Though this may look like a cave painting of a hunter chasing a “hefalump,” it’s actually the surface of a granite boulder at Watch Hill, Rhode Island. The light-colored zones are masses of feldspar crystals.

Aside from this website and public presentations, progress toward the SWI goals has been mainly through the publication of three books.  Each serves a different sector of the market, all of which are either in your favorite bookstore or can be ordered from it.  All remain in print.



SWI2-Scan StoneByStone

Stone by Stone, the most well known and authoritative, narrates the story from the region’s oldest rocks to the current dilemma of managing this cultural resource. The Washington Post called it a manifesto.


SWI2-Scan ExplStoneWallsCover

Exploring Stone Walls is the first field guide to New England stone walls. It’s the kind of book you keep near the door or in the glovebox of your car.  Bird-watching is seasonal. Wall-watching can be done all year round.


Book SWS

Stone Wall Secrets, co-authored with Kristine Thorson, is an award-winning illustrated children’s book designed to help teach school-age kids about Earth history using the human story of stone walls.



Happily, there are many other good books out there on the subject.  Below, I  list my favorite three.  For others, link to the growing Stone Wall Bibliography.

  • Allport, Susan, 1990, Sermons in Stone; The Stone Walls of New England and New York.  New York: W.W.Norton.  [A topical overview by a skilled writer.]
  • Gardner, Kevin, 2001, The Granite Kiss: Traditions and Techniques of Building New England Stone Walls. Woodstock, VT: Countryman Press.  [Written by a stonemason who is carrying on a family tradition.]
  • Hubbell, William, 2006, Good Fences: A Pictorial History of New England Stone Walls.  Portland, ME: DownEast Books. [Award winning photography with a reflective text.]
Layered sedimentary rock is often called the “book of time.” Here is a “stretch-pebble conglomerate,” within the Narragansett Formation, Jamestown, RI.