The DSC

Why the Dry Stone Conservancy?

Kentucky a premier example of the rich dry stone heritage of the United States. The region’s built environment was developed using the native limestone on a vast scale. Dry stone mills and dams lined the streams. Stone dwellings, farm buildings, churches, limestone kilns, and iron furnaces were common. Dry stone bridges and embankments of the era still, to this day, support daily use. Today, the most significant remaining dry stone structures are the rock fences and stone walls that border fields, pastures, and roadways. These are hallmarks of the region, yet their preservation has a reached a critical point.

Rock fences are one of the most identifiable and well-known features of the world-famous Kentucky Bluegrass Region. They help distinguish our landscape for all who reside and visit here, yet they are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Historic fences are consumed by development, road-widening, and neglect and are hauled away, buried, or ground into road rock. Moreover, there is a severe shortage of skilled dry stone masons compounded by scarcity of accurate how-to-information.

The Dry Stone Conservancy exists to both protect existing dry stone structures and to develop skilled masons to preserve the craft. The Conservancy has conducted training and restoration projects for National Park Service personnel in 20 states and has provided advice and consultations in 35 other states. We have contributed expertise to projects in architecture, engineering, conservation, historic preservation, history, geography, job development, and tourism.

The Dry Stone Conservancy (DSC) is the only organization in the country devoted to dry stone masonry.

A section of 875 linear feet of dry laid rock fence at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve built by the DSC and DSC Masons, 2019.

A section of 875 linear feet of dry laid rock fence at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve built by the DSC and DSC Masons, 2019.