What is “feather and wedge?”

Tin Mountain Conservation Center has personal ties to granite.

This really all began hundreds of millions of years ago when magma intrusions cooled to create much of the White Mountain range.

Granite Map

The map to the left shows, in dark green, all the intrusive (primarily granite) rock. The granite in this range is comprised of feldspar, mica, and quartz minerals. As New Hampshire was being settled, people were making use of the granite in the ground. Granite was being used for all sorts of things; foundations for houses, wells, stonewalls, retaining walls, benches, hitching posts for horses, and more. To access these pieces of large rock from boulders, people would use the feather and wedge technique.


TMCC Nature Center builder, David Shedd

TMCC Nature Center builder, David Shedd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      After hours of hammering each wedge, the granite would split along this line. This work required much patience. Today, it does not take much of a hunt to find these pieces of granite around New Hampshire. Look for depressions in granite that fall into a line and there you have it… feather and wedge. We even have pieces of granite split by feather and wedge in our building.

In our Great Room

In The Great Room at our NLC

Tin Mountain Conservation Center has about 140 acres right at our Nature Center in Albany, NH. On the property we have an old, historic quarry used during the time when the railroad was running. We would love it if you came to explore.


And lastly, do as the feather and wedge do – use this blog to expose something new, crack something open, reveal, and admire. That is our intention with this blog. Please enjoy.

2 Responses to What is “feather and wedge?”

  1. Katrine Biddle says:

    So looking forward to reading & enjoying Feather & Wedge – Bravo!

  2. Some truly nice stuff on this site, I like

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