Thursday, March 27, 2014

Stonewall Destruction

      Today’s Flashback photo (if today was actually 9/6/13) shows a Stamford, Conn., road crew in the process of crushing old stonewalls to make them into roads. Seriously. The city bought a rock crusher in 1909 for $2,011 to save money on road building. The Guide to Nature magazine explains the rationale: “Everywhere in New England there are plenty of stone walls but in many places there are not good roads. So, as the old-fashioned saying goes, why not let one hand wash the other; that is grind up a few of the stone walls and improve some of the roads? Far be it from us to advocate banishing all the picturesque stone walls, but there is no danger of doing that, for a few stone walls go a long way in making enduring roads.” The photo was taken sometime between 1909 and 1914. At the time of the article, eight miles of roads were built. The Stamford Historical Society reports the following streets were made from stonewalls: Hope Street, from North Springdale to the Glenbrook trolley junction, and Crescent Street and Courtland Avenue, Glenbrook, Newfield Avenue, Belltown Road and Oaklawn Road.

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