A two-day hands-on workshop was offered by the DSWAC on Aug 16 and 17 2008 , involving the rebuilding of a section of historic dry laid wall at the Farm on the 'Kingsmere' estate, near Ottawa. Students learned basic elements of dry stone construction as they dismantled a section of damaged wall and reconstructed a traditional section of free standing wall the way it would have looked originally, back in Mackenzie King's day.
The weather was great, the stone selection was good, the food was spectacular, and the people all enjoyed themselves as they transformed a slumping trail of boulders back into a tidy structural wall that will last now for another 70 years at least
Kingsmere Farm is one of many properties maintained by the National Capital Commission (NCC) . The Farm is the official residence of the Speaker of the House of Commons. It is located at Kingsmere in Gatineau Park in Chelsea, Quebec , near the nation's capital Ottawa.
The residence is so named because of its history as an old farmstead dating back to the 19th century. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King privately purchased the farmstead as part of his country estate at Kingsmere Lake.
When Prime Minister King died, he left the residence and grounds to the Government of Canada so that future Canadian officials could make use of the area. "The Farm" is now owned and operated by the National Capital Commission.
The current Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, the Honourable Peter Millikan, and Liberal Member of Parliament (seen here to the right of john) happened to be in residence that day and posed with us for this picture. He commended the students for dry stone repairs they were doing.
More DSWAC Dry Stone Wall workshops were planed for subsequent years at Kingsmere as there are many sections of walls that need repair.
Thanks to Mark Burleton, Gerry LaJeune of the NCC and Evan Oxland of the DSWAC for their vision, enthusiasm and dedication to making this event happen.
And thanks to all the workshop participants who worked so hard to create such a beautiful wall.