In 2022, as we were coming out of the pandemic and trying to return to ‘normal’ we still weren’t a position to plan a festival, but we did want to do something, if only to have an opportunity to get together.

So, we thought a members build would be a suitable compromise. The community of Amherst island (our unofficial home) was open to acting as host and provide the needed infrastructure to feed and house wallers.

Thus the symposium was formed. Sort of a mini festival. And it ws so successful, and relatively easy to execute, that we are considering on having a symposium on Amherst Island every other year.

2022 Symposium: McMullen House

The Build

Rebuild a 100′ section of single skin wall that was in bad state of repair and a little too close to the road. Stone from the wall was reused and the extra stone required was used from the old barn foundation (which was dry laid) but had been buried a few years ago.

Here are some pictures:
McMullen Build

The Speakers

Dr. Audra McMullen
Professor of Communications at Towson University in Maryland

  • Audra (also our host), lead a discussion on her research on dry stone wallers “Creating Civic Communication Through Dry Stone Festivals”

You can watch her presentation here:

Civic Communication Dry Stone

John Scott
Waller, Instructor, Heritage Masonry Specialist

  • The wall at McMullen House is heritage designated. John Scott, lead a discussion on heritage restoration. He focussed on aspects of restoration such as understanding the character of a structure, recording as-found prior to restoration, general aspects related to heritage, and working with agencies (like Parks Canada).