University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Ten Walls

On February 13, 2005, The Hartford Courant published a cover story for its literary supplement Northeast Magazine about the new book Exploring Stone Walls. As part of that story they ran a sidebar with a short list of TEN GREAT WALLS, selected by the editor from my larger list of 45 touristy and noteworthy walls. Each is superlative in its own way. Here’s what they picked:

 

#1 – MOST FAMOUS

SWI2-Ph TenWallsDerry

Robert Frost’s famous “Mending Wall” in Derry, New Hampshire

#2 – MOST NON-TRADITIONAL

SWI2-Ph JaggedMarthVine

Modern wall in Chilmark, Martha’s VIneyard, built of recently blasted quarry rubble and well-milled glacial stones.

 

#3 – MOST  VOLCANIC

SWI-Ph TenWallsHillStead

Tall faux dry-stone wall at the Sunken Garden of Hill Stead Museum, Farmington, CT is built almost entirely of basalt that fractured into columns.

 

#4 – MOST HUMBLE

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Pinhead wall on the roadside at Acadia National Park, Mt. Desert Island, Maine. These “one-hander” stones were tossed in a pile at the end of an inconsequential wall.

 

#5 – MOST IMPORTANT

SWI2-Ph TenWallsOldManse

Crude wall at the Old Manse, in Concord, MA. Important for three main reasons: (1) pasture fence; (2) military expedience; and (3) it helped inspire Ralph Waldo Emerson to publish Nature in 1836.

 

#6 – MOST THREATENING

SWI2-Ph TenWallsDixville

Tall, “no-trespassing” wall in Dixville Notch, NH is out of place in this quasi-wilderness environment.

 

#7 – MOST TALL

SWI2-Ph TenWalls Newport

Mortared sea wall beneath the Cliff Walk in Newport, RI.

 

#8 – MOST BOULDERY

SWI2-Ph TenWallsBouldery

Glacially milled boulders of New Hamsphire Granite rolled and levered into place in Center Harbor, NH.

 

 

#9 – MOST DIVIDING

SWI2-Ph TenWallsStonington

Historic scene of old single wall along Highway #49 in North Stonington, CT. Though collapsed, it’s still evocative.

 

#10 – MOST FENCE-LIKE

SWI2-Ph TenWallsTiverton

Well-maintained pasture wall still being used as a fence (note posts) in the Tiverton-Sakkonet area, East Bay, Rhode Island.