Mammoth stone project unique in North America

April 25, 2014


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Master Stone Craftsman, Dean McLellan (L) and Menno Braam of Hamilton, are leading the refurbishment

Stonemason, Menno Braam from Hamilton, works on the stone stairway where existing stone is being recycled

Tiered seating creates unique amphitheatre

Stone walls are beginning to fall apart

One of the largest and most exciting stone re-building projects ever undertaken in North America is currently underway at Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) in Bruce County.

Located outside of Southampton on the grounds where Wesley United Church, also built of stone, stands is what is known as the amphitheatre.  Tiered seating surrounds a stone stage patio and everywhere you look dry stone walls create one of the most picturesque sites anywhere.  It is so picturesque that many weddings are held in the amphitheatre with its backdrop of the Saugeen River.  To see example go to ...  Wedding Photos

Dean McLellan, 'Master Stone Craftsman', is one of only six in North America with the designation.  "This project is one of the most exciting I've ever been involved in," says McLellan.  "There is nothing like this site anywhere.  It is incredible and there are other stonemasons who are volunteering to come here just for the chance to work on it."

Dean McLellan of Holstein indicates the improper use of gravel as a fill in the stone walls

Matt Wolfe of SON hand-chisels stone to make it level

The project is also a teaching program for Saugeen First Nation.  The four-level certification program takes some five to six years to complete and will provide employment in the future for SON residents.

Much of the stone being used is recycled from the existing stone but there is also a large tonnage coming from Madoc, Ontario.

One of the several stone pathways

Click the orange arrow to read the second column

Dry wall stone technique requires reconstructing

Stairs are beginning to sag

Stone walls are crumbling

To view more of the amphitheatre  Click Here

One of the most famous stone craftsmen in the world, Andrew Loudon, Chief Engineer of the British Walling Society, is coming to the project for two days, May 24th and 25th, to bring his expertise and present a lecture that will feature stone projects from around the world.  To see world projects, click here - www.dswa.org.uk or for moe information go to ... www.drystonecanada.com 

It is a two-day workshop and anyone can attend.  The cost is $300 for the two days, includes lunches, beverages and the lecture by Louden

For more information, call:  519-797-1224 OR

email:  training.assistant@saugeenfirstnation.ca

Click on any for information



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Friday, April 25, 2014