1989 - Volume #13, Issue #5, Page #19[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
He's building the great wall of Canada
Albert Johnson of Smiley, Sask., is an 80-year-old farmer who spends his days gathering rocks on his 1,800 acre farm and transporting them to the 9-ft. wide rock wall that winds for a half-mile through fields on his wheat farm. The wall, which he started building in 1962, averages about 6 ft. high and narrows up from its 9-ft. wide base to a couple feet wide at the top. Johnson hauls the granite-type rocks from up to 3 miles away and then lays them carefully so that the outside surfaces of the wall remain relatively smooth. The biggest rock in the wall weighs a few tons and was moved with a big 4-WD tractor.
"Kids love it. They climb on top and . walk the length of it. The adults with them can't believe I did all this work myself," Johnson told FARM SHOW, explaining that the wall really serves no purpose other than to amaze. He works on the wall an average of about 8 hrs. a day, 7 days a week, pulling rocks from the ground by hand, loading them onto his 4-wheel ATV, and lugging them to the wall. "No rocks have been laid on the wall by anyone but me," he says.
Johnson's wife, Shirley, says she still doesn't understand the obsession with the wall. She married him the year he started on it. "I think he started this just to get out of the house," she says.
More than 8,000 people have stopped by to see the wall and it's been featured on national Canadian television. "Making it on TV meant more to me than a million dollars. It paid for all the work I've done," he says.
The wall keeps growing about 10 ft. a month.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Albert Johnson, Box 63, Smiley, Sask. SOL 2Z0 Canada (ph 306 838-2192).
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