A Sure Foundation

by Laurie Madsen February. 05, 2019 157 views
A SURE FOUNDATION WITHSTANDS THE TEST OF TIME

A SURE FOUNDATION WITHSTANDS THE TEST OF TIME

Today I spent time revisiting places of my childhood.

While having a pizza picnic in my truck, next to the Kettle River in Robinson Park, Sandstone, MN, I was staring at this oh so familiar sandstone foundation.

Behind it the entrance to the park winds down a hill to the parking lot. If you didn't drive around the back of it, you would be driving right over the edge that you see in this photo. It is the original foundation for a wagon bridge that crossed the river.

Behind me stand 2 sandstone pillars one on each side of the river. These monuments were made of hand hewn sandstone blocks 132 years ago and still stand the test of time.

The Two Support Pillars Standing in the River

The Two Support Pillars Standing in the River

Mortarless Pillars Standing in the Kettle River Were Constructed of Hand Hewn Sandstone 132 years ago

Mortarless Pillars Standing in the Kettle River Were Constructed of Hand Hewn Sandstone 132 years ago

Mortar-Less Hand Hewn Sandstone Pillars Still Standing Strong

Mortar-Less Hand Hewn Sandstone Pillars Still Standing Strong

Crowning each of these enormous pillars are huge protective slabs of sandstone called "Capstones". Capstones not only protect the structure from the elements (ice buildup can split rocks) but hold the whole structure together. Capstones are also considered one's greatest achievement.

Capstones Are The Finishing And Protective Stones

Capstones Are The Finishing And Protective Stones

When this was an active quarry, there was a wooden bridge that crossed this river, being supported by the foundation in the first picture and crossing these two pillars to a similar foundation on the other side. The bridge is long gone, but these sandstone structures stand as testimony of ingenious builders who understood the importance of a SURE FOUNDATION.

Embarrassingly, I admit, that I have never examined these closely, even though I grew up here, and this was my playground. From a distance, it doesn't look like much.

From a Distance The Foundation Doesn't Look Like Much

From a Distance The Foundation Doesn't Look Like Much

Today I found myself captivated by the intricacy of the handiwork, so I moved in for a closer look.

Overlapping Cornerstones Essential Support Where Two Walls Are Joined

Overlapping Cornerstones Essential Support Where Two Walls Are Joined

Jointly Fit Together

Jointly Fit Together

Upon close examination, I am stunned to see the precision craftsmanship. It must have taken forever to hew each stone and decide where their proper place would be.

Each Stone Supports The Others, Above, Behind, And Beside It

Each Stone Supports The Others, Above, Behind, And Beside It

Shaped with a hammer and chisel under the hand of a Master, each stone is painstakingly placed in a strategic place, advantageous to the whole structure.

Master Craftsmanship Mortar less Foundation

Master Craftsmanship Mortar less Foundation

Small Fragments of Sandstone Supporting The Whole Weight of The Wall

Small Fragments of Sandstone Supporting The Whole Weight of The Wall

Small- seemingly insignificant- fragments of stone support and bear the weight of the whole structure without succumbing to the pressure.

Small Stones On Bottom Tier Supporting Weight (a very heavy load)

Small Stones On Bottom Tier Supporting Weight (a very heavy load)

Some of the large sandstone slabs bear the marks of being drilled for dynamite to quarry them into boulders.

The Whole Structure Curves To Meet The Road Where It Is Embedded in the Earth

The Whole Structure Curves To Meet The Road Where It Is Embedded in the Earth

And the whole thing would crumble if it wasn't for the Chief Cornerstone.

The Chief Cornerstone A Smaller Stone Beneath and Beside The Two Huge Slabs

The Chief Cornerstone A Smaller Stone Beneath and Beside The Two Huge Slabs

The Chief Cornerstone is the very first stone layed in the foundation and is the stone on which the whole structure's integrity depends, without which the structure will crumble and be nothing more than a useless pile of stones.

A Remnant Pile of Stones

A Remnant Pile of Stones

I think there are a few lessons here..."Ye also are LIVING STONES"!

Join the conversation
6
There are 6 comments , add yours!
Sheree Meader 1 year, 2 months ago

Thanks for the history lesson and wonderful info about building with stone - loved your conclusion! I, too, feel bad about how much I have overlooked when romping down there! You make what seems everyday quite exquisite here!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Laurie Madsen Replied to Sheree Meader 1 year, 2 months ago

Thanks!
It was an impactful conclusion
the whole structure was full of visual lessons for me
bringing the word to life

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Sheree Meader Replied to Laurie Madsen 1 year, 2 months ago

Truly!  Thanks for sharing it with us!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Laurie Madsen Replied to Sheree Meader 1 year, 2 months ago

You're welcome. My pleasure!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Björn Roose 1 year, 2 months ago

Yep, they didn't build things to be torn down after a few decades back then.

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Laurie Madsen Replied to Björn Roose 1 year, 2 months ago

This sure is a testimony to that statement!
I'm blown away by all the skill and hand labor that went into this type of work, and to think it still stands without mortar!
Thanks for your comment Bjorn!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Up
Copyright @Photoblog.com