Legacy of Stone

7 September 2010

Legacy of Stone
by Margaret Hryniuk & Frank Korvemaker, photography by Larry Easton
Publisher by Coteau Books
review by Sharon Adam
$29.95 ISBN 978155050446

When the first settlers arrived in Saskatchewan, they found many challenges to overcome. One of the biggest was the lack of building materials readily available and the cost of bringing these materials to the town or homestead. When they looked at the landscape, they discovered a material that was available in abundance; stones. Native inhabitants had used stone in their daily life, for weapons, in ceremony and for erecting their tepees. Now the European settlers found the local stone was a free building material that only needed to be gathered and used. What they built became a legacy for future generations. This book celebrates this legacy with story and pictures

The authors have selected forty-one buildings to document out of nearly one thousand such structures. Their history, the stone masons who built them, and their locations have whetted the appetite for further study. The skills of the stone masons are a testament to these men who built for the future. Here we have homes that are beautiful and tell us the history of the families who owned them and the builders who built them. The stories of the people are varied and remind us of the pioneer spirit of entrepreneurship and tales of nation builders and community supporters in addition to the farming life in rural Saskatchewan. We see the churches that were built and sometimes furnished by parishes in England or other European countries. The history of the depression is evident in the stone public building that provided work for many and dress the wilderness parks with the solidity and beauty of our local stone. One thing that would have been interesting, however, would have been a map of the locations of all the buildings that are featured.

This beautiful volume tempts readers to pursue their own quest to find these and other buildings and invites them to travel this special province to experience the vision of both the builders and the owners who hired them to make the vision real. The winner of the 2009 Book of the Year Award, this book deserves to be on the bookshelf of anyone who enjoys history, architecture and the beauty that is uniquely found in the stones of the prairies


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