Strip Mining — The Dark Side of the Stone Trade

Below is the complete text of a letter sent to a resident of Woodstock, Connecticut who, like me, is alarmed by the stone trade. The letter solicits an unnamed landowner — and who knows how many others — to sell the interior stone walls from their land, which just so happens to lie in the Quinebaug Shetucket National Heritage Corridor. I have three suggestions:

  • If you received such a letter, consider keeping your walls intact: the loss in long-term property value, rural heritage, and woodland habitat that “goes along with the stone” is a loss to us all.
  • If you do not approve of this activity, contact your town planner or local representative and make sure they know what’s going on.
  • If you are in the market for stone, look to alternatives that do not lead to strip mining.

Note: For anonymity, I left information that might identify the letter writer blank.

March 21, 2005

Dear Landowner:

My name is ……………. I am partner of Company Name. We are a local father and son fieldstone business that has been harvesting fieldstone for over a decade.

On your land, you may have thousands of dollars in interior stone walls. We offer a $500 security deposit before even going onto your property, which you hold until the last $500 worth of stones is removed from your property. We take a 100% of the stone wall including the rounds. Every truck is weighed up at a state scale in which you receive a copy.

This is a great opportunity for your land to help pay for itself!

If you would like a free estimate or have any questions, please call us at (860) XXX-XXXX. Local references are available.


Name (Partner)

A comment: I was especially struck by the statement that strip mining the stone walls is a great opportunity to have the land pay for itself. It made me wonder if the land was indebted to us, or if there are other ways that the land can pay, except with stone stacked by hand by those who built this nation.