EXPLORE: History in Stone at Campobello

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Three of these images are of a large boulder on the shore near Campobello’s Mulholland Point Light. The boulder appears to be sedimentary rock, similar in appearance to the rock found in the Red Beach area. Note in the close-up images of the boulder red arrows pointing to a series of holes and metallic objects. The objects are “feathers and wedges.”

Feathers and wedges were used (and still are today) to split stone into smaller pieces. First, using a hammer and hand-held drill, a series of holes were bored into this boulder along a line of desired split. Tight-fitting metal feathers were inserted on either side of each hole. Metal wedges were then inserted between the feathers and, in sequence, the wedges were repeatedly tapped along the line of feathers and wedges until a piece of the boulder broke off along a line of desired split.

It appears that in this last instance the hoped-for split did not take place, as the feathers and wedges remain in the rock. Interestingly, other splits were successful. Other pieces of stone split from this boulder were used in the stone foundation of Mulholland Point Light.

Harold Bailey


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