Dr. Jeff Howry

Interpreting Historic Landscapes—the Stone Walls of our Agricultural Heritage

Stone walls are a signature feature of the historic landscape in New England. They represent one of the few remaining historic landscape features which provide definitive information which describes how Colonial era farmsteads were bounded and how land was divided into specific areas of agricultural production. The presentation will provide guidance on how to identify and interpret the walls that remain in so many of our towns. The walls provide keys to understanding the historic land uses that prevailed for more than 300 years. A new technique for identifying stone walls and related historic features will be demonstrated, as well as how to incorporate these historic in your local historic resource surveys.

[Recorded August 12, 2023]

Dr. Jeff Howry has combined a career in various areas of historic preservation including historic property inventories, record documentation, archaeology and environmental compliance with real estate finance. Over the span of five decades, his work has taken him to all regions of the U.S., Central America and the Near East. Jeff conducts research using remote sensing imagery of historic landscapes and structures to better interpret cultural heritage sites, particularly those no longer visible as the result of forestation. In the colony of Massachusetts Bay where he resides, he pursues several colonial history projects including the mapping and interpretation of 17th and 18th century agricultural landscapes. Jeff received his MA and PhD from the Dept. of Anthropology, Harvard University.

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