Frankfort in Franklin County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
Dry Stone Masonry in Kentucky
Dry stone masonry is an ancient building tradition and occurs wherever rock is available and the craft tradition is known. Kentucky rock fences are a distinct style of folk architecture, locally called “rock fences” even though they are mostly built of quarried “stone.” They are built entirely without mortar, using the forces of friction and gravity to hold them together.
The continuing construction of these fences serves as tribute to the skills of ethnic groups who practiced these building techniques. Early settlers of Scots-Irish origin built the first rock fences in Kentucky. Later, in the mid-1800’s, crews of itinerant Irish masons built many of the rock fences that bordered the newly created turnpikes of the Commonwealth. Following the Civil War, black freedmen took up the craft and became well-known rock fence builders. Today, the craft is alive and well, and the skills are transferring yet again to another generation.
The largest collection of rock fences is in central Kentucky. The diagram shows the counties with the most rock fences. Counties shown in red represent the highest concentration
The site map below shows the locations of dry-laid structures in this park. All the structures were built beginning in 1997 by the Dry Stone Conservancy, a non-profit organization with the mission to preserve existing dry stone structures, and to revive and promote the ancient craft of dry-laid stone masonry. The City of Frankfort Parks & Recreation Department funded the construction of the dry-laid structures. Funding and in-kind support for the exhibit panels was provided by the Kentucky Arts Council, the City of Frankfort’s Parks & Recreation Department, and the Dry Stone Conservancy.
Erected by Kentucky Arts Council, the City of Frankfort’s Parks & Recreation Department, and the Dry Stone Conservancy.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Roads & Vehicles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1997.
Location. 38° 12.282′ N, 84° 52.691′ W. Marker is in Frankfort, Kentucky, in Franklin County. Marker can be reached from Wilkinson Boulevard (Route 421) north of West Plaza Connector Road (U.S. 127), on the right when traveling south. Located along the Riverview Trail in Kentucky River View Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 404 Wilkinson Blvd, Frankfort KY 40601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. Welcome to Kentucky River View Park! (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Hill Overlooking the Kentucky River (within shouting distance of this marker); Gone But Not Forgotten – Frankfort’s “Craw” (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Locks and Dams (about 300 feet away); Kentucky River Water Trail (about 300 feet away); Stone Arch Footbridge (about 300 feet away); List of CSO Points in Frankfort (about 400 feet away); History of Kentucky's Formation (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Frankfort.
Also see . . . Dry Stone Conservancy. (Submitted on December 31, 2012.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 31, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 545 times since then and 106 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 31, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.