One of the lasting memories John and I will have of this project is the experience we had selecting and collecting the stone for the exterior finish of the ecohome. With 1,600 sq ft and about 1 ½ ton per 30 sq ft. we collected 90 ton of stone, which is why we will hold on to this memory for years to come.
The two types of stone we considered using for the project included the iron ore waste rock from Cliffs Natural Stone Company in Hoyt Lakes and the hand picked natural field stone that came from the site and near by gravel pits.
While the waste rock at the nearby iron ore mines were extremely appealing due to its intriguing story and shear beauty, (oldest fossils in the world & 35 miles of waste rock from previous years of mining ore at Cleveland Cliffs Mining Operation), the cost and hauling of the rock were just not meant for this project.
Instead, John, Nancy and Danny Two Otters, (Danny is a tribal member of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwa Indians), spent five days hand picking rocks from our site, the neighboring site owned by Dan Spina and a site about 10 miles away. We are extremely pleased with the workmanship that Keith Johnson of Mesabi Masonry Inc,andhis crew performed installing these local stones.
Danny was the piece of the stone picking experience that made it all worth it, for those interested in the commentary that he added to the process, corner me someday and I will share it with you.