OLD chimney

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,219
Southeast CT
Cane upon this remnant chimney in the woods on CT/RI border. No other visible evidence of house around there. I took some pics from inside of firebox looking up as well.
 

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dvellone

Feeling the Heat
Sep 21, 2006
472
Look at that lintel stone! Beautiful chimney. I live in the Adirondacks and have seen a few sites like this with beautiful old fireplace/chimneys the only remaining part of the long-gone homestead. Some make you wish you could build your new house around them, they were built so well.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,659
South Puget Sound, WA
Is that dry-stacked, without mortar? I was wondering if that led to the demise of the house.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,476
central pa
Is that dry-stacked, without mortar? I was wondering if that led to the demise of the house.
It was most likely made with local clay which washed out over time.
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,219
Southeast CT
To my untrained eye, looking at the firebox, it looks like there was some sort of mortar or material that served the same purpose that had eroded away. What exactly the material was I’m not sure, But there definitely wasn’t much of it left. Any guesses on how old this chimney might be? I was figuring at least 150 years, based on the growth of trees directly around it, which I figured would have been clear cut out the time for Pasture. I’m assuming the chimney could be much much older than that of course.
 

dvellone

Feeling the Heat
Sep 21, 2006
472
Is that dry-stacked, without mortar? I was wondering if that led to the demise of the house.
That's one difference between the trade of yesteryear and some of today's stonemasons: stones were selected or cut and stacked to fit as drystack so that the mortar served to reinforce what already had structural integrity. The old lime mortars that were often used were soft and crumbly to some extent, but so many of those 100 or even 200 year old structures still stand. It's a big change from when I first began in the trade to these days when well over half the requests are for "cultured" stone.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,476
central pa
That's one difference between the trade of yesteryear and some of today's stonemasons: stones were selected or cut and stacked to fit as drystack so that the mortar served to reinforce what already had structural integrity. The old lime mortars that were often used were soft and crumbly to some extent, but so many of those 100 or even 200 year old structures still stand. It's a big change from when I first began in the trade to these days when well over half the requests are for "cultured" stone.
Many of those old structures have failed as well though or needed completely rebuilt. There clearly were many masons who were very good working through all time periods but there were also guys that were clueless. Some of the practices of that time were also just unsafe.

This one is very impressive with the large cut stone in the firebox and cut stone lintle. We see ones like that very rarely here.

In our area there are 4 different stone masons working. 3 of them only do new structures and none do culture stone. We do allot of repair work on stone but no new structures
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
655
MA
That's really neat. What town?

Friend is an attorney in Norwich CT. He had his previous house built in Colchester, CT 27 years ago. He brought in someone to construct a stone and brick fireplace and chimney. The person looked around the yard and commented that he could buy stone, but he could also build it with the stone in the yard. He did that. He also found a few bricks while looking for stone in the yard, and incorporated them so they stand out.

Pictures here: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3-Standish-Rd-Colchester-CT-06415/58043285_zpid/?mmlb=g,0

My friend has a very old large map of the area in his office. Locations of homes are marked with a dot. There is a dot where he bought his lot, so there must have been a house there in the 1800s.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,297
Northern NH
I have seen some classic old chimneys around my area of NH, there were a lot of farms up until the civil war in the region but many farms were abandoned when folks went west. On occasion an old cellar hole and a chimney may appear in the middle of the woods along with some old apple trees.

The most impressive fireplace I have seen was in an old camp that had been moved at least once (including the chimney. The front face of the fireplace all the way to the roof line was made out of rough white veined quartz that was usually mined as waste from local mines. It was impressive during the daytime but more impressive at night as one of impurities in the stone would fluoresce when lit with black light. Not much to the camp, but obviously something that person with skill had built. My guess is it was a mason with more time than money. I have another older chimney near me in the woods that has beryl crystals set in it.
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,219
Southeast CT
That's really neat. What town?

Friend is an attorney in Norwich CT. He had his previous house built in Colchester, CT 27 years ago. He brought in someone to construct a stone and brick fireplace and chimney. The person looked around the yard and commented that he could buy stone, but he could also build it with the stone in the yard. He did that. He also found a few bricks while looking for stone in the yard, and incorporated them so they stand out.

Pictures here: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3-Standish-Rd-Colchester-CT-06415/58043285_zpid/?mmlb=g,0

My friend has a very old large map of the area in his office. Locations of homes are marked with a dot. There is a dot where he bought his lot, so there must have been a house there in the 1800s.
West Greenwich, RI