Global Awareness Local Action (G.A.L.A.) and Jack Mountain Bushcraft School are excited to announce the next feature in their monthly NH Re-skill-ience Workshop Series, hands-on workshops designed to help participants develop skills and knowledge that strengthen personal and community resilience. Workshop topics generally focus on sustainable living, bushcraft, and homesteading. The next workshop, “Stonewall Restoration Workshop” with Stu Stinchfield takes place on Wednesday, June 1st at The General Wolfe at 518 S Main St., Wolfeboro, NH. (not to be confused with Wolfe’s Tavern).
Stu Stinchfield started doing stonework when he was 15 years old. He was introduced to the trade when by helping an older gentleman rebuild a one-mile long wall. They became fast friends and the skill and passion for stonewall building stuck. Stu enjoys the fact that he can look back and admire his hard work years after completion. He particularly likes to cater his stonework to the unique interest and desires of his clients, and appreciates when they have a connection with the finished project. Each wall has a story to tell, some of them a smashed finger to two, all them a sense of accomplishment and contribution to the New England stonewall building lineage.
The origins of New England’s wall stones date back to between about 30,000 and 15,000 years ago, when the Laurentide ice sheet made its way southward from central Canada and then began retreating. “It stripped away the last of the ancient soils,” writes Thorson in Stone by Stone “scouring the land down to its bedrock, lifting up billions of stone slabs and scattering them across the region.” Most of the walls we find today in New England — on active farms or trailing off into overgrown forests — were built to divide fields, separating animals and crops, but each wall is unique, and classifying them requires distinguishing their function and structure.
John-Manuel Andriote describes the story of stone walls like this: It begins with glaciers during the last ice age, meanders through the Colonial and early New England farming eras, ebbs during industrialization in America as the walls were abandoned and fell into disrepair, and continues today with their memorialization in poetry and refurbishment. Be part of this stonewall saga by learning how to read and restore stonewalls. Stu will be discussing the different approaches one might take toward restoration, provide an overview of the different tools and how to use them, and also demonstrate some of the techniques and tricks of the trade. Participants will be introduced to the skills of running joints, two over one stacking, and feather and wedge, and if time permits, demonstrations will follow. Everyone will have time to practice their skills on site at General Wolfe where Stu is in the process of a restoring a segment of a stonewall.
This workshop takes place from 5:30 – 7:30 at The General Wolfe (518 S Main St., Wolfeboro, NH), which is NOT to be confused with The Wolfe’s Tavern. The cost to participate in the workshop is $15. Limited space requires pre-registration through G.A.L.A.’s website at www.galacommunity.org, or by calling 603-539-6460.