Kevin Gardner’s Discovering New England Stone Walls

By Rita Norander, Andover Historical Society

There was a full house at the East Andover Grange Hall on June 15 for Kevin Gardner’s Humanities to Go program on Discovering New England Stone Walls. The evening was sponsored by the Andover Historical Society with a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities.

Kevin explained how and why New England came to acquire its thousands of miles of stone walls, and how they were built and changed over the years. The whole presentation was delivered without a glance at notes, while Kevin was busily building a miniature stone wall on the table in front of us. Kevin’s vast knowledge and humorous delivery made for a very entertaining and informative evening.

Following the program, the audience had many interesting questions for Kevin. My favorite was ‘How do (or did) people build stone-lined wells?’ I have always wondered about that! In case you have, too, the answer is: Most builders start by excavating a cone-shaped area in the ground. They begin the circular stone building at the bottom of the cone, and fill the earth back in as they go!

Refreshments were available following the program, as many people lingered a bit longer to chat with neighbors and friends. Others took advantage of the time to ask Kevin a few more questions, while still others were busy buying one or both of his books – The Granite Kiss and his newly released Stone Building.

The Andover Historical Society and the New Hampshire Humanities will be sponsoring another program on October 19 entitled “New Hampshire on High: Historic and Unusual Weather Vanes.” The presenter will be Glenn Knoblock, and it will once again be held at the East Andover Grange Hall beginning at 7 PM. Join us for another enjoyable evening.