Heritage Wall Restoration at Simpson Farm
Amherst Island has the largest known concentration of historic Irish dry stone walls in Canada. This workshop offers you a great opportunity to restore a portion of an existing wall that is unique even to the walls that exist on Amherst Island.
This is not the ‘classic’ style wall. There is no batter or hearting, and is essentially a single layer of stone thick. It is recommended that you have completed an introductory walling workshop prior to attending this course. This wall has heritage designation, and as such, great care will be required to rebuild it to its original state.
Description of Property
The Simpson property stone wall runs along the south side of Front Rd, in front of the existing house for a total length of 112’ from its westernmost corner to the easternmost corner. At each corner, the wall returns in a southward direction on each side of the house yard, the east side wall being 80’ in length, and the west wall 71’ in length. In general, the original wall is in fair repair except for the north-east corner where all the stones are missing for a length of 20’ along the front side of the corner wall and for 10’ along the east side of the corner wall. Along the front wall, 43’ from the west corner, a gap of 29” was created during construction, to accommodate a wooden gate. The wall consists of field stone, using a single width, dry stone method. Height of the west side wall varies between 3’ 1” to 3’ 7”, with approximately 14 stone courses maximum. The east side wall is 34” high with approximately 12 stone courses. The approximate width of the whole wall is 1’ 8”. There are no cap stones on the wall.
Statement of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest
Oral history of the island, as stated by Eleanor Taggart (nee McGinn) who grew up in this house, states that this stone wall stands in front of the home where Canadian landscape watercolour artist Daniel Fowler once lived before the ‘Fowler House’ was constructed further along the shore of Front Rd. Recent repairs (2011) and upkeep of the wall was completed by Mr Simpson, present owner. As stated by previous owner Denis McGinn (Amherst Island Beacon Feb 2004), “this is part of a stone fence that ran from the Emerald Forty Foot to Steve Street’s at 12945 Front Rd. The rest of the fence was torn down when the road was widened.”
- Location: Simpson Farm, 12675 Front Road, Amherst Island
- Time: 09:00 to 16:00
- Lunch and snacks are included
- Required Equipment:
- Safety glasses
- Safety boots (if you have them)
- Gloves (don’t bring expensive gloves they get shredded just as quickly as the cheap ones)
- Appropriate clothing – We work in all weather conditions
Registration and Waiver:
To Register download the following forms:
Sleeping accommodations are available on the island.
And evening meal for Saturday is available for $25/person
Please print, complete, and send out the the waiver and registration forms electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org with “Amherst Island Walling Workshop” in the subject line.
Or mail to:
Dry Stone Walling Association of Canada
24 Sword St,
Toronto, Ontario M5A 3N2
The fee can be paid by cheque (payable to Dry Stone Walling Association of Canada and mailed to address above) or by paypal (see below).