What started as an idea to write about Authenticity in Construction Materials brought us to this… a great example of history mixed with lasting buildings… the Stone House. What makes a well-constructed stone masonry construction is the craftsman’s ability to learn to mix a proper mortar, and mix that with the ability to complete a puzzle of odd pieces achieving what seems to be a disappearing art… taking random shapes and achieving a consistent space between each stone. This combination is what keeps the assembly plumb, level and square-ish for centuries.
Here is a nice example where we can prove without a doubt that it is at least as old as the American Revolution. This is George Washington’s headquarters (the original) at Valley Forge. Beautiful for the detail of the jagged stone edges so perfectly spaced.
On another adventure in Olde Saybrook Connecticut took us to The former Castle Inn at Cornfield Point. A once hotel for celebrities in the 50’s on Long Island Sound, they now offer a room above the garage on Airbnb. Also, local stone (a must for any purist), notice the “quoin” (ye olde French word meaning corner). The stones overlap and are the easiest way to tell the difference between an authentic stone structure and a façade of veneer stone that uses cut corners.
In our hometown of Sherborn, we have a magnificent stone structure, constructed in 1796. The Stone House was built as a tool factory and is now a residence. Check out that old Yankee fit and finish and think about the weight of some of these stones being hoisted up. Not in bad shape at all for a building constructed about 230 years ago. If you’d like to see more historic homes in Sherborn that are part of the fabric of our history, read more.
Photography credit: @townofsherborn on Instagram