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"On this Slope Lies the Last Known Indians of Yarmouth"

August 19, 2019

Cape Cod Stoneworks was happy to lend our rare (in this time and place) understanding of dry stone construction to restore the spirit of this 1785 stone monument but with proper structure to make it last for cenuries.

 

The remains of the last known Native Americans inhabiting Yarmouth were buried near this monument, which lay in disrepair before Cape Cod Stoneworks was hired to properly rebuild the dry stone structure.  The centerpiece, engraved with the words, ""On this Slope Lies the Last Known Indians of Yarmouth," weighs nearly a ton.  The original builders, lacking hydraulic equipment, likely used earthen ramps and a horse drawn cart to move the rock into place. 

 

Their ability to move heavy stones was impressive, but they lacked understanding of solid stone construction. The centerpiece sat on stones that had impressive faces but were set precariously with high center of gravity - one was just 12" from front to back on the bottom with a 25" height. A stone like this should be laid down with the 25" extending into the wall and a much smaller face exposed, but the appearance would less impressive. This is an extreme example of a mistake repeated by masons and excavators on Cape Cod every day, resulting in walls that don't stand the test of time. Unfortunately, proper training in true stone masonry just isn't available in this part of the world.

 

 

 

 

As a result of the precarious construction, this stone monument had to be rebuilt several times and laid in a heap (see right) for several years when the Town of Yarmouth contacted Cape Cod Stoneworks to rebuild the cairn.  We were happy to lend our unique dry stone abilities to restore the spirit of the original construction but with proper structure.  After installing several new base stones, we secured approval from the town to use new boulders with equally impressive faces and much more solid dimensions to support the centerpiece.  These stones are nearly as tall as the original stones, but are laid down (rather than up like the originals) with low center of gravity and weigh nearly a ton - four times the magnitude of the original stones.

 

Most importantly, we hope the souls whose physical remains were buried here rest peacefully in eternity.

 

 

 

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