Twelve granite blocks were placed at equidistant points along the circumference of a circular concrete pad 40 feet in diameter. In eleven of the spaces (each roughly seven feet wide) between the blocks the competitors would build a free-standing, curving dry stone wall. The twelfth space was to be the entry into the enclosure, a fire circle.
The stone available to the wallers was about 40 tons of schist from a local quarry and six pallets of Corinthian Granite donated by Champlain Stone Company of Warrensburg, NY.
The prize money, donated by the Trow and Holden and the Granite City tool companies (both based in Barre) was $500 for first place, $300 second place and $200, third place.
The walls were judged on structural and aesthetic quality (speed was not a factor, in fact, only five of the wallers actually finished their sections.) The judges were Dan Snow of Vermont, Neil Rippingale, Scotland and Tomas Lipps, New Mexico. Dan and Neil are both master-level craftsmen/instructors of the Dry Stone Walling Association of the UK and Neil manages the training program for the Dry Stone Conservancy of Kentucky; Tomas is the Founder/Director of the Stone Foundation.
Work began about 10:00 AM and finished about 5:00 PM, it was viewed by more than a thousand spectators who had turned out for Barre’s Granite Festival. The first prize winner was a Canadian, Dean McClellan, second prize went to Justin Money of Connecticut and third to Kevin French from New Hampshire.
The wallers: Click for larger image