About Field stone (i.e., masonry) installation

Fieldstone is an interesting word. Its origin is based on an annual ritual that early farmers, and farmers today, had to perform each spring. After the snow would melt off the fields, there would be stones popping up through the soil where none had been the previous fall.

These rocks are forced up little by little each winter season through the soil by frost action, and every year some finally burst through like a little chick pops out of an egg. Since these stones were discovered in the fields, the farmers would call them fieldstone. See Mom, that college tuition paid off! When I went to college, I majored in geology, and learned all about frost and stones at that time.

It didn't take farmers long to figure out what to do with these seemingly pesky stones. The first use of the stones was for foundations to the homes, barns and outbuildings as well as a fieldstone fireplace or two. But as more stones floated up to the surface, farmers discovered they were perfect for a fieldstone wall. I'm fortunate to have many of these ancient fieldstone walls on my land in New Hampshire. When constructed properly, these walls can last hundreds of years without any mortar between the stones or a foundation!

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