News of the Day

WHEN VERMONT’S STONE WALLS BECOME TREASURES

by Craig Altschul

Visitors admire the rock walls so prevalent on Vermont properties; Vermonters are proud of their rock walls. Building those walls is an art, apparently one that is growing in popularity and causing an increase in stone wall building workshops, said the Burlington Free Press. Robert Jackson of Westford has an almost 1.5 mile stone wall built in the 1850s on his property which, according to waller Charley MacMartin, is one of the finest in Vermont. Charley should know. He builds and repairs stone walls. “This is a treasure,” MacMartin said of Robert’s wall. The wall recently was the beneficiary of some of Charley’s expertise to fix some damage done decades ago when an immense elm tree fell on it. Most Vermont walls are ‘thrown,’ a technique where farmers tossed stones littering their fields into low, long piles. People collect stones; others buy them. Charley, 87, who was born in the house in which he still lives hopes the wall remains long after he dies. We hope the same.

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Craig Altschul

About Craig Altschul

Craig Altschul is Editorial Director of SnoCountry.com. He is a veteran snow journalist, having covered the sport for more than 40 years. His syndicated snow sports humor column, Ski Tips, ran in newspapers across the country for 20 years. He was Global Editor-in-Chief for OnTheSnow for 12 years and has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Altschul is past president of both the Eastern Ski Writers Association and the North American Snow Journalists Association.

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