What's The Story Behind New Hampshire's Stone Walls?

Dec 26, 2017

Our listeners voted for their favorite 2017 episodes of The Exchange. Revisit these compelling conversations or enjoy listening if you missed them the first time!  Today, it's Stone Walls in N.H.  Robert Frost famously said “good fences make good neighbors” and if you’re out for a walk in the woods in New Hampshire, you will likely find a stone wall.  We talk with Kevin Gardner, a master stone builder and author of several books on the subject, about the on-going appeal of stone walls and how to build them.  He explains the philosophy behind the craft of placing stone and examines the mythology of the stone wall and its place in the New England imagination.

This program was originally broadcast on Sept. 26, 2017.

Kevin Gardner builds a miniature stone wall in NHPR's Studio B.
Credit NHPR Staff


Kevin Gardner will be speaking at the Concord Public Library on Sept. 26 at 6pm.

Credit Edith W. Currier

Listen to Robert Frost reading his poem, Mending Wall:

Mending Wall:

More reading:

Visit the Stone Wall Initiative which aims to promote scientific understanding of stone walls and advocacy for their protection as cultural and ecological resources.

Find more on the history, science and poetry of New England's stone walls in Earth Magazine.

Read more about Kevin Gardner's projects in New Hampshire Home and New Hampshire Magazine.