DSWAC Comments

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Jack W

The stone wall you show on your web site, known locally as the Drummond
Wall, is in danger of being destroyed. Those of us amongst the public who
are concerned about retaining this historic (over 100 years old) and
beautiful structure are hoping the Town of Midland's Heritage Committee's
attempt to have the wall designated as a heritage site under Provincial
Provisions will be successful, but the developer who presently owns the
property is opposing the move. It will be discussed at the Nov 23 Council
meeting . I don't know if you're aware of this, but it would certainly
give added credibility if someone from DSWAC could provide an opinion on
the wall's structural significance. If you can do this, could I suggest you
copy Andrea Rabbitts of Midland's Planning Office at
arabbitts@town.midland.on.ca ? My thanks in advance for your attention.
Jack W

Jake S


Just wanted to thank you for such a great experience - I immediately starting collecting granite fieldstone the first chance I got after the weekend workshop.

I have many projects floating around in my head...I think I want to do a folley on the west side of our garden - with a arched door and window. I would like to use the granite fieldstone but I might have to mix in some limestone around the arches and window. I know it is ambitious, but go big or stay home I say...and go SLOW!

I would really like to take another workshop that dealt with more limestone and preferably the arches/windows to continue to build my basic skill and knowledge. Do you know of any or would you keep me in mind when an opportunity like this comes up?

I would entertain the idea of hosting a workshop, but there is something to be said to doing it alone over a period of time too.

Anyway, I hope all is well and I wanted to again tell you how much I appreciated the experience and meeting you - I think I am hooked on drystack!



Gerald G

First of all, congratulations on another successful October Festival. They get bigger and better year after year.
The reason for this mail is that you may want to consider this contest for next year. It would be the incorporation of a DSW in a garden setting. The same Waller could possibly enter 3 photos as the season change from spring, summer and fall. Each wall could be replanted with various flowers, scrubs, etc as the seasons change. A example of this, is how beautifully the work done at the Niagara Falls Horticultural School fits in the garden setting. Just a idea to improve a already successful organization and event.
Keep up the great work, and wall on.

Robert K

Hi John,

Thank you very much for the seminar. I loved every bit of it. I knew it would be interesting, but I didn't expect it to be so much fun or to complete a project. Very satisfying. This is definitely something I want to learn more about, so I'll be feverishly checking the DSWAC site for upcoming events/seminars.
As well I enjoyed your passion and the willingness to share your knowledge, which is very rare. For a long time I have been fascinated by traditional building methods, mainly because of my disappointment in the contemporary renovation/building/landscaping industry. But there isn't much practical education available. There is a great lack of associations like DSWAC in Ontario/Canada, so I would love to get involved and help in anyway I can. Let me know if I can be of any assistance, and no task is too boring when you know you're promoting heritage.

cheers, Robbert

Bill W

Hi Mary,
and also John,

I had a great weekend at the workshop in Kimberley. Many thanks to you both and our hosts Mark and Tanya and Josh. A very worthwhile experience. Please let me know about upcoming events.
Very tired now. Must sleep.
Best regards.


Gerry Gustar

I was fortunate to be able to participate in a workshop in Rockport this past weekend. It is amazing what a group of people of little or no experience can accomplish. John Shaw-Rimmington has a love and passion for stone and walling that is truly infectious. I have a real sense of pride and accomplishment in 'our wall'. This satisfaction will be reinforced every time I pass Rockport and admire it all over again. Thanks John, thanks Rockport.

Larry Meikle

Had a wonderful time building the stone wall in Rockport the weekend of October 24 & 25, 2009 ! The instruction, presentations, and cameraderie were excellent. I''m looking forward to taking another workshop with you in the future.

Norman Haddow

Roctober Festival 2009.
The blackhouse was outstanding and the training courses were the best I have attended because the three walls were so completely different in appearence that everyone there was able to appreciate how many and varied styles are possible with dry stone.All this plus the friendly atmosphere , fine food, the various other crafts, combined with the fun of kids building with butter nut squashes made the whole event a wonderful experience.


Concerning the comment recently added below,
Thanks for your input about this wall Jack. Is the picture we have posted the Waverley wall or the Midland wall?

Jack W.

I live in Midland/Penetanguishene area and have been involved in the campaign to save the dry stone wall on Fuller Ave which you describe on your website. Two comments:
1. Promising development...Midland Council have just given notice of its intent to designate the wall under the Ontario Heritage Act.
2. Your description of the "Penetanguishene" wall refers to the wall being built in Waverley, which is several miles from the Fuller Ave site. This is obviously in error. Also, the wall is in the town of Midland, not Penetanguishene.

Jack. Thanks for this update. Is the picture we have posted of the wall the Waverley or Midland wall?


I was able to drive by the festival that was held this past weekend and want to congratulate you on your work there, it was breath taking.



Thanks again for putting on the DSWAC seminar and demonstration at Kingsmere last weekend. Although I'm still exhausted I'm very glad I participated, and very proud to have been a (minor) part of the rebuilding of "our" section of the stone wall.

John had requested we let him know if we him wanted copies of his photos from the event and I would.

I'll be uploading my photos to FB and hope the others do the same.




I very much enjoyed the Kingsmere weekend and have spent perhaps more time than I should have scanning your website for my next opportunity to do some walling and spending time with another wonderful group of people. With great enthusiasm I have also been describing to some of my colleagues the physical, philosophical and psychological satisfaction I enjoyed throughout the weekend.

Ian C

Will you provide directions on the DSWAC website on how to get to the Festival in Grand Valley?

Rick Lloyd

Hi, my name is Rick Lloyd and I am a drystone waller and member of the DSWA
of Britain, but live and work in Japan. I was reading the quaterly
magazine we get the other day and was interested by an article titled
"Canadian Dry Stone Walling Festival, Port Hope, Ontario". In it it
mentioned that to overcome the problems of heavy frost "the DSWAC has come
up with a novel solution to the effects of movement under dry stone
structures, by digging foundations half a metre in depth and backfilling
with crushed limestone or granite chippings of 150mm. This 'porous' but
substantial bed is rammed down before building commenced." I thought this
was fascinating because we too suffer from serious frost penetration in the
winter here in Japan too, however I just wanted to ask whether the ramming
down of the 'porous bed' before building prevents the wall from 'settling'
which is where a dry stone wall is said to get it's strength from? What is
it that you use to ram the foundation with?
And finally I was wondering if you have any information or experience with
the resistance id dry stone walls to earthquakes. If so I would be very
keen to hear about it.
I also look forward to your response with regard to the "rammed down porous
Kind regards

Norman Muir

I am the chairman of the West of Scotland branch of the DSWA . We have recently established our
own website to deal with local area matters and I am offering a reciprocal
website link between DSWA Canada and ourselves in the West of Scotland.
Hopefully this will offer wallers from both sides of the pond an
opportunity to see if their travel will coincide with an event in either of
our calendars. We already get the occasional visitor from afar and would be
delighted to receive more. Likewise the work you are doing in Canada is
extremely interesting. Anyway let me know what you think. Our website is -
www.wsdswa.org.uk and our secretary who runs it is David Boyd whose email
is wsdswa@aol.com
Hope all this works out and establishes closer contact between us. Kind
regards Norman

Scott C

John, Evan and Joe:

Just a quick note to congratulate you all on the Russell bridge -- we could not have done it without you. The comments we're receiving are incredibly posative.

Not bad for a bunch of "dirty wallers"!



congratulations to you!

huge step forward for drystone with the public bridge - teach those engineering students the how. I do look forward to participating in one sooner than later!

Norman H

I love the flat arch bridge you are building. Great step forward to get that into a public Park.


Hy there.I found thise webside on my journey on the netweb.Very
intresting.In Iceland wee have also very old tradision of building walls of
torf, and torf and stone brougt by norse people when they settlet down in
Iceland and later in Greenland and Faeroisland .You can see some fotos on
my homepage, :
Gudjon Kristinsson

Thank you for visiting and posting your comment. Your dry stone work is excellent. If you ever come to Canada please visit us.