quotes "Good fences make good neighbors."
Indeed, neighbor. Indeed.