Dry Stone Masonry in Kentucky

Dry Stone Masonry in Kentucky (HM16AM)

Location: Frankfort, KY 40601 Franklin County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 12.282', W 84° 52.691'

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Dry stone masonry is an ancient building tradition and occurs wherever rock is available and the craft tradition is known. Kentucky rock fences are a distinct style of folk architecture, locally called "rock fences" even though they are mostly built of quarried "stone." They are built entirely without mortar, using the forces of friction and gravity to hold them together.

The continuing construction of these fences serves as tribute to the skills of ethnic groups who practiced these building techniques. Early settlers of Scots-Irish origin built the first rock fences in Kentucky. Later, in the mid-1800's, crews of itinerant Irish masons built many of the rock fences that bordered the newly created turnpikes of the Commonwealth. Following the Civil War, black freedmen took up the craft and became well-known rock fence builders. Today, the craft is alive and well, and the skills are transferring yet again to another generation.

The largest collection of rock fences is in central Kentucky. The diagram shows the counties with the most rock fences. Counties shown in red represent the highest concentration in the Inner Bluegrass area, while counties shown in blue represent areas with fewer concentrations.

The site map below shows the locations of dry-laid structures in this park. All the structures were built beginning in 1997 by the Dry Stone Conservancy, a non-profit organization with the mission to preserve existing dry stone structures, and to revive and promote the ancient craft of dry-laid stone masonry. The City of Frankfort Parks & Recreation Department funded the construction of the dry-laid structures. Funding and in-kind support for the exhibit panels was provided by the Kentucky Arts Council, the City of Frankfort's Parks & Recreation Department, and the Dry Stone Conservancy.
HM NumberHM16AM
Placed ByKentucky Arts Council, the City of Frankfort's Parks & Recreation Department, and the Dry Stone Conservancy
Marker Condition
9 out of 10 (1 reports)
Date Added Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 7:49am PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 685780 N 4230655
Decimal Degrees38.20470000, -84.87818333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 12.282', W 84° 52.691'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 12' 16.92" N, 84° 52' 41.46" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)502
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 201 Riverview Trail, Frankfort KY 40601, US
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I Saw The Marker

Good to go.

Jun 22, 2016 at 11:45am PDT by naturalist

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