Light and shadow on wall built entirely of columns of  traprock (basalt lava flows) in Holyoke, MA. The columnar stones are laid across the wall like cordwood.

The Stone Wall Initiative (SWI) is an online resource for those interested in the historic stone walls of New England.   The SWI is coordinated by professor Robert M. Thorson, an advocate for their conservation and management, and formerly a frequent public speaker on this topic for land trusts, historical societies, environmental non-profits, public libraries, and “friends of…” organizations.  Though administered as an educational component of the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History,  the SWI is  regional in scope, and supported by the University of Connecticut as a form of scholarly engagement.

Link to:                       Mission            Goals               History             Contact

Acknowledgements:  The content of this web site represents the collective work of many offices and individuals, most notably Kristine Thorson, who co-founded the SWI and continues to advise me on the topic.  Jamison Judd of UConn’s, NEAG School of Education, and Musa Jatkowski of the University Information Technology Service helped update this website from its original clunky version in 2002.

There’s an increasing use of fake-rock in New England, some of which is made of plastic resin sourced from petroleum residues.