My Dot on the Map: Stoned

A while back I did a post on Stonewall Road, and have been thinking about stones ever since. I guess I like stones – but not as much as the farmer we met on last week’s photo trip down to US 12, the Chicago Rd. going from Detroit to Chicago.

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Actually we met him as we were taking photos of his old milk house with the purple door. Now I am partial to purple doors having painted the doors on my house purple. Purple is a beautiful color for doors – very regal, especially on an old milk house.

Julie spotted it so I slammed on the brakes and backed up to turn into the drive that went to the barn next to the deserted cape cod house. We are snapping away and a truck pulls into the adjacent drive and a man gets out. He is hopping mad. Not willing to give it up hopping mad even after we both apologize.

There is only one thing to do, get him talking about stones. Now how did I know he liked talking about stones? Maybe it was the way his eyes lit up and he smirked when I said I liked stones and I had heard that farmers think the fields grow stones.

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One Honkin’ Big Stone

He says, “You want to see some stones? You follow me down to that house.” We did and we saw stones, each one with a story. None of the stones grew in his yard, they all came from his fields, his father’s fields, and the fields several miles down the road. Each one had a story of “You can’t move it.” “I dare you to move it.” The stone above holds the story of his father buying a new, big diesel tractor and he told his father that his new tractor wouldn’t be able to drag this stone from the far side of the field behind the house. He father took the dare and the tractor did it, with the help of the corn stalks that formed skids. He had me laughing at a lot of stories… and he isn’t mad at us any more.

He collected rocks to prove he could, and then used them for landscaping. Because rocks are so plentiful in this little corner of Michigan, people have used them for functional purposes, like the milkhouse in the lead photograph. Here is my gallery of photos that depict some of the many uses for field stones.

You can view them in a slideshow with captions by clicking on any photo. You can also read the story behind the schoolhouse by clicking on this link.

20 thoughts on “My Dot on the Map: Stoned

    • They are renovating them all into condos. Julie got yelled at for taking pictures. 😦 I feel lucky that I was able to get some photos of the old stables and one of the houses. They are maintaining the architecture but it is no longer an artist studio or daycare.


  1. Pat, what a great story…I love the way you got yelled at for taking photos of what is, after all, private property, but that you charmed the guy by talking about his love – stones. Never mind the pictures, which are great, but it’s the back story…made me smile, a lot..You can diffuse situations by showing interest, empathy even..Good on you! (Oh, and the window in the milk house is great..worth a Lingering Look, don’t you think??)


  2. Wow! This is outstanding, as an architect I feel very impressed by this. Chicago… always holding new surprises!


  3. That was a great way to distract him Pat, and such a good story to go with your ‘Stoned’ to boot !
    I haven’t forgotten by the way re a Stone Link .. I will get round to it promise 😉
    Lovely bouldery pebbly stony work …


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