Monday, November 26, 2012

Stone Symposum December 8th

Stone Symposium Saturday December 8th at the Catskill Community Center  and Live radio Broadcast( 6-9 pm Radio broadcast 7-9
"An Open Discussion about the Unknown Origins of the Engineered Stone Landscape in the Catskill Area and Beyond"

Free and Open to the Public

for Images and  more info:

Symposium Location- 6-9 pm
Catskill Community Center
344 Main St Catskill NY 12414

6pm meet/ greet/ look over materials
begin discussion..Note: There is a gallery to display any pertinent materials.
I'll hang some of the old maps of the Kiskatom that reference the existing stonework.
7pm- begins Broadcast on WGXC 90.7 fm
Participants introductions
7:30- Glenn Kreisberg Powerpoint
"Lost Landscapes and Hidden Legacies:
A Survey of Stone Structure Sites in the Catskills and Hudson Valley"
8:30 Q and A- Wrap up
9pm Broadcast ends-

Continue Conversations.....

Participants (so far)-
Polly Midgley, the NEARA New York Coordinator spoke on The Stone Chamber Enigma at the2010 MES Symposium 
Harry Matthews- Stone Balancer from the High Falls road area
Jared Handelson- Resident of Kiskatom who’s had a long interest in the Lithic sites
of this area and around the world.
Glenn Kreisberg-  Vice President Of New England Antiquities Research Association (
Laura Anderson- Moderator
Matt Bua- Recent Kiskatom resident who realized many of  stone “walls” in the area existed before the arrival of first Europeans...

Sam Sebren- Broadcast Engineer and WGXC Torch Carrier

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cliff Structures

The middle photo shows 2 large corner stone constructions on the edge of a cliff out cropping. I'm standing 20 or so feet above.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


In very simple terms, the essence of fengshui is that configurations of land forms and bodies of water are seen to direct the flow of the universal qi, or 'cosmic current', which with the help of the specialist can be brought to optimum advantage for the person's wealth, happiness, longevity and procreation; similarly, a malicious flow of qi may bring disaster. The flow of qi is influenced by all natural bodies and human constructions, which may either repulse, redirect or catch the qi
-Fengshui in China by  Ole Bruun

Joseph Needham in 'Science and Cultivation in China', describes the influence of fengshui on the Chinese Landscape in terms which might well be applied to ritually ordered landscape in New England:
"Every Place had its special  topographical feature which modified the local influence of the various ch'i of nature. The forms of the hills and directions of the watercourses, being the outcome of the moulding influences of winds and water, were the most important, but in addition, the heights and forms of buildings, and the directions of of road and bridges, were a potent factor. the force and nature of the invisible currents would be from hour to hour modified by the positions of the heavenly bodies, so their aspects as seen from the locality in question had to be considered"   John Michell -Secrets of the Stone p. 111

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Some quotes from folks who say all stone walls were built post colonially...

From a guy who thinks everyone who visits "America's Stonehenge"  is a gullible sucker,
this quote below has a strange credence....

"Walls have influenced the terrain directly. Hilltop walls forced the rain toward different streams. Lowland walls impounded many small wetlands, caused the build up of soil on slopes, and acted as underground drains on floodplains. Stone walls are so tightly enmeshed with streams,slopes, and soils that the distinction between wall and non wall is often unclear"
          -Robert M. Thorton Author of 'Stone by Stone'(page 7)  and 'Exploring Stone Walls'

And here's the evidence that no stone walls existed before the European presence.....

" The lack of written material is interesting in itself, for it shows better than anything in writing ever could how ordinary these enduring objects were once thought to be"
- Susan Allport  ,Author of Sermon in the Stone (page 107)

There you have it..... she couldn't find much, therefore the Europeans built the whole 252,539 miles of stone walls in New England and New York that existed as per the 1871 Department of Agriculture report on Stone Fences.

Back to Robert M. Thorson...
In his "Field Guide to New England Stone Walls"  The entry which has the title "The Oldest Wall"
reads: The oldest known documentary mention of a stone wall in New England is this one. In 1607 the North Virginia Company established a colony with the intent of permanent settlement. Though it disappeared within the year, a letter cited by the historian Howard Russell strongly suggests that the colonists built a stone wall, which was later destroyed or buried"  page 145....(the italics are mine)

There you have it. More solid evidence that all stone walls were built in post colonial times.
"Destroyed or buried?" nice wall building guys

More Choice quotes from Robert M Thorson's Stone By Stone Book(pg 77):
Jared Eliot's Essays on Field Husbandry in New England(1748 to 1760), the first treatise on agricultural practices in the British colonies- one that included detailed descriptions of how to enclose land, whether by fencing, ditching, plashing(integrating a mix of wood and hedge), or hedging-contains  NO mention of stone walls. Similarly, the anonymous American Husbandry (1775) comments extensively on both the purpose and the condition of colonial enclosures, but does not mention fences or walls made of stone.
Ironically, one of the first mentions of stone walls in the colonies is from an archaeological context. According to the historian Howard Russell, the failed Sagadahoc Hearbes and some old Walls' to be observed by a visitor a decade and a half later."1 Apparently, they were first noticed not for their value as a building accessory, but as physical evidence of earlier human life, in this case the earliest English colonization in the Northeast.  Italics-mine (M.B.) Of course Robert Thorson has nothing backing this claim up.
1. H. Russell's ,Book: A Long Deep Furrow:Three  Centuries of Farming In New England, 1976

Yes matt, I know just what you mean:

There are so many basic phenomena that Thornton appears unaware of, that you have to assume he is a pseudo-scentist who writes well but is not observant.