Term: fieldstone (architecture)
a construction method employed on buildings of all sizes and types throughout Wisconsin, reflecting a wide range of standard stylistic mannerisms and vernacular and ethnic variations. Deep limestone deposits extend in a broad belt through the eastern, southern, and western parts of the state, varying in color from buff, to cream and pink tones, to shades of gray. Sandstone, a softer and less durable stone, is also common in many parts of the state, and ranges from white to brown in color. Early settlers, particularly the German and the Irish, used these stones in structures built from 1840 to the turn of the 20th century. Earliest structures were built with fieldstones just as they were found, with voids between the large stones filled with smaller ones. Liberal amounts of mortar were applied. Eventually, boulders were split and mortared with thinner joints. Quoins, or special corner blocks, were often quarried rock or brick. An outstanding example of fieldstone construction is St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church (NRHP 1986) at New Fane, Fond du Lac County, built in 187l of coursed fieldstones that decrease in size toward the top of the wall. The period of greatest popularity for the general use of fieldstone in Wisconsin was between 1850 and 1880. Although fieldstone buildings are found throughout the state, southeastern Wisconsin is the area of greatest concentration of such structures. View more information elsewhere at wisconsinhistory.org
View pictures relating to architecture at Wisconsin Historical Images.
[Source: Cultural Resource Management in Wisconsin (Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1986).]