Long Train to Columbarium

The Connecticut columbarium wall work is out of the ground and on its way up. Since the last post, I’ve laid the foundation stones and brought the two ends to finished height. The list of ingredients grows as I discover additional stone sources. Starting with ledge scree I collected in Vermont, I’ve added fieldstone from dump piles near the cemetery, modified rip-rap from a local quarry and slate tailings from a Vermont gravel pit. Having a full complement of stone shapes and sizes keeps progress flowing smoothly.

The S-curve wall follows the contour of the site, dipping down at the start, then rising for most of its length before curling down again at the top. From low to high point the grade rises 5.7%, equalling seven vertical foot of change.  The elevation variations are easy enough to deal with in the lower part of the construction but will become an interesting complication once the columbarium niches are started. Some are 5’ long and must be set level. Covering the niches, the cap stone tops must stay approximately 3’ from the ground to rise consistently with the grade beneath them. I have sense of how this will go but I’ll only know for sure as I get there. Making a tailings bucket from an old fuel jug is a trick I learned from a quarryman in Finland. It works great and it’s cost free!