Have you seen this?

Stone wall, with moss, Putney, Vermont. Anna Kusmer.

Stone wall, with moss, Putney, Vermont. Anna Kusmer.

New England Is Crisscrossed With Thousands of Miles of Stone Walls

by Anna Kusmer for Atlas Obscura

Walk into a patch of forest in New England, and chances are you will—almost literally—stumble across a stone wall. Thigh-high, perhaps, it is cobbled together with stones of various shapes and sizes, with splotches of lichen and spongy moss instead of mortar. Most of the stones are what are called “two-handers”—light enough to lift, but not with just one hand. The wall winds down a hill and out of sight. According to Robert Thorson, a landscape geologist at University of Connecticut, these walls are “damn near everywhere” in the forests of rural New England.

He estimates that there are more than 100,000 miles of old, disused stone walls out there, or enough to circle the globe four times.

Curious to know more?

Also noteworthy is Hugh M. Raup’s 1935 Arnoldia feature covering early uses of land that comprises the landscape of the Arnold Arboretum as we know it today.

Have you seen this? Archive